504 King Cars Returning to King Street (Updated)

After a long absence courtesy of a shutdown of the King Street branch of the Queen/Don Bridge, streetcars will return to King east from Parliament to the Don on Friday, June 5. This will put the 504 King and 503 Kingston Road Tripper cars back on a route they have not seen since mid-2013.

Construction under the Don Bridge of infrastructure to support the development of West Don Lands undermined the bridge foundations which, as it turns out, are wooden piers. Infrastructure Ontario, the agency in charge of the overall project to build the Atheletes’ Village in the WDL, has claimed that King Street would reopen at several possible dates going back to fall 2014.

This will also mark the first streetcar traffic over the new intersection at Sumach Street that leads south to Cherry Street, the WDL and the Distillery District. That line is expected to begin service in Spring 2016 when new residents start moving in to the neighbourhood. The TTC has not yet announced what route structure will be used to serve Cherry south to the loop at the rail corridor (just north of the old Cherry Street Tower).

A comment left by a reader in another thread adds a few details:

503/504 service will be restored on King St. East between Parliament St. and Queen St. East at 5 AM June 05 2015. The city and its contractor (Aecon) have completed repairs and the TTC has replaced the trolley wire. Test streetcars have already been conducted with good results. The TTC will be posting at stops and on web site of changes, as well as having alternate duties employees at the affected Queen St. East stops to advise customers of the restoration of service. (nfitz will be very happy)

Updated June 5, 2015 With Photos

The century-old housing that provided a backdrop for diverting King cars on Parliament will soon disappear under yet more new condominiums.

Meanwhile, down on King, the landscape has changed a lot since the 504 last plied these rails. The black building is a new condo while the brown one across the street, with a Tim Horton’s that has been busy from the day it opened, is a new Toronto Community Housing building.

At Sumach, the new intersection leads south to track on Cherry that will be activated in Spring 2016 when new condo residents move in to what is now the Pan Am Games Athletes’ Village.