For much of 2016, Exhibition Loop was out of service, and streetcar service cut back or replaced by bus shuttles. This started with reconstruction of the north side of the loop and retaining wall adjacent to GO’s Exhibition Station, but later extended to the south side of the loop where streetcars unload and board passengers.
The track reconstruction did not finish before the winter freeze-up, and has to have set a new record for a long-running project of relative simplicity. Construction began in the fall, and then completed in mid-winter thanks to unusually benevolent weather.
Streetcars returned to the loop on February 18, 2017, although only 509 Harbourfront is a rail operation. The 511 Bathurst route will operate with buses until the matter of streetcar availability is resolved. (I suspect that once part of 505 Dundas shuts down for track construction later in 2017, this will free up streetcars for 511 Bathurst during the busier summer period, but this has not been confirmed.)
A photo gallery follows the break.