Toronto streetcar loops

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Streetcar loops in Toronto serve as termini and turnback points for streetcar routes on the Toronto streetcar system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The single-ended streetcars require track loops in order to reverse direction. Besides short off-street track loops these can also be larger interchange points, having shelters and driver facilities, or be part of a subway station structure for convenient passenger interchange.

Some loops include separate unloading and loading stops, some have a single stop, and some off-street loops have no stops and passengers are not allowed to ride around the loop. If streetcars loop clockwise, the track entering the loop must cross over the track exiting, and any loading or unloading platforms must be inside the loop; if anticlockwise, any platforms must be on the outside.

The minimum radius of curvature may be as short as 36 ft (10.973 m).[1]

Current loops[edit]

Loops have various shapes according to the space available. For example, the "loop" track may actually be mostly straight, using on-street trackage to complete the looping motion (as at Bingham Loop or Oakwood Loop), or there may be a single sharp curve through almost three-quarters of a circle (as at Union Station Loop or Wolseley Loop).[2]

Some loops consist only of a single track and are blocked when occupied by a stopped streetcar. Others have a side track or dead-end "tail track" where a streetcar can wait, or a track that allows a streetcar on the loop to make a complete circle (or equivalent) and reenter the loop.

Loops at subway stations[edit]

Bathurst Station Loop[edit]

Main article: Bathurst (TTC)
Anticlockwise loop, northern terminus of the 511 Bathurst route, on the east side of Bathurst St. north of Bloor St. The tracks continue north of the station to connect to the Hillcrest Complex and St. Clair Ave. Streetcars can enter or leave the station from/onto Bathurst either northbound or southbound.

Broadview Station Loop[edit]

Main article: Broadview (TTC)
Anticlockwise loop, eastern terminus of the 504 King and 505 Dundas routes, on the east side of Broadview Ave. north of Danforth Ave. The loop track splits into two, one for each route. All streetcars enter the station from Broadview northbound, and exit onto Erindale Ave. westbound, leading to Broadview southbound.

Dundas West Station Loop[edit]

Main article: Dundas West (TTC)
Clockwise loop, western terminus of the 504 King and 505 Dundas routes, on the west (nominally south) side of Dundas St. north of Bloor St. The loop track splits into two, one for each route. All streetcars enter the station from Dundas northbound (nominally westbound), and exit onto Edna Ave. eastbound, leading to Dundas southbound.

Main Street Station Loop[edit]

Main article: Main Street (TTC)
Clockwise loop, eastern terminus of the 506 Carlton route, on the east side of Main St. north of Danforth Ave. All streetcars enter the station from Main northbound, and exit onto Main southbound.

Spadina Station Loop[edit]

Main article: Spadina (TTC)
Anticlockwise underground loop, northern terminus of the 510 Spadina route, on the east side of Spadina Rd. north of Bloor St. A tunnel runs from Spadina Ave. and Washington Ave. to the station. All streetcars enter the tunnel northbound on Spadina, turn eastbound under Bloor, northbound under Madison Ave., and westbound into the station; they exit southbound under Spadina Rd. and Ave.

St. Clair Station Loop[edit]

Main article: St. Clair (TTC)
Anticlockwise loop, eastern terminus of the 512 St. Clair route, on the south side of St. Clair Ave. east of Yonge St. All streetcars enter the station from St. Clair eastbound, and exit onto St. Clair westbound.

St. Clair West Station Loop[edit]

Main article: St. Clair West (TTC)
Clockwise underground loop, an intermediate stop and possible turnback point on the 512 St. Clair route, on the north side of St. Clair Ave. two blocks east of Bathurst St. There are separate eastbound and westbound loading stops on the same loop track. A tunnel runs under St. Clair from Wells Hill Ave. halfway to Tweedsmuir Ave. Streetcars can enter or leave the station from/into this tunnel either eastbound or westbound.

Union Station Loop[edit]

Streetcar underground on the Union Station Loop
Main article: Union (TTC)
Anticlockwise underground loop, eastern terminus of the 509 Harbourfront and southern terminus of the 510 Spadina route. A tunnel runs under Bay St. from Queens Quay station. All streetcars enter the station from the tunnel northbound and exit into the tunnel southbound.


Loops at carhouses[edit]

Roncesvalles Loop[edit]

Clockwise loop through the Roncesvalles Carhouse trackage, at Roncesvalles Ave. and the Queensway, 43°38′21.5″N 79°26′48.0″W / 43.639306°N 79.446667°W / 43.639306; -79.446667 (Roncesvalles Loop), a possible turnback point for westbound 501 Queen and 508 Lake Shore streetcars and for 504 King in either direction. Streetcars on King or Queen westbound or Roncesvalles southbound can run onto the Queensway westbound, then turn northbound to enter the loop. They can exit the loop onto Roncesvalles Ave. northbound or southbound, with the latter leading onto the Queensway westbound or King or Queen eastbound.

No passenger access, no use by buses.

Other off-street loops[edit]

Bingham Loop[edit]

Main article: Bingham Loop

Anticlockwise loop northwest of Kingston Road and Victoria Park Avenue, eastern terminus for 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road streetcars. Westbound 12 Kingston Road buses enter the loop as an intermediate stop, and when the streetcars are not running, 22A Coxwell or 322 Coxwell Blue Night buses use it as a terminus.

Dufferin Gate Loop[edit]

Main article: Dufferin Gate Loop

Anticlockwise loop northwest of Dufferin Street and the Gardiner Expressway. During the Canadian National Exhibition this loop is an access to the west end of Exhibition Place via the Dufferin Gates.

Earlscourt Loop

Earlscourt Loop[edit]

Clockwise loop southwest of St. Clair Ave. and Lansdowne Ave., 43°40′32.5″N 79°27′03.4″W / 43.675694°N 79.450944°W / 43.675694; -79.450944 (Earlscourt Loop), possible turnback point for westbound 512 St. Clair streetcars. Streetcars from St. Clair in either direction can turn southbound on Lansdowne to enter the loop, and exit onto St. Clair eastbound.

A cabin is provided for drivers. Northbound 47 Lansdowne buses use the loop as a regularly scheduled turnback point.

Exhibition Loop[edit]

Main article: Exhibition Loop

Anticlockwise loop northeast of Manitoba Dr. and Nova Scotia Ave., western terminus of the 509 Harbourfront and southern terminus of the 511 Bathurst route. Private right-of-way runs along the north side of Manitoba from Fleet St. at Strachan Ave. to the loop. From Fleet westbound, all streetcars continue west along the private right-of-way to the loop, where they cross north under the elevated Gardiner Expressway, run west, and cross back south under the expressway before returning eastbound to Fleet.

During the Ex, this loop is an access to Exhibition Place and is operated as a fare-paid area with ticket booths and turnstiles. At other times the these are closed and it is operated as an ordinary stop. Storage tracks are provided so that extra streetcars can be rapidly dispatched for peak traffic, as well as a passing track allowing the two routes to have separate stopping points without conflict.

Exhibition GO Station is adjacent to the loop. Overnight the 310 Bathurst Blue Night and 316 Ossington Blue Night buses use the loop as their southern terminus.

The loop opened in 1996, replacing a previous Exhibition Loop that could not be used by buses and was on land about to be redeveloped.

Fleet Loop[edit]

Main article: Fleet Loop

Anticlockwise loop on the south side of Fleet Street west of Bathurst Street, in the angle with Lake Shore Blvd., and surrounding the Queen's Wharf Lighthouse. There is no passenger access and no bus access.

Gunns Loop[edit]

Main article: Gunns Loop

Anticlockwise loop northwest of St. Clair Avenue and at Gunns Road, western terminus for the 512 St. Clair route. All streetcars westbound on St. Clair turn northbound on Gunns, enter the loop westbound, and exit onto St. Clair eastbound.

High Park Loop[edit]

Main article: High Park Loop

Anticlockwise loop west of Parkside Drive, opposite Howard Park Avenue, on the east edge of High Park, which is the western terminus for the 506 Carlton route. All streetcars enter the loop from Howard Park westbound and exit onto Howard Park eastbound.

Humber Loop[edit]

Main article: Humber Loop

An intermediate stop and short turn point for the 501 Queen route, located south of The Queensway, just west of the Humber River. The loop is accessed by a private right-of-way that connects tracks on the Queensway to the east and Lake Shore Boulevard to the west.


Kipling Loop[edit]

Peter Witt car at Kipling

Anticlockwise loop on the west side of Kipling Ave., north of Lake Shore Blvd., 43°35′55.8″N 79°31′03.3″W / 43.598833°N 79.517583°W / 43.598833; -79.517583 (Kipling Loop), a possible turnback point for westbound 501 Queen or 508 Lake Shore streetcars. Streetcars can turn from Lake Shore either eastbound or westbound onto Kipling northbound to enter the loop, and exit onto Kipling southbound, leading to Lake Shore eastbound. The loop was once known as New Toronto Loop.

No bus access.

Long Branch Loop[edit]

Main article: Long Branch Loop

Anticlockwise loop northwest of Lake Shore Boulevard West and Brown's Line is the western terminus for 501 Queen and 508 Lake Shore routes.


McCaul Loop[edit]

Main article: McCaul Loop

Anticlockwise loop northeast of McCaul Street and Stephanie Street, western terminus of the 502 Downtowner and a turnback point for the 501 Queen in either direction. Streetcars both ways on Queen can turn north onto McCaul and then can turn into the loop, exiting onto McCaul southbound to return to Queen either eastbound or westbound. The loop was originally in the open air, but was covered when the Village by the Grange mixed-use development was built over it in 1976.[3]

Neville Park Loop[edit]

Main article: Neville Park Loop

Anticlockwise loop southwest of Queen Street east and Nursewood Road eastern terminus of the 501 Queen route. All streetcars enter the loop from Queen eastbound and exit onto Nursewood northbound to return to Queen westbound. No passenger access. Eastern terminus of 143 Downtown/Beach Express buses.

Oakwood Loop

Oakwood Loop[edit]

Anticlockwise loop northeast of St. Clair Ave. and Oakwood Ave., 43°40′50.2″N 79°26′07.8″W / 43.680611°N 79.435500°W / 43.680611; -79.435500 (Oakwood Loop), a possible turnback point for route 512 St. Clair in either direction. Streetcars either eastbound or westbound on St. Clair can turn northbound onto Robina Ave., then westbound to enter the loop, exiting onto Oakwood Ave. southbound to return to St. Clair either eastbound or westbound.

No passenger access. Northern terminus of 63B Ossington buses.

Queen–Coxwell Loop[edit]

Clockwise loop northeast of Queen St. and Coxwell Ave., 43°40′00.4″N 79°18′59.1″W / 43.666778°N 79.316417°W / 43.666778; -79.316417 (Queen-Coxwell Loop), a possible turnback point for route 506 Carlton in either direction. Streetcars either eastbound or westbound on Gerrard St. can turn southbound on Coxwell to reach the loop, then eastbound to enter the loop, exiting onto Queen westbound to return to Coxwell northbound and turn eastbound or westbound onto Gerrard. The loop exit track briefly overlaps the westbound track on Queen but does not connect with it, leading only onto Coxwell northbound.

No passenger access. This loop is not currently used by buses, although up to the mid-1980s, it was the southern terminus of the Coxwell 22 bus line.

Queens Quay and Spadina

Queens Quay and Spadina Loop[edit]

Anticlockwise loop northeast of Queens Quay and Spadina Ave (entering from the east side of 410 Queens Quay)., 43°38′18.5″N 79°23′28.5″W / 43.638472°N 79.391250°W / 43.638472; -79.391250 (Queens Quay and Spadina Loop), a possible turnback point for 509 Harbourfront or 510 Spadina streetcars in either direction. Streetcars southbound on Spadina can turn eastbound on Queens Quay to reach the loop; streetcars eastbound or westbound on Queens Quay can turn northbound into the loop. Streetcars exiting the loop can turn northbound on Spadina, or southbound on Spadina to reach Queens Quay eastbound or westbound. Although not currently used by buses, this loop was the terminus for the former route 77 Spadina bus until 1997. The loop was demolished in 2013 and will be completed in 2014 as part of the Queens Quay Revitalization Project.[4]

Sunnyside Loop[edit]

Anticlockwise loop northeast of the Queensway and Sunnyside Ave., 43°38′20.0″N 79°26′53.5″W / 43.638889°N 79.448194°W / 43.638889; -79.448194 (Sunnyside Loop), a possible turnback point for westbound route 501 Queen or 508 Lake Shore streetcars. Streetcars can enter the loop from the Queensway westbound and exit onto Sunnyside southbound to return to the Queensway eastbound.

No passenger access. Southern terminus of 313 Jane Blue Night buses.

Wolseley Loop[edit]

Anticlockwise loop northeast of Bathurst St. and Wolseley St., 43°38′53.8″N 79°24′14.6″W / 43.648278°N 79.404056°W / 43.648278; -79.404056 (Wolseley Loop), a possible turnback point for westbound route 501 Queen streetcars, and routes 504 King and 508 Lake Shore in either direction, as well as an alternate western terminus for the 502 Downtowner route if McCaul Loop is unavailable. Streetcars eastbound or westbound on King St. or westbound on Queen St. can turn northbound on Bathurst, then can turn eastbound on Wolseley to enter the loop northbound, exiting onto Bathurst southbound to return to Queen St. eastbound or King St. eastbound or westbound.

No bus access, no passenger access. A cabin for drivers is provided.

Woodbine Loop[edit]

Clockwise loop northeast of Queen St. and Kingston Rd., 43°40′04.8″N 79°18′41.5″W / 43.668000°N 79.311528°W / 43.668000; -79.311528 (Woodbine Loop), a possible turnback point for eastbound route 501 Queen and for 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road in either direction. Streetcars eastbound on Queen can turn northeast (nominally east) onto Kingston Rd.; streetcars running northeast or southwest on Kingston Rd. can turn eastbound into the loop, exiting onto Queen westbound, and can then turn northeast from Queen onto Kingston Rd.

The name Woodbine refers not to Woodbine Ave., almost a half-mile to the east, but to the former Woodbine Race Course, which was once directly opposite the loop on the south side of Queen. The racetrack was renamed Greenwood Raceway after the New Woodbine Racetrack opened in another part of the city in 1957; Greenwood Raceway was demolished in 1994. Despite this, the "Woodbine Loop" name persists.

No bus access, no passenger access.

Named on-street loops[edit]

In addition to these named locations where a streetcar just runs around one or two city blocks to reverse, there are several places on the system where a longer loop around city streets is possible. The western terminus of the 503 Kingston Road, for example, is an on-street loop via Church St. southbound, Wellington St. westbound, York St. northbound, and King St. eastbound.

Waiting on Charlotte Street

Charlotte Loop[edit]

Clockwise on-street loop via King St. westbound, Spadina Ave. northbound, Adelaide St. eastbound, and Charlotte St. southbound, 43°38′47″N 79°23′38″W / 43.64639°N 79.39389°W / 43.64639; -79.39389 (Charlotte Loop), a possible turnback point for routes 504 King, 508 Lake Shore, and 510 Spadina in either direction. It is used regularly to short-turn southbound 510 Spadina streetcars.[5] Streetcars can enter and exit the loop from/onto King eastbound or westbound and Spadina northbound or southbound.

College Loop[edit]

Anticlockwise on-street loop via Lansdowne Ave. northbound, College St. going southwest (nominally westbound), and Dundas St. going southeast (nominally eastbound), 43°39′02″N 79°26′23.4″W / 43.65056°N 79.439833°W / 43.65056; -79.439833 (College Loop), a possible turnback point for routes 505 Dundas and 506 Carlton in either direction. Streetcars can enter and exit the loop from/onto either Dundas or College in either direction.

Future Loops[edit]

A streetcar loop at Cherry St. and Distillery Lane is being built for 504 King cars; see Cherry Street streetcar line.

Former loops[edit]

Mutual Loop in 1929
Name Location Streetcar route last using loop Status and notes
Asquith Loop Church Street north of Bloor Street East Church Later bus loop, now redeveloped as office complex
Avon Loop Weston Road & Rogers Road[6] Weston Road Later trolleybus loop, now buses. Currently under renewal for new streetcar/bus loop in 2014.
Bedford Loop Bloor Street West & Bedford Road Bloor Partially redeveloped, partially parking lot
Bicknell Loop Rogers Road & Bicknell Avenue Rogers Road Belongs to the City of Toronto.[6] Currently under renewal for new streetcar/bus loop in 2014.
Birchmount Loop Birchmount Road & Kingston Road[7] Kingston Rd. Sold, redeveloped into condominiums
Caledonia Loop St. Clair Avenue West & Station Street St. Clair Commercial development
Christie Loop Dupont Street & Christie Street Dupont Redeveloped
City Hall Loop on-street: Louisa, James, Albert & Bay Streets Dundas Louisa St. closed and redeveloped; tracks removed from other streets
Danforth (or Danforth-Coxwell) Loop Danforth Avenue & Coxwell Avenue Coxwell Was part of Danforth Carhouse property; now redeveloped
Erindale Loop Broadview Avenue & Erindale Avenue
north side of street, opposite parkette
King Redeveloped
(old) Exhibition Loop north of Princes Boulevard, 1/4 mile (400 m) west of Strachan Bathurst Redeveloped into National Trade Centre (now Direct Energy Centre)
Ferry (or Ferry Docks) Loop Queens Quay West west of Bay Street Dupont Parking lot
Gilbert Loop Eglinton Avenue West & Gilbert Street Oakwood Parkette
Glen Echo Loop Yonge Street & Glen Echo Avenue Yonge Redeveloped as retail and residential area
Hillingdon Loop Danforth Avenue & Hillingdon Avenue Bloor Was part of Danforth Carhouse property
Jane Loop Bloor Street West & Jane Street Bloor Now redeveloped as new mall
Keele Loop Keele Street north of St. Clair Avenue West 512 St. Clair Redeveloped
Keele Stn. Loop Indian Grove & Bloor Street West Bloor Temporary loop 1966–68; redeveloped
Lawton Loop north of Yonge Street and Lawton Boulevard intersection Yonge Lawton Parkette
Lipton Loop Lipton Avenue & Pape Avenue Harbord Now the site of Pape Station and bus loop
Luttrell Loop Danforth Ave., between Luttrell & Kelvin Avenues (west of Victoria Park Ave.) Bloor Sold, redeveloped into housing
Main Loop Main Street north of Danforth Avenue Carlton Rebuilt into Main Street Station Loop
Mt. Pleasant Loop Eglinton Avenue East & Mount Pleasant Road Mt. Pleasant Also known as Eglinton Loop. Later trolleybus loop, now buses. Originally open-air, now under an apartment building.
Mutual Loop Mutual Street & Queen Street East Lakeshore Redeveloped, now a parking lot
Moore Park Loop Mount Pleasant Road & St. Clair Avenue East St. Clair Loring-Wyle Parkette
Northlands Loop Weston Road & Northlands (or Northland) Avenue.[6] Weston Rd. Redeveloped as commercial plaza
Park Loop Bloor Street West & High Park Avenue Bloor Part of High Park
Parliament Loop King Street East Parliament Later bus loop only; now under part of a car dealership. Currently under renewal for new streetcar/bus loop in 2014.
Prescott Loop Prescott Avenue and St. Clair Avenue West Dovercourt Now St. Clair Garden Parkette
Royce Loop Lansdowne Avenue & Dupont Street Harbord Redeveloped
Runnymede Loop Dundas Street West & Runnymede Road Dundas Later trolleybus loop, now buses
St. Clair (or Wychwood) Carhouse Loop Wychwood Avenue & Benson Avenue St. Clair Reduced to wye after carhouse closed, then closed
St. Clarens Loop St. Clarens Avenue & Davenport Road Harbord Primrose Avenue Parkette
Simcoe Loop Front Street West & Simcoe Street Yonge Redeveloped
Small Arms Loop Long Branch Small Arms factory, on Lake Shore almost 0.5 mile west of Long Branch Loop Long Branch For temporary 1942–45 extension of route
Terauley on-street: Bay, Richmond, Victoria, Queen Bay Bus loop
Townsley north of St. Clair Avenue West & Old Weston Road 512 St. Clair Bus loop
Vaughan Loop north of Bathurst Street/Vaughan Road intersection Bathurst Redeveloped
Viaduct Loop Bloor Street East & Parliament Street Parliament Parkette
Vincent Loop across from Dundas West Station King Redeveloped as Crossways Mall and condos
Woodbine Stn. Loop Cedarvale Avenue & Strathmore Boulevard Danforth Temporary loop 1966–68; now part of parking lot. Some loop track still visible on Strathmore Blvd.
Disused streetcar track on Strathmore Blvd.

Former wyes[edit]

As an alternative to a loop, a streetcar can also be turned using a manoeuvre similar to a three-point turn, involving at least two switches and a suitable layout of connecting tracks. This can be done if necessary at any intersection or other track junction where suitable tracks exist, but the TTC also had a few wye tracks with no other purpose. There are none of these any more; the table shows some of the last ones to be removed.

Name Location Date closed Notes
Adelaide Wye Bathurst Street & Adelaide Street West 1973 Remnant of through tracks on Adelaide Street
Glencairn Wye Yonge Street & Glencairn Avenue 1954 Closure with the opening of Yonge subway and closure of Yonge streetcar
Hillside Wye Lake Shore Boulevard West and Hillside Avenue 2002 Track removed
Junction Wye Keele Street & Junction Road 1963 Removed as part of closure of Bloor streetcar route
St. Clair Carhouse Wye Wychwood Avenue & Benson Avenue 1998 Access tracks for former carhouse retained when it closed in 1978

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Canadian Light Rail Vehicles - Transit Toronto
  2. ^ Calnan, John (July 2006). "Toronto Transit Commission - 2006 Streetcar Track Layout and Route Map". Toronto Transit Commission. 
  3. ^ A Brief History of McCaul Loop
  4. ^ http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/explore_projects2/central_waterfront/queens_quay/constructing_the_community___queens_quay
  5. ^ Introducing Charlotte Loop
  6. ^ a b c James Bow (2013-02-17). "A History of the Rogers/Weston Streetcar Loops (Northlands, Avon and Bicknell)". Transit Toronto. Archived from the original on 2013-12-07. Retrieved 2014-07-20. In 1972, the TTC decided to retain its streetcar operations within the City of Toronto, but needed to rebuild its fleet of PCCs to keep the system going until a replacement vehicle could be found. In order to have enough spares to maintain service while the rebuilds were continuing, it was decided to end streetcar service on Rogers Road. 
  7. ^ James Bow (2013-08-24). "Remembering Birchmount Loop". Transit Toronto. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2014-02-18. The easternmost streetcar loop in the TTC's history is Birchmount Loop, located at the Kingston Road / Birchmount Avenue intersection inside the old City of Scarborough. 

External links[edit]

Media related to TTC streetcar loops at Wikimedia Commons