THE WORKHORSES OF QUEEN ST. ARE DOWN TO THE LAST TWO & THEY’LL RETIRE ON LABOUR DAY

TORONTO’s articulated light rail (ALRV) streetcars have laboured long and hard since the late 1980’s. They weren’t expected to live so long, but they have, thanks to a huge investment by the TORONTO Transit Commission. Once there were 52 of them, and now only a couple remain in service. And those two take their last rides on Monday, September 2nd. One will head west from the Russell Carhouse near Queen E. & Greenwood Ave.; the other will depart from Bathurst and Wolesley Streets. The very last departure will be from the Wolesley Loop to the Russell Carhouse. Rides are free from 2:00 to 5:00 pm.

STREETCARS NEEDING A REBUILD HEAD FOR THE TTC’S HARVEY SHOPS – UNIQUE IN NORTH AMERICA

The TTC’s Hillcrest maintenance shop, 1138 Bathurst Street, is where the streetcars and buses go for an overhaul and repairs. Opened in 1923, the property was once home to the Hillcrest Race Track. It’s now a major TORONTO Transit Commission maintenance centre.  <PHOTO – Vic on Flickr>

Highly skilled employees here have the expertise and equipment to build streetcars from scratch, a project the Commission undertook a few years ago.

The Harvey Shops are named after D. W. Harvey, the TTC’s general manager from 1924-1938.  They’re actually a series of small repair shops under one roof – each specializing in different skills – from sheet metal and upholstery, to motor, body repair and paint.

<PHOTO ABOVE – a yellow rail grinder car in front of the Harvey Shops at Hillcrest, ca1967-68>

<PHOTO ABOVE – one of the city’s new streetcars arriving at Harvey Shops. It will go into a series of road tests before entering public service.>  For anything and everything about TORONTO’s transportation system – subways, buses and streetcars – take a look at Steve Munro’s excellent website: http://www.stevemunro.ca