Saturday, August 30, 2014

Toronto's new streetcars of old

TORONTO - Since the creation of the new municipally owned TTC on Sept. 1, 1921 (a major improvement over the virtually uncontrollable, privately owned Toronto Railway Company), the commission has acquired a wide variety of electric streetcars.

Over the years, the TTC’s equipment would include old and “long in the tooth” vehicles acquired from the defunct TRC as well as new and, at the time, state of the art “Peter Witt” motors and trailers and the ultra-modern Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) cars soon after they were introduced.

Added to the mix were 205 second-hand vehicles purchased from a variety of American cities (Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio, Birmingham, Alabama and Kansas City, Missouri). These communities had decided the streetcar had outlived its usefulness. Interestingly, several of these cities (and a number of others) have subsequently decided the electric streetcar is not the “dinosaur” as they had once regarded it and, in fact, are building brand new electric lines.

And so it was in keeping with long held public transit traditions that took place in 1921, 1938, 1979 and again in 1988 that the TTC is introducingTorontonians to their newest streetcar at a public event at Spadina Station on Sunday.

The pictures accompanying this column depict several of those earlier Toronto streetcar introductions.
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