Toronto Civic Railways

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Toronto Civic Railways
Toronto Civic Railways Preston-built car 55 is preserved at the Halton County Radial Railway museum.
Localenew areas annexed to Toronto after 1880s to 1910s
Dates of operation1912–1921
PredecessorNone - new lines not served by Toronto Railway Company
SuccessorToronto Transportation Commission
Track gauge4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) Toronto gauge
Length36 km (22.4 mi)

Toronto Civic Railways (TCR) was an agency created and owned by the City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to run streetcars in newly annexed areas of the city that the private operator Toronto Railway Company refused to serve. When the Toronto Railway Company's franchise expired in 1921, its services were combined with those of the Toronto Civic Railways, and are now assumed by the new Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC).


The routes of the Toronto Civic Railways included:

Route Details
Division Service Commenced Route  Notes 
Gerrard Division 1912 Gerrard Street from Greenwood Avenue east to Main Street now served by the 506 Carlton streetcar
Bloor Division 1915 Bloor Street West from Dundas Street West west to Quebec Avenue and later to Runnymede Road Continued as Bloor by the Toronto Transportation Commission from 1921 to 1954 and Toronto Transit Commission to 1966, including Danforth Tripper; now served by the Bloor-Danforth subway
Danforth Division 1915 Danforth Avenue from Broadview east to city limits at Luttrell Avenue renamed Broadview and then as Bloor from November 1921 to 1966; now served by the Bloor-Danforth subway
Lansdowne Division 1917 Lansdowne Avenue from St. Clair Street West south to CPR tracks north of Dupont Street Ended 1921
St. Clair Division 1914 St. Clair Avenue West from Yonge Street west to Lansdowne Avenue Construction was begun 1911 and service completed in 1914; now served by the 512 St. Clair streetcar


A few facilities of the TCR were retained by the TTC, but most were abandoned and sites re-developed. Only two carbarns survived today and have been recycled for other uses.

Facility details
 Yard   Location   Year Open   Notes 
St Clair Carhouse St. Clair Avenue West and Christie Street 1913–1921 rename as Wychwood Barns and used by the TTC until 1978 as streetcar barn; it is now an arts and culture centre
T&YRR Deer Park Carhouse and Shops 25 St. Clair Avenue West 1913–1924 Built by Metropolitan Street Railway and home to T&YRR St. Clair Division from 1913 to 1921; Sold to Badminton and Raquet Club of Toronto in 1924 by the TTC and retained carhouse and shops, site later re-developed with current office building housing the BRCT Club House; Yonge Street portion sold by Club and occupied by commercial businesses. Building partially destroyed in a fire on February 14, 2017.
Station Street Carhouse Station Street (Caledonia Road) and St. Clair Avenue West 1911–1913 outdoor storage facility next to railway line; replaced by St. Clair Carhouse; site now industrial-commercial buildings along active railway line
GTR Davenport Station Davenport Road between Wiltshire and Lansdowne Avenue 1917–1921 Operating for Lansdowne Division from 1917–1921; closed and demolished site is now Davenport-Perth Community Centre and United Church surrounded by homes
Danforth Carhouse Danforth Avenue and Coxwell Avenue 1915–1921 Replaced Gerrard Street Yard and Carhouse, acquired by the TTC and used as a carhouse until 1966; converted as bus garage in 1967 and operational until 2002; bus barns now home to Habitat for Humanity Toronto (1627 Danforth Avenue)
Hanson Street Yard Hanson Street and Coxwell Avenue now residential neighbourhood in East Danforth
Gerrard Street Yard and Carhouse Gerrard Street East near Morton Road 1912–1915 Home to Gerrard Division, later abandoned and operations moved to Coxwell Yard; residential neighbourhood and rail corridor
T&YRR Walter Station and Carhouse Walter Street and Kingston Road now residential neighborhood of Upper Beaches
Indian Road Carhouse Indian Road and Howard Park Avenue 1915–1921? now residential neighbourhood in High Park

Management of the TCR:


TCR began service in 1911 with all wooden cars and acquire steel cars in 1917.

Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
McGuire-Cummings Manufacturing Company (Paris, Illinois) wood double end double truck closed electric streetcar 4 1912 1936 later reclassified as 1-4 Group A (later TTC Class I)
Niles Car and Manufacturing Company (Niles, Ohio) wood double end double truck closed electric streetcar 20 1913 1948[1] #100-#119 later classified as Group B (later TTC Class H, H1, H3)
Preston Car Company (Preston, Ontario) wood double end single truck closed electric streetcar 8 1915-17 N/A later reclassified as 50-57 Group D (later TTC Class F) Used as scrapers, grinders, and in subway service as grinders.
Preston Car Company (Preston, Ontario) Steel, arch roof, double end, double truck closed electric streetcar 13 1918 1948-9 later TTC class J. Steel double-ended cars used on Weston Rd. and Spadina, and on shuttle services.
J.G. Brill and Company (Philadelphia, PA) Birney Birney cars, 60-84. Steel, double end single truck closed streetcar. 25 1920 1920s, 1940s (later TTC Class G); sold 3 to Cornwall (1926), 8 to Halifax (1927) and another 14 (1941)

See also[edit]


  • Wyatt, David A. "Transit History of Toronto, Ontario". Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  • Hood, J. William (1986). "4". The Toronto Civic Railways, an Illustrated History. Toronto, Ontario: Upper Canada Railway Society. pp. 30, 35, 42.
Preceded by
Toronto Railway Company
Public Transit in Toronto
Succeeded by
Toronto Transportation Commission