I would like to discuss my preferred streetcar lines for Toronto. With the exemption of a restored route, run numbers are only suggestive and do not need be the actual route name or number.
Current routes on the TTC system are:
503 Kingston Road
508 Lake Shore
512 St. Clair
I am suggesting the following new routes:
507 Long Branch (restoring a former route)
512 King West
513 The Beaches
My recommendation for operating streetcar line are as follows:
501 Queen: The 501 would stop running west of Humber Loop, as this portion of the route would be taken over by a restored 507 Long Branch car (see below, and my previous post.) However, the car would also stop operating east of Woodbine Loop. Thus an eastbound streetcar would depart Humber Loop heading east along the Queensway and then keep going east along Queen Street until it gets to Kingston Road where it will turn onto Kingston Road heading east and then right into Woodbine Loop. It can then turn onto Queen Street heading west back to Humber Loop.
502 Downtowner: The 502 would slightly change its route, and become the extended version of the 503 (see below) as it would take over the all day service along the same route as the 503 currently operates on. As such, a westbound car would depart Victoria Park Loop along Kingston Road and west along Queen Street. It would then turn left at King Street and continue west along King Street to Church Street. The car would then head south one block to Wellington Street and then west along Adelaide until York Street where it would turn north back to King Street and then head east to Victoria Park Loop. This would allow for a connection to the subway at Yonge Street (while being a short block east of University – which is no problem to walk) yet still allow for a slight shortening of the route.
503 Kingston Road: The 503 would operate as a local service along Kingston Road between Woodbine Loop (Queen Street East and Kingston Road) and Victoria Park Loop. Currently the car operates from McCaul Loop and Victoria Park Loop but it gets held up by traffic downtown. This option eliminates this problem, while still providing a direct connection with the 501 Queen and the 502. This car would go from a rush hour service to an all day service.
504 King: The 504 King car would continue to operate from Dundas West station east to Main Street station. However, half the cars would operate from Sunnyside Loop to Main Street station thanks to a restored 507 Long Branch car operating to Dundas West station. Also, if necessary the cars from Dundas West station could always terminate at Church Street. The car could turn north to Richmond Street, west to Victoria Street, south to Adelaide, east to Church Street and south to King and then back into service west to Dundas West station. If you did this, the TTC could split the route into two with the Sunnyside to Main Street station portion retaining the 504 King designation. The other route could be named the King West car and given a new number, such as the 512 King West car.
505 Dundas: Currently the car operates from Dundas West station south on Roncesvalles avenue, east on Dundas Street, and north on Broadview Avenue to Broadview station. I would essentially leave the route unchanged.
506 Carlton: The current route currently operates from High Park Loop heading east along Howard Park Avenue, College/Carlton Street, south on Parliament Street, east along Gerrard Street, north on Coxwell Avenue, northeast along Gerrard Street again, and then north along Main Street into Main Street station. Overnight, the car uses Dundas West station instead of High Park Loop. This car, when operating on time, is not an issue.
507 Long Branch: As I have written about before, I would restore the Long Branch car, which was merged into the 501 Queen car in 1995. The only difference would be that the car would operate east of Humber along the Queensway, north along Roncesvalles Avenue and into Dundas West station. During the day, at least on car would be dedicated to service between Long Branch Loop and Humber Loop thanks to service demands along Lake Shore Blvd. W. This would allow for the 501 Queen to be terminated at Humber Loop, and some 504 King cars to terminate at Sunnyside Loop.
508 Lake Shore: This car currently runs during the rush hours (three eastbound trips in the morning, and three westbound in the evening) between Long Branch Loop and Parliament Street via Lake Shore Blvd. W., the Queensway, and King Street. I would expand this service during the rush hour in order to maintain the ‘one seat ride’ for people who want this option. However, if demand increases, the route could also operate outside of rush hour.
509 Harbourfront: The current service runs south from Union Station along Bay Street to Queen’s Quay, west along Queen’s Quay, north along Bathurst Street, west along Fleet Street into Exhibition Loop. I would maintain the route as it is, mainly because the route operates along a Right of Way (ROW.)
510 Spadina: The current route works well, thanks to the ROW. It operates between Union Station and Spadina station via Bay Street, Queen’s Quay west and Spadina Avenue. Although it has potential for short turning at Queen’s Quay and Spadina and at Charlotte Loop (by heading east on Adelaide, south on Charlotte, and west on King.) But with the ROW, the traffic can stay out of the way and at the end of the day delays should only corrected at Queen’s Quay and Spadina where passengers could transfer to the 509 if required.
511 Bathurst: The car runs from Exhibition Loop east along Fleet Street and then north on Bathurst to Bathurst station. This route seems to work, at least the odd time I have used it. So, I’d leave it alone.
512 St Clair: The St. Clair car runs from Gunn’s Loop at Gunn’s Road and St. Clair Avenue West, east along St. Clair, through St. Clair West station, to St. Clair station at Yonge Street. This streetcar is now on its own ROW and really does not need any change. And option. It is the only existing streetcar line that does not connect with any other line. St. Clair Avenue’s tracks connects to the rest of the system via tracks on Bathurst Street between Bathurst Station and St. Clair Avenue.
With the exception of the 507 Long Branch car, which existed until 1995, all the routes above are currently in operation.
Now for new routes, which for the most part are broken off from other routes. These are:
512 King West: This route could serve the west end of the King car, from Dundas West station to downtown Toronto. The car would head east along King Street before turning north on Church Street, west on Richmond Street, south on Victoria Street, east along Adelaide Street, south on Church Street, and west on King Street. Eastbound cars would go out of service after turning onto Church heading north, and would go into service heading south on Church. No new connection of tracks would be required as the infrastructure would still exist.
513 The Beaches: this car would operate from McCaul in the west along Queen Street to Neville Park. The advantage of this car would be that it would allow the TTC to turn the 501 Queen back at Woodbine Loop. This would essentially mean that the 501 Queen car would be divided into three: the core of the 501 would operate from Humber Loop to Woodbine Loop, the 507 Long Branch handling the service west of Humber, and the 513 providing service east of Neville Park.
514 College: depending on demand west of Yonge Street, the Carlton car could always have a subset, known as the 514 College, which would operate from High Park Loop east along College to Church Street, south on Church to Dundas, west to Victoria, south to Queen, east to Church, north to Carlton, and then west along Carlton and College. This lopping would require no change in infrastructure. However, with the addition of a eastbound to northbound connection at Dundas and Church, cars could head south along Church, west along Queen, north along Victoria, and east along Dundas before turning north onto Church. This connection would also make for a good diversion for Dundas cars if there was an accident between Church and Parliament without always having to use Bay Street.
521 Exhibition: This route was temporarily brought back for the 2013 CNE as the 509 is not running due to construction. This line would run as it is for the 2013 year – from Exhibition Loop east along Fleet Street, north on Bathurst Street, east along King Street to Church Street, looping around via Richmond, Victoria, and Adelaide. This car could also operate during other events at the CNE like the Indy Car and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
522 Dufferin: this car would operate out of Dufferin Loop at the west end of the Exhibition grounds. The cars would operate north along Dufferin Street to Queen Street and then turn east on Queen. Cars would head over to Church Street and then turn south on Church Street. It would then turn west on Richmond Street, south on Victoria Street, east on Adelaide Street, north on Church, and then west on Queen Street back to Dufferin. This would provide service, especially in the summer during the CNE, would provide extra service through the downtown core. As with the 521 Exhibition (see above), it need not run all year unless required. The car could run along King Street just as easily and would not need any infrastructure to accomplish.