Fifty years ago, Canada celebrated its centennial, and is usual for our national holiday, festivities at City Hall triggered streetcar diversions.
In those days, the standard bypass for Queen cars was eastbound via Adelaide and westbound via Richmond. Adelaide has long been out of service except for a short stretch of track between Victoria and Church, and although Richmond has been rebuilt, there is no overhead yet between Victoria and York Streets. The abandoned track on Adelaide will be removed in 2021 according to current plans, but this is likely co-ordinated with whenever the City gets around to repaving the street after the many, many condo and office construction projects that have left it a pothole filled ruin.
Adelaide closed “temporarily” to permit the construction of the Bay-Adelaide centre, a project that itself sat incomplete for years thanks to a downturn in demand for office space. Over the years, with the track inactive, more construction blockages and related track cuts occurred, and any thought of reactivation vanished.
As a look back, here are photos of the diversion from July 1, 1967. Many of the buildings in these pictures no longer exist, a few have been cleaned off, and several vacant lots are no more.
[Updated July 1, 2017 at 7:55 pm: For those who don’t know, it was still called “Dominion Day” in 1967.]
Looking even further back, here is a gallery of photos from the City of Toronto Archives showing construction of the track along Adelaide in 1911. Among these photos, two at Church are particularly intriguing because they show a full diamond as if the TRC intended to extend track further east some day. This never happened.