Peter Witt (Toronto streetcar)

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TTC Peter Witt streetcar 2766 on the Harbourfront route.

The Peter Witt streetcar was designed by the Cleveland Street Railway in the U.S. The Toronto Transit Commission version was built under license by Canada Car and Foundry of Montreal. A small number were also built by the Ottawa Car Company and the Preston Car Company. Between 1921 and 1923, 575 of these streetcars were ordered by the TTC for use on Toronto streets.[1]

In early 1928, the TTC modified Peter Witt cars 2500–2522 for radial service on the Lake Simcoe line (former Metropolitan line of the Toronto and York Radial Railway). These cars were fitted with air whistles, large-flange wheels, and flag and marker light brackets. They were mainly used to handle heavy crowds from Glen Echo to Bond Lake. However, on one occasion some of these Peter Witt cars went all the way to Sutton to accommodate an Orangemen's picnic.[2]

The Peter Witts ran on the busiest streetcar routes, and were heavily used until they were replaced by the Yonge and University subway lines. Those still in use were officially retired in 1965.

Although most of the cars were scrapped, Peter Witt #2766 was retained for historic purposes, and in 2001 the Toronto Transit Commission budgeted $100,000 to have it restored to its original condition. The TTC currently uses it for charters and other related events. It is frequently taken out during events such as Doors Open Toronto[3]

Car 2890 is preserved in operating condition at the Seashore Trolley Museum.[4]

TTC Peter Witt Specifications[edit]

  • Car Manufacturer: Canada Car and Foundry, Ottawa Car Company, Preston Car Company
  • Years of Manufacture: 1921–1923
  • Fleet No. (Large Witt): 2300–2498, 2500–2578, 2500–2578
  • Fleet No. (Small Witt): 2700–2798, 2800–2898, 2900–3018
  • Fleet No. (Brill Witt): 2580–2678
  • Fleet No. (Trailer Witt): 2301–2419, 2701–3029
  • Fleet Size: 575 cars were ordered in all (350 motors, 225 trailers)
  • Length:
  • Weight: 71,150 lb
  • Seating: 58 (Large Witt), 51 (Small Witt), 60 (trailer) - 140 (max)
  • Motor (Motor car only): 4 x 50 hp (rating)
  • Track Gauge: 4 ft 10 7/8 in


  1. ^ Bow, James, The Peter Witts, Transit Toronto, retrieved March 6, 2013
  2. ^ John F. Bromley and Jack May (1973). 50 Years of Progressive Transit. Electric Railroaders' Association. pp. 39:Streetcars in radial service. ISBN 9781550024487. Retrieved August 31, 2016. 
  3. ^ Peter Witt Car Restoration And Operation, Toronto Transit Commission web site, retrieved March 6, 2013
  4. ^ Seashore Trolley Museum Canadian Streetcars, retrieved April 11, 2014