512 St. Clair
|512 St. Clair|
Streetcar arriving at Keele from Gunns Loop
|Locale||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
St. Clair Station (East)|
Gunns Loop (West)
St. Clair |
St. Clair West
|Daily ridership||38,113 (2014)|
|Operator(s)||Toronto Transit Commission|
|Rolling stock||CLRV, Flexity Outlook|
|Line length||7.00 km (4.35 mi)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 10 7⁄8 in (1,495 mm) Toronto gauge|
|Electrification||600 VDC Overhead|
St. Clair (circa 1945)
The Toronto Civic Railways opened the St. Clair streetcar route in 1913 along St. Clair Avenue West between Yonge Street and the Grand Trunk Railway crossing (near today's Caledonia Road) to serve small developed areas in a newly annexed section of the city. Previously, the only streetcar service near this area was the Davenport line of the Toronto Suburban Railway (along Davenport Road) and the Avenue route of the Toronto Railway Company (ending at Avenue Road and St. Clair Avenue). At the east end of the St. Clair line, passengers could connect with the radial cars of the Metropolitan line of the Toronto and York Radial Railway running on Yonge Street. The St. Clair line was double-track but had no loops or wyes; thus, all streetcars were double-ended.
After its creation in 1921, the Toronto Transportation Commission took over the assets of the Toronto Civic Railways and the Toronto Railway Company with the goal to connect and integrate the two separate streetcar systems. With respect to St. Clair, the TTC expanded the line eastwards and westwards, adding turning loops at end points and replacing double-ended streetcars with single-ended cars (initially ex–TRC cars). At the east end, the line would continue north from St. Clair Avenue East on Mount Pleasant Road to Eglinton Avenue; however, this portion would later become a separate route that was subsequently converted to bus operation in the 1970s.
By 1930, the Bay streetcar route was running north on Avenue Road and then west on St. Clair Avenue. Passengers could travel from St. Clair Avenue and Caledonia Road to Bay Street and Queens Quay. By 1932, Earlscourt Loop at St. Clair Avenue and Landowne Avenue became the western terminus of the Bay route. With the opening of the Yonge subway in 1954, the Bay route disappeared, and the Earlscourt route was created to replace the St. Clair portion of the former Bay route. The Earlscourt route ran between St. Clair station and Earlscourt Loop overlapping the St. Clair route. About 1978, the Earlscourt route was merged into 512 St. Clair.
|August 25, 1913||The Toronto Civic Railways opens the St. Clair streetcar line from Yonge Street west to the Grand Trunk Railway crossing near today's Caledonia Road.|
|September 1, 1921||The Toronto Transportation Commission took over operations of the Toronto Civic Railways and the Toronto Railway Company.|
|December 21, 1921||The Bathurst streetcar line was extended to St. Clair Avenue. Today, this is the only remaining connection between the St. Clair streetcar line and the rest of the Toronto streetcar system.|
|December 26, 1921||The TTC joined the TRC's Avenue Road streetcar line to the TCR St. Clair line. Streetcars on the Avenue route would operate to a new streetcar loop at today's Caledonia Road. Single-ended ex–TRC streetcars replaced the double-ended ex–TCR cars west of Avenue Road.|
|December 1, 1924||The St. Clair line was extended east of Yonge Street to Moore Park Loop at Mt. Pleasant Road.|
|November 4, 1925||The line was extended north along Mt. Pleasant Road to the Mt. Pleasant Loop at Eglinton Avenue. It replaced an early trolley bus line.|
|October 29, 1931||The line was extended westwards to Townsley Loop at Old Weston Road.|
|May 14, 1932||The line was again extended westwards to Keele Loop on Weston Road, a short distance north of St. Clair Avenue.|
|September 23, 1938||St. Clair became the first route in Toronto to be served by PCC streetcars.|
|September 1, 1943||The St. Clair route began to provide rush hour service north along Weston Road, beyond Keele Loop, to Avon Loop at Rogers Road.|
|March 30, 1954||St. Clair station opens hosting three streetcar routes with four destinations: Keele Loop and Mt. Pleasant Loop (St. Clair route), Earlscourt Loop (at Lansdowne Avenue, Earlscourt route), Bicknell Loop (Rogers route, rush hours). All routes went round the same single-track station loop where passengers could connect with the subway.|
|February 26, 1966||St. Clair rush hour streetcar service along Weston Road to Avon Loop is discontinued.|
|March 30, 1975||The Mount Pleasant arm of the line became a separate route operating between St. Clair station and Eglinton Avenue.|
|July 25, 1976||Buses replaced the Mount Pleasant streetcar route that ran east from St. Clair Station. However, the section of the line between St. Clair station and Moore Park Loop was retained for night streetcars until October 1, 1976. The site of Moore Park Loop subsequently became Loring-Wyle Parkette.|
|January 27, 1978||St. Clair West station opens with an underground streetcar loop. The St. Clair route became the first to have an underground connection with the subway.|
|April 16, 1980||The Canadian Light Rail Vehicle started revenue service on the St. Clair route. At about this time, the route received the 512 number, and the Earlscourt route, which was a shortened version of the St. Clair route, was folded into 512 St. Clair.|
|July 27, 1981||Gunns Loop opens at Gunns Road replacing the old Keele Loop on Weston Road.|
|September 3, 2017||The Flexity Outlook streetcars entered service to phase out CLRVs on the St. Clair route.|
When first built in 1913, the St. Clair streetcar operated in a dedicated right-of-way in the centre of St. Clair Avenue, similar to today's 512 St. Clair route. A dedicated right-of-way is a lane generally in the centre of the street, reserved for transit vehicles. However, it was removed between 1928 and 1935 and replaced with paved trackage open to mixed traffic.
However, since then, road traffic had increased and was degrading the reliability of streetcar service. Given the success of the new 510 Spadina route along dedicated right-of-ways on Spadina and Queens Quay and on portions on several streetcar routes, the TTC proposed to upgrade the St. Clair streetcar line to a dedicated right-of-way. The tracks along the route needed replacement, and the TTC estimated that building a dedicated right-of-way would cost only $7 million more than simply replacing the tracks. Furthermore, St. Clair Avenue is one of the few streets in Toronto wide enough to accommodate a dedicated right-of-way without significantly reducing the width of traffic lanes.
In 2004, Toronto City Council decided to proceed with the proposal. Construction started on September 25, 2005 and was completed in three stages: From St. Clair station to Vaughan Road on February 18, 2007, to Lansdowne Avenue on December 20, 2009, and finally with full service to Gunns Loop on June 30, 2010. On December 19, 2009, the day prior to the opening of the section from Vaughan Road to Lansdowne Avenue, there was with a pre-opening event utilizing the TTC's two remaining PCC streetcars.
From July 31, 2005 until September 2, 2017 the TTC ran a pilot project of time-based transfers on this route, under which passengers who took a transfer were allowed to disembark and then board another streetcar from the same route, even one going in the opposite direction, as long as they did so within a certain amount of time after their original boarding. This meant that one could stop part-way through a journey and then continue, or even make a round trip, without paying multiple fares. Since December 14, 2015, passengers who paid the driver at the farebox (e.g. cash or token) were required to obtain a time-based transfer as a result of the Proof-of-payment (POP) system that came into effect on all TTC streetcar routes as passengers may be asked at anytime to show POP. (NOTE: The time-based transfer pilot was not available on the Presto card itself, meaning Presto users who wished to take advantage of this pilot project needed to board at the front door of the vehicle in order to obtain the special time-based transfer). This program ceased to exist as of September 3, 2017, when the new air-conditioned and accessible Flexity Outlook streetcars were rolled out onto this route, as drivers of the new streetcars are situated inside an enclosed cab meaning they are not responsible for fare collection or providing paper transfers.
About 2007, two plans had been proposed to extend the St. Clair line west of Gunns Loop, but neither are active today. At that time, transit advocate Steve Munro was of the opinion that extensions west of Gunns Loop may lack the ridership to be justified.
The first proposal would see Route 512 extended west along St. Clair Avenue West to Runnymede Road, and south underneath the Canadian Pacific Railway Galt Subdivision line to a bus loop at Runnymede Road and Dundas Street West, replacing a portion of route 71 Runnymede. Streetcar tracks would then be extended southeast along Dundas Street West to Dundas West Station where the 504 King and 505 Dundas streetcar routes currently terminate. The tracks on Dundas would be served by a new route replacing the current 40 Junction bus route. While this scheme may not be warranted by potential ridership, it would cut down the amount of deadhead (not-in-service) time required by St. Clair streetcars to get to St. Clair Avenue.
The other proposal comes as part of Transit City, the Light Rail expansion proposal. It would see route 512 extended west on St. Clair all the way to Jane Street, replacing portions of routes 71 Runnymede and 79 Scarlett Road, where it would connect with a planned Jane Street LRT. (The planned Jane LRT has been inactive since 2010).
Route 512 St. Clair serves St. Clair Avenue between St. Clair station at the east end of the line and Gunns Loop at Gunns Road at the west end. The route passes through St. Clair West station in both directions. The route operates almost entirely within a dedicated streetcar right-of-way, with mixed traffic for a short distance east of Yonge Street and for very short distances at streetcar loops. There are five turning loops along the line; besides the station loops at St. Clair and St. Clair West stations, the other loops are Oakwood Loop at Oakwood Avenue, Earlscount Loop at Lansdowne Avenue and Gunns Loop at Gunns Road. The streetcar tracks along Bathurst Street are the only connection between the St. Clair streetcar line and the rest of the Toronto streetcar system.
According to the TTC's Trip Planner, it takes about 29 minutes to travel from St. Clair station to Gunns Loop. A 2011 Torontoist article confirmed this travel time measured shortly after the rush hour.
With the exception of stops at turning loops, all stops along the route are on-street, surface stops with islands separating the regular traffic from the streetcar tracks, and have streetcar traffic signals, partial shelters, and railings to protect patrons from the traffic. One end of each platform connects to a pedestrian crossing at a signalized street intersection. The other end of the platform has a planter. There are 22 on-street stops serving both directions, and two serving just one direction: Old Stock Yards (eastbound) and Yonge (westbound), both near a terminus.
Half of the on-street stops have an artwork consisting of vertical panels along the shelter roof. If a on-street stop has both east- and westbound platforms, then only one of the two platforms would display an artwork. Various artists were selected by competition to design the art pieces.
312 St Clair–Junction operates during the overnight period. Buses are used rather than streetcars, however, stopping at the curb (sidewalk), instead of the streetcar islands.
Transfer points on St. Clair Avenue and Junction Road, 312 St. Clair–Junction Blue Night bus:
- St. Clair Station – 320 Yonge Blue Night bus
- Bathurst Street – 307 Bathurst Blue Night bus
- Oakwood Avenue – 363 Ossington Blue Night bus
- Dufferin Street – 329 Dufferin Blue Night bus
- Keele Street – 341 Keele Blue Night bus
- Jane Street – 335 Jane Blue Night bus
- Dundas West Station – 300 Bloor–Danforth Blue Night bus, 304 King Blue Night car, 306 Carlton Blue Night car
- Bromley, John F., and Jack May. Fifty Years of Progressive Transit, Electric Railroaders’ Association, New York (New York), 1978.
- Filey, Mike. Not a One-Horse Town: 125 Years of Toronto and its Streetcars, Gagne Printing, Louiseville (Quebec), 1986.
- Hood, J. William. The Toronto Civic Railways: An Illustrated History, The Upper Canada Railway Society, Toronto (Ontario), 1986.
- TTC Open Data (September 2014). "TTC Ridership – All Day Weekday for Surface Routes". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
- Toronto Transit Commission (September 18, 2009). "TTC Service Summary" (PDF).
- J. William Hood (1986). Toronto Civic Railways, An Illustrated History. Upper Canada Railway Society. pp. 22–30. ISBN 0-921429-07-X.
- "System Map – May 1, 1930". Toronto Transportation Commission. May 1, 1930. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- "Ride Guide – May 1, 1932". Toronto Transportation Commission. May 1, 1932. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- "Ride Guide – 1954". Toronto Transportation Commission. May 15, 1954. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- Bow, James (December 3, 2017). "The Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (The CLRVs)". Transit Toronto. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Springirth, Kenneth C. (2014). Toronto Streetcars Serve The City. Foothill Media. pp. 105,113. ISBN 978-1-62545-028-9.
- Bow, James (September 5, 2017). "Route 512 – The St Clair Streetcar". Transit Toronto. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- Mike Filey (2003). "Toronto Sketches 7: The Way We Were". Dundurn Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 9781550024487. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
- "2013 TTC Operating Statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
- Bow, James (April 21, 2013). "The Mount Pleasant Streetcar (Deceased)". Transit Toronto. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- Spurr, Ben (April 19, 2017). "St. Clair next in line for new TTC streetcars". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
Lloyd Alter (2013-11-25). "Streetcars save cities: A look at 100 years of a Toronto streetcar line". Treehugger.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
A hundred years ago, a new streetcar line was installed on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto in a dedicated right-of-way. In 1928 they got rid of the right-of-way to make more room for cars; In 2006 they rebuilt it again, putting the right of way back.
- Filey, Mike (2008). Toronto: The Way We Were. Dundurn Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-55002-842-3.
- "TTC Streetcar service advisory: 512 St. Clair and 505 Dundas routes". Toronto Transit Commission.
- "512 St Clair – Full streetcar service resumes June 30, 2010". Toronto Transit Commission. June 30, 2010. Archived from the original on June 30, 2010.
- "Time-based Transfers: 512 St Clair Pilot Program". Toronto Transit Commission.
- Gilbert, Jeremy (July 2017). "TTC to end time-based transfer program". BlogTO. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- Munro, Steve (August 7, 2007). "St. Clair Extension Trial?". Steve Munro. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
If St. Clair from Keele to Jane is a potential streetcar line, then there should be a lot more riders than the level of service on the 71 (Runnymede) suggests.
- Forman, Roman. "Streetcar Track Map March 2011". Transit Toronto. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Dan Foster (2011-04-05). "A St. Clair Journey". Archived from the original on 2013-12-23.
- "Urban Toronto: St. Clair Streetcar Stop Art". The Torontoist. July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Toronto Transit Commission. "TTC Blue Night Service Map" (PDF).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 512 St. Clair.|
Route map: Google