The May 2017 schedules will bring many changes to bus and streetcar routes across the city. The majority of these fall into three groups: construction-related changes and diversions, seasonal changes mainly related to the end of spring term at post-secondary institutions, and changes in the type of equipment assigned to routes.
Construction and Equipment Type Changes
On 501 Queen, buses will replace streetcars over the entire route from Neville to Long Branch. Two services will operate from Neville with one ending at Park Lawn Loop and the other running through to Long Branch. This restores the route structure as it was before the service west of Humber Loop was split off from the central part of Queen.
The 501L Long Branch buses will operate via Windermere and Lake Shore Boulevard as the 501L Queen bus does now. The 501M Marine Parade service will be replaced by the 501P Park Lawn buses which will operate westbound on the same route as the 501L, but eastbound via north on Park Lawn and east on The Queensway.
The 301 night service will operate as a through bus route from Neville to Long Branch.
To provide enough buses for 501 Queen, streetcars will return to other routes:
- 504 King will be entirely operated with streetcars, with many runs using ALRVs (the two-section cars) displaced from Queen.
- 503 Kingston Road will be operated with streetcars, and will be extended west to Charlotte Loop because Wellington Street is under construction. (502 Downtowner will remain a bus operation.)
- 511 Bathurst will return to streetcar operation initially with ALRVs, but will transition to low-floor Flexity service as new cars become available.
Although 501 Queen will operate with buses through the summer, possibly to Thanksgiving, the planned intersection replacements at Coxwell and at McCaul will not occur during this period as there is too much other work concurrently according to the TTC’s Brad Ross. The dates and service arrangements for these two projects have not yet been announced.
The 505 Dundas car, which as I write this, is about to begin a diversion via Bay, College/Carlton and Church bothways for water main construction, will shift to a longer diversion via Carlton, Parliament and Gerrard beginning in May when the Dundas/Parliament intersection is rebuilt. The 65 Parliament bus will also divert around this work via Gerrard, Sherbourne and Shuter.
Temporary schedules were implemented in March for 510 Spadina and 506 Carlton in anticipation of extra traffic from a Queen diversion that was not implemented (510) and for overhead work on Gerrard that has been deferred (506). These routes revert to their normal schedules in May.
The 514 Cherry streetcar will now be scheduled for all low-floor service, and the weekday midday headways will be widened from 10 to 15 minutes.
In order to avoid unpredictable traffic conditions for Metrolinx Crosstown construction, the evening interlines of routes 5 Avenue Road & 56 Leaside, and of 51 Leslie & 61 Avenue Road North, will be discontinued. These routes will operate independently at all hours.
The schedule for the 34C Eglinton East service to Flemingdon Park will be revised to give operators more layover time at Eglinton Station due to construction conditions.
The bus loop at Royal York Station will be closing for about 18 months for reconstruction, and this will eliminate the loop now used by four routes. Services will be interlined on 73 Royal York & 76 Royal York South, and on 15 Evans & 48 Rathburn. The 315 Evans night service will be extended to Islington Station.
Construction at Coxwell Station has completed, and the interline of 22 Coxwell & 70 O’Connor will cease.
Service will be improved on weekend evenings on 509 Harbourfront. This route is now designated as a low-floor route and will be operated entirely with Flexitys.
A Sunday PCC service will operate as an unscheduled extra on the 509 subject to availability of a car and operator from about noon to 5:00 pm.
Services to many campuses will be reduced to reflect lower demand during the summer term on various routes: 38 Highland Creek, 41 Keele, 44 Kipling South, 188 Kipling South Rocket, 60 Steeles West, 75 Sherbourne, 134C Progress/Centennial, 191 Highway 27 Rocket, 195 Jane Rocket, 196 York U Rocket, 198 UTSC Rocket, and 199 Finch Rocket.
Other seasonal changes affect 92 Woodbine South, 121 Fort York-Esplanade and 165 Weston Road North. Note that the 121 will operate to Cherry Beach during all service hours this summer rather than selected periods as in the past.
A Rose By Any Other Name
In anticipation of the TYSSE opening in late 2017, the name of Downsview Station will change to Sheppard West. This allows the “Downsview” label to shift to the new “Downsview Park” station.
The construction (and destruction) along The Queensway continues apace.
This has turned into a major project. I’m not sure, but I think they’re going to be installing drainage. The excavation is quite deep, well over a metre.
There were hundreds of trees planed in the boulevard between the right-of-way and the traffic lanes. These have all been cut down.
So, in addition to replacing permeable ballast with non-permeable concrete (and thus requiring drainage pipes) this project has removed a few hundred trees from Toronto’s inventory.
The more I look at this project, the more I think it’s a makework project for construction contractors and TTC staff. Particularly old staff bitter with all these newfangled “environmental” and “greening” and “stormwater runoff abatement” ideas.
Steve: As I understand things, there was quite a debate at TTC over whether to rebuild with ties and ballast (as it was) or to go all concrete. The concrete lovers won out because this will reduce future maintenance costs (they claim). I look forward to the days when they try rebuilding all of the open cut subway track this way.
I have noticed Flexity cars on the 504 (not 514) route several times lately. I have read here and elsewhere that 504 was not in the plan for the (slow) rollout of Flexities at this time. Furthermore TTC said that the Flexity ramps do not work on Roncesvailles. Would the TTC be so obtuse as to say that a route not posted as fully accessible is not operating as fully accessible despite the superficial availability of accessible vehicles. Given the abysmal state of overcrowding on the streetcar network, I do not agree that an accessible ramp really makes the system fully accessible. However, that is the solution our City has decided upon. It seems cruel (and a waste) to operate seemingly fully accessible vehicles on a route where in fact they are not.
Also, on the Flexity/accessibility topic – I am ambulatory, but do have mobility issues. The 100% low floor design of these streetcars may meet a “slogan” objective of the planners. However, I have never been on a transit vehicle that is less accessible from a seating, layout and grab bar perspective. Particularly galling – and a tripping hazard – is when the low floor goes into an unmarked hump over the trucks. In a journey from the seat to the door, there are gaps where there is no grab bar to hang onto. I need a grab bar on a moving vehicle. (The horizontal grab bars are not practical because people need to step up from the narrow aisle (with a hump) over the trucks to step up to the raised seats and need a gap so they don’t hit their heads.)
While I appreciate that they do not meet the needs of many others, once I make it up the stairs (with a bit of difficulty) the CLRV/ALRV cars are much more accessible for me – standing, sitting and moving to the exit doors. Even – and may I be forgiven for praising them – Orion buses are friendlier (even upstairs).
Steve: On weekends, there are spare Flexitys and so a few of them have gone out on 504 King. Current plans call for Bathurst to be the next route after Cherry and Harbourfront are completed, but until now, Bathurst has been a bus route and so the Flexitys found another home.
I was not aware that the ramps “don’t work” on Roncesvalles and will have to confirm whether this is still true. As for interior layouts, all I can say is that they were vetted by the advistory committee (ACAT) who were happy. The matter of stanchions comes up regularly and for some, too many poles are an impediment if they’re out in the open blocking movement of wheelchairs, etc. I know that’s why there are no stanchions blocking the long, long aisles of the TR trains. Of course those had to get overhead handholds retrofitted under the AC units.
Wow. That’s loads of changes! So what divisions will operate the 501 Queen buses? Also I’m concerned with the end to end service from Neville Park to Long Branch because when buses travel through the downtown area traffic could cause delays to the route. When 22/70 reverts to September 2015 schedules, would 70 O’Connor lose the Ten Minute Network? Also it would be great if spare articulated buses would operate on the Queen buses and it’s nice to see Hybrid buses on 57 Midland.
Steve: The 501 buses will come from Birchmount, Eglinton, Mount Dennis, Queensway and Wilson.
As for O’Connor, most of the time it is 10 minutes or better on the common segment of the route in the September 2015 scheds, but there are times when it isn’t. As this is now shown as part of the Ten Minute Network on the route map, I will inquire about whether the planners missed this.
The TTC’s arrangements for the 121 bus are somewhat bizarre. When this route began last summer there was an eastbound bus stop at the corner of Bay Street right in front of the subway exit. A few weeks ago that stop was suddenly gone (it was moved to in front of the Dominion Public Building – with no signage saying it had moved). The TTC say that this was always intended to be in the new stop location but how they expected ordinary customers to know their plan is rather a mystery! It really makes no sense not to have very visible stops in front of Canada’s major transportation hub – the Dominion Public Building stop is barely visible from the subway exit and certainly invisible from the Union Station main exit and the westbound stop is on the east side of Bay. The next eastbound stop to the west is on the far side of Simcoe. The westbound stops are not much better. The 121 has the potential to be a useful east-west route – making an obvious connection at the subway and GO terminus virtually invisible and quite inconvenient is not likely to grow ridership.
18 MONTHS! Ridiculous! This is a small terminal that is well used and ought not to take anywhere near this time to do work including paving the loop. There are no streetcar tracks. The TTC seems to take endless time to do a moderate repair/modification. Witness Broadview station for one. Vincent Yard for another.
Royal York is well used and now thousands of people will have to stand outside in all weather waiting for their bus for 18 MONTHS! TTC customer service!
Public meeting again April 4th 6.30-8.30 pm at Old Mill Inn to inform people about this service “improvement”. I went to the first one last year. Waste of time as per usual.
The work at Royal York Station may make life easier for everyone actually. There are usually a ton of high school students there around 3:15 who will not have to transfer much if at all for the next 18 months.
So Steve, IIRC they are doing the rehabilitation around Davisville next year. How will they cope with such a long closure of the 501 tracks plus the subway repairs? At least I thought they were doing that subway repairs next year.
I wonder if they will defer Coxwell and McCaul for another couple years.
Steve: Queen should be back to streetcar operation this fall. The work at Davisville is to be timed, as much as possible, to coincide with Metrolinx work at Eglinton Station. The exact details of work to be done have not yet been published. In 2018, the big track replacement project that will require bus substitutions is on Broadview from Dundas to Hogarth (north end of Riverdale Park) including the intersections at Dundas and at Gerrard.
As for Queen Street, there is no reason to defer the two intersections, although it would be nice to do Coxwell as part of the City’s water main project there this summer. Originally, I believe this was planned for August.
While pre-cast concrete blocks may not meet the city’s construction standards on city roads, I wonder if the Queensway might have been a good test bed.
The Royal York situation is just a repeat of the current 22/70 ending soon. People will be waiting in the weather and jaywalking Royal York to get into the station. The 73 will see better service, especially the 73C branch while the 76A will be even more packed. Bunching could leave large gaps on the 76A that would annoy a lot of riders.
Also, the 15/48 is always interlined on M-F evenings and weekends. The spreadsheet makes it seen like this is something new. I understand TTC has separated running time for both routes as shown in the service summary.
Steve: My intention in the spreadsheet was to show service levels before/after the change for all periods. I should have included a note indicating which periods were already interlined. The information I publish is a consolidation of the material issued by the TTC.
Am I correct to believe the 511 Bathurst next period will be the Flexity headway just operating with ALRVs?
Steve: I suspect that is correct. The challenge may come in the fall if there are not yet enough Flexitys to cover the route, and the ALRVs have to go back to Queen.
Here is an article about the coming work on Roncesvalles to fix the bump outs so that they work with the streetcar ramps.
Steve: Thanks for the link!
There was a “green track” option where modular green roof tiles could be placed between the tracks. The trees were diseased/polluted and not growing quickly. The new trees will be more resistant.
The rigid track structure was proposed due to the continually subsidence of the land in the area. This will prevent “undulating tracks” that make for such poor ride quality.
This way already trialed on the subway, but I can’t remember the location now.
Pre-cast concrete either won’t give you any/much logitudinal reinforcement or have constructability issues.
Steve: Also, I think that locations where blocks have been used have only been for the surface layer and the rail itself still is attached to ties which, in turn sit in or on concrete.
DavidC: Re your 121 remarks. I agree it has the potential to be useful – and it never is. I live on Fort York, that bus should be so useful for me. But it’s never on time, you’ll often get 2-3 buses running in the same direction in rush hour. A lot of it has to do with that stretch on Front Street by Union, they get caught in the taxi traffic. But the route just needs better management all around. Honestly, it’s not used as much as it should be because of the garbage management.
Steve: FYI I now have the January tracking data for this route, and plan to also get data for a late spring month with the Cherry extension running. I will be reporting on how this route is not operating properly in the future.
Low and behold, just what I have said all along. The new streetcars equals less service. Instead of 6 streetcars every hour, there will be 4 streetcars. And when they start bunching up along King St.? Yep, good excuse to get rid of the service because “no one is using it.”
Steve: To be fair, the more frequent service was added because Flexitys were not available last fall, and it is now being clawed back.
Well, look at how long it’s taking for the fifth track at Exhibition GO station? I know that’s Metrolinx, but still. Or the subway extension to York Region. The Government allows for things to take a long time. I wonder why it will take them 18 months at Royal York station, it’s not that big of a station. But still, there never seems to be a pro-transit person to stand up and say this is ridiculous. Maybe contractors know the City will allow this, but who knows. I am not a construction expert, but maybe someone with expertise needs to be hired by the TTC to help deal with construction issues.
Steve: Part of the reason for the lengthy closure is that installation of elevators will block the bus roadway. See the October 2015 public meeting presentation for additional info.
To Ttcawesomefanner: Brad Ross has confirmed that, yes, the southern section of the 70 O’Connor route will no longer be part of the ten minute network.
blockquote>”it’s nice to see Hybrid buses on 57 Midland.”
Hybrids were not new to this route. I last saw unit #1132 on the 57 MIDLAND as an school tripper in September 2009. Apart from the articulated Orion III buses, I wonder Malvern will dispatch an LFS Artic during peak periods.
I was at Royal York earlier like I have been daily for the past 6 months. They have gutted the ceilings at the station and I believe they are making preparations for work inside the station. Your theory appears to be correct.
The one saving grace about all this is that as opposed to Coxwell there is an automated entrance at Grenview which leads direct to the east and westbound platforms. This will alleviate a lot of the issues with crowding at the main entrance. Coxwell did not have this which lead to all the issues with crowding.
Steve: Since you left this comment, I updated my reply to confirm the issue with the elevators, and included a link to a presentation on the planned work.
Not from what I saw the other day. They may have done enough to get the buses back in the terminal, but Coxwell construction seems to have a long way to go still. Woodbine looks further ahead!
Steve: I should have qualified that to say that it was complete to the point where buses can use the station again. I’m there from time to time myself and know it’s not done yet.
I have taken the 121 Fort York-Esplanade quite a few times. I find the stop layout to be inexplicable. The route follows many streets that have frequent four-way stops. However the actualy passenger stops are spaced way too far apart, considering that the Fort York end of the line is very densely bulit-up. And where there is a traffic light, e.g. at Dan Leckie Way, there is no TTC stop. Huh?
It’s really a Toonertown Trolley, with all the curves, but minus most of the stops!
I have to agree that the schedule adherence is notional. It will be interesting to find out what Steve’s data shows. While watching real-time next vehicle feeds, the buses tend to disappear. I wonder if GPS pickup is scrambled by all the tall buildings in the west end of the route.
CORRECTION: Re Royal York Subway station construction.
Public meeting again MAY 4th 6.30-8.30 pm at Old Mill Inn to inform people about this service “improvement”. I went to the first one last year. Waste of time as per usual.
On Sunday, May 7, 2017, streetcars will be making their triumphant return to the “511 Bathurst” route with a mixture of CLRVs and ALRVs. Later this year, there will be some low-floor Flexity streetcars added to this route as they beome available, maybe in time for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), which runs from August 18 to September 4. There’s nothing quite like the ambiance of the “511 Bathurst” streetcar when the CNE is on, the high-spirited excitement of the passengers riding on the streetcar as it’s travelling southbound on Bathurst street and making its way to the Exhibition loop, via Fleet Street.
This route has been using shuttle buses since November 20th, 2016, due to a shortage of streetcars at that time, and these will remain until Saturday, May 6 – people travelling on the shuttle buses – which, in a recent article, Toronto Star columnist Ed Keenan describes them (shuttle buses) jerking in traffic – have been waiting patiently for the return of streetcars. Also, streetcars are superior to buses, as they carry more passengers, plus there’s a better view of the city through the windows of a streetcar.
Perhaps when you (Steve) are doing your analysis you could look at the stop locations – those on the part of the route that does not follow the former 72 route (i.e. west of Church) really are far apart and not properly thought out. Not having at least one stop in front of Union Station is crazy, ideally there would be two, certainly one at the subway exit/entrance. The TTC’s excuse for delays is that the buses get stuck on Front between Simcoe and Yonge – true, traffic is bad and illegal parking is not controlled but as the buses move so slowly through that area why not add a stop (or two) – even if the bus blocks the whole road it will really not hold traffic up! (A problem at the moment is the major work on Wellington west of Church, that seriously delays the westbound buses.
I think the reason for the poor stop layout for 121 Fort York-Esplanade is too much street furniture on newly rebuilt streets it runs on. There is no stop westbound from nearside Spadina to farside Dan Leckie Way, close to Bathurst. The reason is the sidewalk is filled with planters, bike racks and still leaving no space long enough for a bus stop. They probably can’t justify moving things around for a route that is still provisional.
A stoplight was recently added to Yonge and The Esplanade. Routing the bus though there would simplify it a lot.
As you may be aware there will be a marathon on May 7, 2017. Therefore dozens of TTC bus and streetcar routes and GO bus routes will be detouring or delayed. You shouldn’t expect most of the routes you listed to be running normally that day.
Steve: Why would I expect these routes to be running normally on any day?
Steve, any idea what became of the approved permanent reroute of the 66B Prince Edward to clean up service a bit in Humber Bay Shores? In light of the various bus detours down there it would likely provide a welcome alternative to get folks up to the subway a bit more easily. When it was adopted by the Commission in September 2016, the report said the change would be “effective February 12, 2017, conditional on the City of Toronto making the necessary changes to automobile parking regulations.” A couple of board periods have now come and gone and still nothing, so are we to assume those parking changes are to likely blame for the holdup?
Steve: Yes, I think they are still waiting on the City.
Also, I see in the most recent CEO’s report (that in fairness, only came out shortly after this post was written) that the Flexity deployment schedule has been revised so that 512 St Clair is now supposed to follow 514 Cherry. I assume that means your remarks above about 511 Bathurst getting an ALRV to Flexity cocktail was your informed speculation based on that original deployment plan from a while back? Or was the TTC committing to Flexities on Bathurst within the May service change documentation, and sending them up to St Clair instead is an abrupt swerve?
Steve: The arrangements for Bathurst were included in the May Service Memo. It is not unusual for these to get out of sync because they are prepared a few months before they take effect. There are also some right hand / left hand problems at the TTC as with any large organization, not mentioning any names.
Depending on whether Bombardier actually ramps up deliveries in coming months as planned, and how the fleet is disposed after buses come off of 501 Queen, one can think of various scenarios. ALRVs and Flexitys for the summer months are a good idea for 511 Bathurst.
Speaking of bus routes, I’m wondering if someone could clear up something to me regarding TTC nomenclature. The northern portion of TTC’s Kipling bus route is called 45 Kipling (Kipling St. to Steeles and back again). There is an express service, aptly named 45E. The southern portion (Kipling St. to Lakeshore and back) is called 44 Kipling. The express service on that part however is called 188, not 44E. Why is that so? Is it because 45E only skips some of the stops compared to the 45, whereas the 188 is a “rocket” with no stops in between the subway station and Lakeshore Blvd? Thanks
Steve: This is one of the great mysteries of the TTC. Similarly, the “Downtown Express” routes are in the 14x series, and some are premium fare services.
Several of the Rockets have intermediate stops, including the 188 Kipling which stops at Birmingham, Evans and The Queensway.
The TTC went through a huge and quite unnecessary effort to rename all of its “principal” route variants as the “A” branch, although there are exceptions, but has done nothing to reconcile inconsistencies in other parts of its route nomenclature.
If we ever get into charging premium fares for “premium” services, this sort of distinction will create some real battles. There is money to be made selling popcorn while watching politicians and staff try to explain how this would be a good idea.
With regard to Andre S’s comment I remember listening to a conversation TTC staff had with the board members on that issue and this is the jist of what they said. The E branch of bus routes operate only during peak periods and often have a segment where they operate local service and then only stop at selected stops. The Rocket routes are primarily limited Stop services that often operate at a minimum from the morning peak period all the way until the peak period. Furthermore, these routes often tend to connect to major destinations such as colleges, universities, the airport, and also try fill in the gaps in our rapid transit network. However, as Steve mentioned there are inconsistencies throughout the network.
Regarding Andre’s comment, “E” (and “F” in some cases) branches only seem to be used for peak only express services, while all the specially numbered express service at have at least all day weekday service.
Steve: The 14x Downtown Expresses are peak period only, and so they break the pattern. The E and F branches are peak only, but of course they are variants on another route, while the 14x series do not have “local” counterparts.
Weren’t all the “E” branches renumbered into 2XX routes in the proposed reconfigured bus network for the Scarborough subway?
Steve: If you look at the list in my previous article, you will see that usages are inconsistent.
How many Flexities have actually been delivered?
Steve: 4400 plus 4402-4433 are here and in service (33 cars). 4401 is still a test vehicle. 4434 arrived recently bus is still in acceptance testing. On weekends, it is common to see all but four or five of the 33 cars in service. Four of them were on 504 King today (April 14).
To nitpick, it’s 44 Kipling South, and 188 Kipling South Rocket.
I think the 188 is supposed to be twice the 44, or something. 🙂
Back in 2010, 39 Finch East had many express branches including (if my memory servers) 39C, 39E (the rarest!), 39F, and 39G. Any of those was good for Seneca College, and therefore good enough for me.
Streetcars will soon be returning to the “511 Bathurst” route, on May 7, 2017 – first with CLRVs and ALRVs and later this year with the new low-floor Flexity Outlooks. The “511 Bathurst” route is a good one for the Flexity Outlook streetcars, as this is an entirely street-level route between Bathurst station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line down to the Exhibition loop, via Fleet Street. There are Flexity streetcars already using the Exhibition loop, and these are on the “509 Harbourfront” route, and that route now fully converted to them. The new streetcars have more seating capacity than the older ones (CLRVs and ALRVs) are able to transport the large numbers of people heading to the Canadian National Exhibition when it runs, from August 4 through to September 4, 2017.
Steve: You have posted variations on this theme twice before.
Interesting that Flexity cars are on 504 King. Saw one today (Saturday) about 1pm entering Dundas West Stn. Only 1 car fits platform. He was followed immediately by a standard car that just barely got his rear doors on platform unloading area.
Four 506 Carlton cars all sitting at platform and a fifth could not get in station until 1st car departed. Unusual to see that many Carlton cars in station.
I thought they had to modify stops along Roncy for their ramp before they could be used? Maybe this will happen in better weather and with bus replacement. I am sure the merchants etc. will appreciate this! NOT!
Steve: The platform mods are planned for 2019 when service on Ronces will be shut down during the King/Queen/Ronces reconstruction project.
I have a question for Mapleson: you mention new trees will be planted? Is this confirmed and where is this information from? I was shocked and very disturbed to see the trees cut down; most looked quite healthy to me.
Steve: According to the TTC, they will be planted in the right-of-way. We will have to see just how the foundation for the track is built and how much “breathing space” they leave for the trees.
The return of streetcars to the “511 Bathurst” route, on Sunday, May 7, comes just in time for the busy tourist season. There will be some festivals and high-profile events, including the Canadian National Exhibition in late-summer. Also, Ontario Place is scheduled to reopen this late spring / early summer, with some new festivals – a taco festival (Jume 9-11) and a barbecue festival (June 16-18). People will be taking the “511 Bathurst” streetcar to get to these festivals and events. There’s also the Taste of Toronto at Historic Fort York’s Garrison Common.
I have no qualms waiting outside, in the middle of winter cold or summer heat at Royal York station for 18 months, because for those 18 beautiful months, the 73C will finally operate with the frequency it needs during rush hours. Seriously, as it stands today, 24 minute frequency during PM rush means that every 73C is packed both northbound and southbound.
My only hope is that the peanut counters at the TTC leave at least some level of improvement in place after those 18 months, akin to what Lawrence West buses saw after all buses ran to Yonge during Lawrence West’s bus bay work and the resulting 52A/B/D. Not a permanent Interline, just more service on a route that needs it.
After five and a half months of shuttle bus service, streetcars will be making their ‘triumphant’ return to the “511 Bathurst” route, just in time for the busy summer tourist season – first with CLRVs and ALRVs and later this year with the new Flexities.
This year, Ontario Place will be reopening after five years of closure for redevelopment, renovations and upgrades to its facilities, particularly at the east end of the park. This year, there will be a couple of food festivals in June – a taco festival (June 9-11) and a barbecue festival (June 16-18), to kick off the summer season. Ontario Place is a popular place for people to be watching the Canadian International Air Show, which happens during the Labour Day weekend, with planes flying either directly overhead or over the lake. Becaue of the limited number of parking spots, people visiting Ontario Place are best advised to take public transit, particularly the TTC, and taking the “511 Bathurst” streetcar is one way to get there; it includes a short walk through the Exhibition grounds.
I often hear Spanish spoken when riding the TTC, particularly on surface routes. Sunday is the traditional day for Latin-American immigrant families living in Toronto to go out together, and so many take the TTC to get to their destinations. One of these places which I see many Spanish-speaking Latin-American immigrants is at Exhibition Place when the CNE when it’s on. They would head there (after going to church) and take the “511 Bathurst” streetcar down to the CNE (I hear them carrying on conversations in Spanish), just in time for lunch at about the same time I do, step off the streetcar at Exhibition loop (with their admission tickets) and head for the Food Building, just a short distance away.
Regarding the renaming of Downsview to Sheppard West – I just read this TTC release:
How is it possible that the TTC is spending nearly a million dollars for a name change – and how could changing the computerized voice cost the brunt of that!?
Steve: One wonders, more to the point, why this was not included in the original contract.
On Sunday, May 7, streetcars will soon triumphantly return to the “511 Bathurst” route – and one Toronto tourist attraction, Ontario Place, will be opening with some food festivals. There will be a barbecue festival (June 9-11) and a taco festival (June 16-18), to open up the summer season. People will be taking the “511 Bathurst” streetcar to these festivals – I will likely hear Spanish spoken when riding on the streetcar if I plan to go to one of those food festivals. At last years taco festival, which was at Liberty Village, there were mariachi bands and other Latin-American musicians – this year they’ll take their act to Ontario Place and perform for visitors munching on tacos (washed down with a ‘cerveza’).
This past Sunday, May 7, streetcars triumphantly returned to the “511 Bathurst” route, after five and a half months of shuttle bus service. I missed the distinctive sound of the streetcars as they travel on the rails of Bathurst Street between the subway and the Exhibition Loop (it was ‘music to the ears’) and the 360-degree views of the ‘gritty’ streetscape of Bathurst Street through the windows. That day – Sunday, May 7 – I rode the streetcar down to Fleet Street and Strachan Avenue, then walked to get to Liberty Village via Kings Street West and Shaw Street, to take in a Jane’s Walk of the neighbourhood.
This past Sunday, May 14, I rode the “511 Bathurst” streetcar down to the Exhibition loop, to take in the Fair Trade Expo at Heritage Court, Exhibition Place. To my astonishment, it was one of the new low-floor Flexity Outlook streetcars. I rode one of these Flexities down to the Exhibition loop, and later on after leaving the Exhibition grounds, I rode another Flexity back to Bathurst subway station. It wasn’t all that long ago that there were shuttle buses running on this route, from November 20, 2016 to May 6, 2017.
Yesterday, I took the “511 Bathurst” streetcar down to the Exhibition Loop and later back to the subway station, and during both the trip down and the trip back, I rode on the new Flexity Outlook. This is a good route for the new streetcars, which are wheelchair-accessable, and many people with physical limitations which require them to use wheelchairs welcome the deployment of them to this route. This streetcar, the “511 Bathurst”, stops at Toronto Western Hospital, located at 399 Bathurst Street and Dundas Street West. However, the bulk of the rolling stock of the “511 Bathurst” route is CLRVs and ALRVs.
Also, there are still some CLRVs running on the “509 Harbourfront” route. In addition, there are one or two PCCs, running, only on Sundays during the busy tourist season, from Victoria Day weekend through to Labour Day weekend. And speaking of Sundays, it’s the traditional day for Latin-American (and particularly Venezuelan) families to go out together and many of them choose to take the TTC for their ‘Sunday travels’ (there are large numbers of immigrants from Latin-American countries living in Toronto), and they could be heard carrying on conversations in Spanish.