Au Revoir to Queen Street

With the shutdown of Queen Street for Ontario Line construction between Victoria and Bay, we will not see streetcars there for many years. The last cars will run just before midnight on April 30, 2023.

Until early 2024, the absence will be over a longer stretch from Broadview to McCaul until new diversion track via York and Adelaide is finished. In turn, that depends on relocating nine utility vaults under the new Adelaide trackage.

It is possible that the TTC will revise the diversion pattern once the Don Bridge reopens to streetcars later in 2023 (it will close for maintenance on May 7), but nothing has been decided yet.

Here are photos of various generations of streetcars on the central section of Queen as a memento while we await their return.

Note that this is a large gallery, and it will take a while to load after you first click on a photo.

10 thoughts on “Au Revoir to Queen Street

  1. Steve,
    Always enjoy your photos and updates.
    Any idea when they start work on York Street diversion?

    Steve: No, I have not seen a date for that yet.


  2. Excellent photos, amazing all the history you’ve seen.

    Victoria Street’s trackage always seemed a curiosity to me: unlike Church or Richmond or Adelaide it never had a dedicated route on it, did it? I think really the only function it had was to complete the Richmond/Adelaide/Church loop. But the trackage up to Dundas never really had any other utility, did it? Frankly I would be surprised if it ever saw any use ever again.

    Steve: There was a period after City Hall Loop closed that the Dundas car had a short turn branch that looped via Church, Queen and Victoria returning west from Dundas Square. Much futher back, when the TTC was formed in September 1921, the Winchester car from a wye at Winchester and Sumach, west to Parliament, south to Dundas, west to Victoria and south looping via Richmond, Church and Adelaide to Victoria. By 1923, the routes had changed amd that Victoria looping from Dundas was used by the College (East) Tripper, later called the Carlton Tripper. The Parliament car (formerly Winchester) ran west on Queen and made the short loop via Church, Richmond and Victoria. The Bathurst car operated both ways on Adelaide looping at Victoria until Adelaide became a one way street thanks to the Gardiner/DVP reorganization of downtown streets.

    And so, yes, there have been periods when there was scheduled service on various parts of Victoria. This has not been possible for many years thanks to construction at St. Michael’s Hospital and at Massey Hall.


  3. With “Priority Travel Routes”, who will get the “priority”? Will the public transit vehicles get priority, or will the single-occupant motor vehicle get priority, as they do today? Or will only when there is a police officer or traffic services officer to direct the traffic, will that be done?

    Steve: If past efforts at “priority” are any indication, they will be a lot more talk than action in the best John Tory tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Recent intersection replacements which did not add new curves to improve diversion services (off the top of my head):

    Broadview @ Gerrard (N to W)
    College @ Bathurst (SW quadrant)
    Carlton @ Church (SE quadrant)
    Queen @ Church (N to W)
    Dundas @ Parliament (S to E)
    King @ York (E to N)
    Adelaide @ York (N to E)

    I look forward to the future failures on York with the new Richmond (W to S) and Adelaide (N to E) intersections.


  5. Hey, Kipling and Lake Shore got a new curve for that new shuttle between New Toronto and Long Branch loops (if you go by the destination signs in PCCs).


  6. I’m sure that all these harms to transit riders and lost time etc. were very well dealt with in the EA, like GHG emissions from all the OL concrete, and Mr. Ford really does like Toronto, especially the core.


  7. The reopening of Queen St. is too far away to look forward to. Instead, I will look forward to streetcars returning to Adelaide, which should happen (slightly?) earlier.


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