Trams in Toronto

There have been some form of electric streetcars or trams operating in Toronto since 1892. Initially they were under the auspices of the Toronto Railway Company; the Toronto Transportation Commission (now the Toronto Transit Commission or the TTC) took over in 1920 and has continued to operate the streetcars / trams / light rail vehicles since then.

Transit fans will remember the Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (CLRV), perhaps fondly. These vehicles were built in Switzerland and later Thunder Bay, Ontario and began operation in 1979. They ran for 40 years and the last run was December 29, 2019.

They were replaced by the Bombardier Flexity Outlook streetcar, which began operation in Toronto in 2014. These 200+ vehicles are numbered 4400 to 4603 and operate throughout Toronto. When I was in Toronto in August 2021, I photographed several of them in operation.

LRV / tram 4545 in Toronto
LRV / tram 4545 in Toronto

I took photos of them when I saw them but I can’t tell you where I was, except that we spent a lot of time on Yonge Street and/or College.

Tram / LRV 4501 in Toronto
Tram / LRV 4501 in Toronto

There are a lot of tracks in the downtown area. I saw a few that seem to be disconnected.

TTC #4485 in Toronto on Spadina Avenue
TTC #4485 in Toronto on Spadina Avenue

Since we had our van, I never rode any of these. I expect that will change on our next visit.

TTC #4597 on Bathurst Street, Toronto
TTC #4597 on Bathurst Street, Toronto

The TTC is currently building Line 5 Eglinton, which will use the Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRV – the same vehicle used on the ION rapid transit system in Kitchener-Waterloo. It will run aboveground for most of the 19 km route, although the central part will be underground.

For the bus fans, I photographed TTC bus 8949, which is one of 245 diesel buses manufactured by Nova Bus.

TTC bus 8949 in Toronto
TTC bus 8949 in Toronto

If you’re interested in Toronto’s transit system, the Transit Toronto site is an excellent resource.

4 thoughts on “Trams in Toronto”

  1. I had a blast riding the Queen and other streetcar lines, Steve. The streetscape, as your photos show, is a mix of really old and really new!

    Thanks for sharing, and enjoy your rides when you have the opportunity!
    Eric

    Reply
  2. Steve – interesting article as always. Question: The photos of the trams with the skyscrapers in the background have a painting-like quality. Did you do anything specific to give them that look?

    Reply
    • Hi Jeff, thanks for your comment. Most of the tram photos were backlit, so I did some heavy editing to the photos to bring up the shadows and reduce the highlights. I’m also changing my photo editing style a bit so I think the combination has created that painting-like effect. I hope you like it! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Comment