512 St. Clair

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512 St. Clair
TTC Flexity 4470 on route 512 St. Clair WB west of Yonge St.jpg
512 St. Clair streetcar west of Yonge Street
LocaleToronto, Ontario, Canada
TerminiSt. Clair Station (east)
Gunns Loop (west)
StationsTTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg St. Clair
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg St. Clair West
TypeStreetcar route
Route number512
Operator(s)Toronto Transit Commission
Depot(s)Leslie Barns[1]
Rolling stockFlexity Outlook
Daily ridership38,113 (2014)[2]
Line length7.13 km (4.43 mi)[1]
Track gauge4 ft 10+78 in (1,495 mm)
Electrification600 V DC overhead
Route map

Station with off-street
fare-paid platforms
Connection BSicon BUS1.svg  00 
Terminus BSicon BUS1.svg  00 
Gunns Loop
BSicon BUS1.svg  189 
Gunns Road
Old Stock Yards (eastbound only)
Weston Road
to Northland and Avon Loops
Keele Loop
Keele Street
BSicon BUS1.svg  41   89   941   989 
CN Weston sub. & CP MacTier sub.
Townsley Loop
BSicon BUS1.svg  127 
Old Weston Road
BSicon BUS1.svg  41   127   168   941 
Hounslow Heath Road/Silverthorn Ave
Laughton Avenue
CN Newmarket sub.
Caledonia Road
BSicon BUS1.svg  47B   47C 
Earlscourt Loop
BSicon BUS1.svg  47 
Lansdowne Avenue
BSicon BUS1.svg  47   47B   47C 
Earlscourt Avenue
Dufferin Street
BSicon BUS1.svg  29   929 
Northcliffe Boulevard
Glenholme Avenue
Rogers Road
Oakwood Avenue
BSicon BUS1.svg  63   161 
Oakwood Loop
BSicon BUS1.svg  63A 
Robina Avenue
Winona Drive
Arlington Avenue
Christie Street
BSicon BUS1.svg  126 
Wychwood Carhouse
Wychwood Avenue
Vaughan Road
BSicon BUS1.svg  90 
Bathurst Street
BSicon BUS1.svg  7 
St. Clair West station
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg
BSicon BUS1.svg  33   90   126 
Tweedsmuir Avenue
Spadina Road
BSicon BUS1.svg  33 
Russell Hill Road
Dunvegan Road
Avenue Road
BSicon BUS1.svg  5 
Deer Park Crescent
Yonge Street (westbound only)
BSicon BUS1.svg  97 
St. Clair station
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg
BSicon BUS1.svg  74   88 
to Mount Pleasant Loop
Avoca Avenue 
Vale of Avoca (Avoca Ravine)
Inglewood Drive
St. Clair & Mt. Pleasant
Moore Park Loop
Heath Street
Moore Avenue
BSicon BUS1.svg  88 
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
Merton Street
Davisville Avenue
BSicon BUS1.svg  28 
Belsize Drive
Manor Road
Soudan Avenue
Eglinton Avenue
BSicon BUS1.svg  34   51   54   56   100   103 
Mount Pleasant Loop

The 512 St. Clair is an east–west streetcar route in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). It operates on St. Clair Avenue between St. Clair station on the Line 1 Yonge–University subway and Gunns Road, just west of Keele Street.


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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[4] By 1932, Earlscourt Loop at St. Clair Avenue and Lansdowne Avenue became the western terminus of the Bay route.[5] 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.[6] About 1978, the Earlscourt route was merged into 512 St. Clair.[7]


Date Event
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.[8]
September 1, 1921 The Toronto Transportation Commission took over operations of the Toronto Civic Railways and the Toronto Railway Company.[3]
December 21, 1921 The Bathurst streetcar line was extended to St. Clair Avenue.[8] 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.[3]
December 1, 1924 The St. Clair line was extended east of Yonge Street to Moore Park Loop at Mt. Pleasant Road.[8]
November 4, 1925 The line was extended north along Mt. Pleasant Road to the Mt. Pleasant Loop at Eglinton Avenue.[8] It replaced an early trolley bus line.[9]
October 29, 1931 The line was extended westwards to Townsley Loop at Old Weston Road.[8]
May 14, 1932 The line was again extended westwards to Keele Loop on Weston Road, a short distance north of St. Clair Avenue.[8]
September 23, 1938 St. Clair became the first route in Toronto to be served by PCC streetcars.[10]
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.[8]
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.[11][9]
February 26, 1966 St. Clair rush hour streetcar service along Weston Road to Avon Loop is discontinued.[8]
March 30, 1975 The Mount Pleasant arm of the line became a separate route operating between St. Clair station and Eglinton Avenue.[12]
July 25, 1976 Buses replaced the Mount Pleasant streetcar route that ran east from St. Clair Station.[8] However, the section of the line between St. Clair station and Moore Park Loop was retained for night streetcars until October 1, 1976.[12] The site of Moore Park Loop subsequently became Loring-Wyle Parkette.
January 27, 1978 St. Clair West station opens with an underground streetcar loop.[11] 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.[7]
July 27, 1981 Gunns Loop opens at Gunns Road replacing the old Keele Loop on Weston Road.[9]
September 3, 2017 The Flexity Outlook streetcars entered service to phase out CLRVs on the St. Clair route.[13]
October 1, 2018 With Flexity Outlook streetcars having replaced CLRVs on this route, 512 St. Clair has become the third route in Toronto to use pantographs for electrical pickup.[14]

Dedicated right-of-way[edit]

Streetcar arriving at Keele from Gunns Loop

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.[15][16]

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.[16] 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,[16] to Lansdowne Avenue on December 20, 2009,[17] and finally with full service to Gunns Loop on June 30, 2010.[18][8] On December 19, 2009, the day prior to the opening of the section from Vaughan Road to Lansdowne Avenue, there was a pre-opening event utilizing the TTC's two remaining PCC streetcars.

Time-based transfers[edit]

St. Clair Pilot (2005–2017)[edit]

From July 31, 2005, until September 2, 2017, the TTC ran a pilot project of providing 2-hour time-based transfers[19] on this route as a temporary measure to support business along St. Clair during the construction projects of the new dedicated streetcar right-of-way scheme, under which passengers who took a paper transfer after paying their fares by cash or tokens were allowed to disembark and re-board another 512 streetcar, even one going in the opposite direction, as long as they did so within 2 hours of 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. From December 14, 2015, until the September 3, 2017, passengers who paid by cash or token were required to obtain a time-based paper transfer as a result of the proof-of-payment (POP) system that had come into effect on all TTC streetcar routes as passengers could have been asked at any time to show POP. At the time, the Presto card readers on the 512 cars were not configured to handle this special route-specific time-based transfer pilot scheme. Presto users who wished to take advantage of the project were required to board at the front door of the vehicle in order to obtain the special paper time-based transfer after tapping their cards on the fare reader there, or else they would have been charged another fare every time they re-tapped on the same route. The pilot program was discontinued on September 3, 2017, the same day the new Flexity Outlook streetcars were deployed on the 512 route, as drivers of the new streetcars are situated inside a fully enclosed cab and are not responsible for handling fare collection or providing paper transfers.[20]


The TTC reintroduced a 2-hour time-based transfer on August 26, 2018, but this time system-wide rather than for just the 512 route. It is currently available only to Presto card customers who pay single fares with stored card balance.[21]

Proposed extensions[edit]

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.[22]

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 71A 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 71A Runnymede (now replaced by route 189 Stockyards) and 79B Scarlett Road, where it would connect with a planned Jane Street LRT.

Route description[edit]

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 and Vaughan Road are the only connection between the St. Clair streetcar line and the rest of the Toronto streetcar system.[23]

According to a 2011 Torontoist article, it took 29 minutes for the author to travel from St. Clair station to Gunns Loop shortly after the rush hour.[24]

Stop layout: Signaled crossing (right), shelter, artwork along shelter roof, planter (left)

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.[25]

Night route[edit]

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:[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "TTC Service Summary November 21, 2021 to January 1, 2022" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission.
  2. ^ TTC Open Data (September 2014). "TTC Ridership – All Day Weekday for Surface Routes". Toronto Transit Commission. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Hood 1986, pp. 22–30.
  4. ^ "System Map – May 1, 1930". Toronto Transportation Commission. May 1, 1930. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ride Guide – May 1, 1932". Toronto Transportation Commission. May 1, 1932. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  6. ^ "Ride Guide – 1954". Toronto Transportation Commission. May 15, 1954. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Bow, James (December 3, 2017). "The Canadian Light Rail Vehicles (The CLRVs)". Transit Toronto. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Springirth 2014, pp. 105, 113.
  9. ^ a b c Bow, James (September 5, 2017). "Route 512 – The St Clair Streetcar". Transit Toronto. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  10. ^ Mike Filey (2003). "Toronto Sketches 7: The Way We Were". Dundurn Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 9781550024487. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "2013 TTC Operating Statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Bow, James (April 21, 2013). "The Mount Pleasant Streetcar (Deceased)". Transit Toronto. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Spurr, Ben (April 19, 2017). "St. Clair next in line for new TTC streetcars". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  14. ^ Bow, James (October 13, 2018). "The Toronto Flexity Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs)". Transit Toronto. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  15. ^ Lloyd Alter (November 25, 2013). "Streetcars save cities: A look at 100 years of a Toronto streetcar line". Treehugger.com. Archived from the original on November 26, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 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.
  16. ^ a b c Filey, Mike (2008). Toronto: The Way We Were. Dundurn Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-55002-842-3.
  17. ^ "TTC Streetcar service advisory: 512 St. Clair and 505 Dundas routes". Toronto Transit Commission.
  18. ^ "512 St Clair – Full streetcar service resumes June 30, 2010". Toronto Transit Commission. June 30, 2010. Archived from the original on June 30, 2010.
  19. ^ "Time-based Transfers: 512 St Clair Pilot Program". Toronto Transit Commission. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  20. ^ Gilbert, Jeremy (July 2017). "TTC to end time-based transfer program". BlogTO. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  21. ^ Spurr, Ben (August 22, 2018). "What you need to know about the TTC's new 2-hour transfer policy". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Forman, Roman. "Streetcar Track Map March 2011". Transit Toronto. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  24. ^ Dan Foster (April 5, 2011). "A St. Clair Journey". Archived from the original on December 23, 2013.
  25. ^ "Urban Toronto: St. Clair Streetcar Stop Art". The Torontoist. July 20, 2011. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  26. ^ Toronto Transit Commission. "TTC Blue Night Network Map – November 2021" (PDF).


  • 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 (1986). The Toronto Civic Railways: An Illustrated History. Toronto, Ontario: The Upper Canada Railway Society.
  • Springirth, Kenneth C. (2014). Toronto Streetcars Serve The City. Foothill Media. ISBN 978-1-62545-028-9.

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is not from Wikidata