Posts Tagged ‘streetcars’

Is there anyone who doesn’t complain about driving in Toronto?
Does anyone have a solution that we can all agree on?
No.

Yesterday Toronto began an experiment on King Street. An experiment that CBC called a disaster on its first day.   This morning I went to check it out for myself.  It was mid-morning so there weren’t many cars.   Also, weekday drivers and Sunday drivers downtown are different.  On weekdays it’s the regulars who know the roads because they drive them all the time.   Does that make a difference? – I’m not sure.

below: At most intersections between Bathurst and Jarvis, traffic is not allowed to proceed straight through – you must turn right.  Streetcars and bicycles are the exceptions.  The traffic signals now have advanced green arrows to allow cars to turn right before the pedestrians cross the road.    Taxis are allowed to go through only between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.   You’ll notice that the left hand land has been painted with yellow stripes, i.e. no cars here!

white arrow painted on road directing traffic to turn right

below: Two more changes have appeared. First, the streetcar stops have been moved to after the intersection instead of before. Second, small barricades block the right hand lane after the intersection. These two changes have the effect of blocking cars who try to sneak through on King Street. If there is a streetcar, you’re stuck behind it. I did see a car try to pass a streetcar (on the left) but it was unsuccessful.

streetcar stopped to let on passengers, cars behind it on the street

Many cars were disobeying the new traffic signs, some out of confusion  and some blatantly flaunting the rules.   Cars would pull into the right turn lane but then go through the light anyhow.

below: I wasn’t the only ones watching the traffic.  Global TV was at King and Jarvis while CTV were stationed at King and Church.

Global TV car and truck parked on King street, street car about to pass them

below: CBC interviews people at King & Yonge as a black GMC goes through the intersection.

CBC reporter interviewing people on the sidewalk, traffic on King sreet, a black SUV making an illegal straight through the intersection,

below: The lighter traffic makes for easier illegal left turns!

a black car makes an illegal left turn at King and Church streets

below: Taking pictures of drivers doing illegal things was like shooting fish in a barrel. There were a couple of police cars around but so far there are few consequences to doing what you want. It’s early days yet, right? Apparently starting next week, the fine for illegally going straight through the intersection will be $100 and 2 demerit points.

traffic and street cars on King Street

I have one suggestion and that is to change the traffic lights so that the only green is a right turn arrow. The streetcars would have their own light – something like the ‘white line light’ that is used at King and Sumach as well as at Eglinton and Duplex. Having an ordinary green light is almost giving mixed signals to the drivers.

below:  Hey!  Mr. Bentley watch where you’re going!

two cars waiting for a red light. a white car and a grey Bentley, pedestrians crossing the intersection in front of them.

Take care out there!

Someone has redone the signs in Bathurst subway station….
now they look like they belong at Honest Eds store!

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - the direction sign to subway and to exits.

… and when I came up to street level I discovered that the station has been decorated with Honest Eds type ‘adverts’ complete with awful puns

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station, Our prices aren't always good but they're fare

…. including word play based on subway station names such as “Turnstiles, now museum, soon you won’t”.  Groan.  Smile.

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station are two signs, one says Presto no more change-o and the other says Turnstiles now museum soon you won't

below: The main entrance to the station now looks like an Honest Eds window.

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station, The window beside the main entrance has been covered with fake ads.

below: They aren’t too easy to read in this picture, but the two signs on the left are, first, “Bacon & Eglinton $3.25” and second, “There aren’t any snakes on our tracks, St. Patrick banished them”.   Were you expecting better?  [laughing]

sign maker from Honest Eds store has redone some of the signs in Bathurst subway station plus, he has added some Honest Ed type promo signs around the station - on the window of the station, exterior of station by streetcar and bus loop has four signs in the windows that are puns based on the names of TTC stations.

Nearby is the real Honest Ed’s store, a landmark for many years.  Eighteen months ago, I posted some pictures of the store and at the end of that post I mentioned that the store was scheduled to close at the end of 2016.  Well, the end of 2016 is drawing nigh and Honest Ed’s is slowly winding down.  The decorating of Bathurst Station is part of the good-bye process.

At the moment, the interior of the store is a shadow of its former self.  It is still in business but the goods are getting scarce.  There are definitely still bargains to be had.  I have a new hat that I bought there today, red polar fleece, that set me back 50 cents… plus tax.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. a bin of lipstick and other makeup. Someone has written the word Riley in pink lipstick on the side of the bin

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. A bin of men's underwear for $4.99

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. The bedding section is being torn apart and dismantled

below: Ed Mirvish and a crowd of shoppers back in the day.
The picture still hangs in one of the many corners of the store.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. An old picture of Ed Mirvish surrounded by a crowd of people hangs on a wall above a Bell payphone.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. a few shower curtains on display as well as some checkered tea towels. The rest of the shelves and wall space are empty

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. ladies underwear in a bin for sale, surrounded by empty bins and wall space, lots of mirrors. Yellow caution tape marks off a section of the store that is now closed.

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. a black and white photo of a young woman on a wall beside a convex mirror showing the stairwell. also an ad printed right on the mirror for bradasol lozenges

below: Photo taken from the walkway between the two buildings that make up Honest Ed’s store.  Looking south.

looking down at an icy alley where four people are walking between buildings, sign on building says Honest Eds Annex,

below: From the same vantage point, but looking north.  From here I spotted a new mural.

looking down on an alley, there is a mural along the side of one of the buildings.

below: The mural is a large scale photo montage of people passing by the Bloor Street windows of Honest Ed’s. It catches the reflections of both the window contents and the life on the street.  It is “The Theatre” and it is the creation of Matthew Monteith.

part of a mural in Honest Eds Alley by Matthew Monteith showing people walking past the windows of Honest Ed's store, large scale photo
part of a mural in Honest Eds Alley by Matthew Monteith showing people walking past the windows of Honest Ed's store, large scale photo

part of a mural in Honest Eds Alley by Matthew Monteith showing people walking past the windows of Honest Ed's store, large scale photo

interior of Honest Eds store as it gets ready to close down. an old man with a cane sits on the steps between two sections of the store

This is another meandering blog post… a post about being out and about on yet another wonderful autumn day, going wherever my feet and eyes take me.

below: The first picture of my day was this intriguing wall made of old wooden doors.  Bathurst Street.

a tall narrow wall about three storeys high made of old white doors.

below: A small elicser mural tucked away at the end of a parking lot.   The man has his back to the viewer but I can’t figure out what’s behind him or what he might be doing.

small mural on a fence, a man's head is back to the viewer

below: The leaves have fallen off the vines to reveal a yellowish creature with his baseball cap askew.

graffiti painting of a yellow animal like creature wearing a blue and yellow baseball cap. The creature is yellow. On a red brick wall, with spots on its back

below: Toronto’s tallest icon framed by a construction crane.

CN Tower in the distance, condo construction in the foreground, with a red crane

below: And on a similar note, a vacant lot cleared and ready for the next stage of its life.

a box beside a fence that has been scrawled over with blue spray paint. Behind it is a fence around a vacant empty lot. There are some small trees growing in front of the fence.

below: No more cranes here (and not many vacant lots either for that matter).  A view showing how much development there has been on the south side of the railway tracks.   Fort York is between the tracks and the condo towers.

a VIA Rail train passes by on one set of many tracks, in the background is Fort York and then a series of new condo buildings.

below: And what’s this? An old blue canoe beached on the tracks?

looking at the scene from a above, a blue canoe has been used to plant plants in. It lies across an old railway track, a chainlink fence separates the canoe from the main railway tracks that still function.

below: Standing guard over Bathurst Street, Fleet street and the Lakeshore, is one larger than life gold replica of a Royal Newfoundland Regiment and his fallen silver American foe. A sculpture by Douglas Copeland entitled “A Monument to the War of 1812”, a nod to nearby Fort York and the history of Toronto.

Douglas Copeland's sculpture of two tin soldiers, a gold one standing with backpack on and rifle in hand, and a silver one lying on its back on the ground, uniforms circa War of 1812, seen from the back, figures are much large than life sized and they are on a corner at an intersection, Bathurst St. and Fleet St.

below: My favorite example of bad grammar still exists!  Off-leash dog area at Coronation Park.

a wood fence around a dog park, in autumn with lots of leaves on the ground, on the fence is a white sign with black letters re the Toronto municipal code 608,

A beautiful day in the park.  A slight November nip was in the air but it was sunny and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue.  Coronation Park is named in honour of the coronation of King George VI who was crowned on 12 May 1937.  At that time nearly 150 trees were planted here.

Apparently, an oak tree was planted to honour the king.  Surrounding it, a ring of silver maples was planted.  This was to symbolize the countries of the British Empire.  I wish I had known that bit of trivia before I walked through the park because now I am curious if these trees are still there.   Some of the trees are quite substantial.

below: Long shadows for the morning sun, low in the sky.

morning in the park, autumn, trees with some leaves still on, many leaves on the ground, wood railing fence, shadows, Lake Ontario, path, Coronation Park.

below: Looking back towards the city center, past the empty docks of the National Yacht Club to the residences on Stadium Road.   A small group of people were making a video in the dog park.

morning in the park, autumn, trees with some leaves still on, many leaves on the ground, wood railing fence, shadows, Lake Ontario, path, Coronation Park. a small group of people in the distance are filming a video

below: This Victory Peace Monument was unveiled on 14 November 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2 and honour those who died in that war.   It was designed by John McEwen; the bronze pieces resemble the bow of a ship.

Metal partial cylindrical shapes on a concrete circular monument. World War 2 memorial

below: On the inside of one of the bronze pieces is a map of eastern Canada and the Atlantic Ocean.  Each boat on the map represents a ship or U-boat that was sunk during the war.  The Canadian ships are located on the map at “their last known position”.  I hadn’t realized that so many ships were lost so close to North America.

relief map of eastern Canada and the Atlantic Ocean, in bronze on a WW2 memorial. Little ships are shown on the ocean where they were sunk during WW2.

Trees were also planted to represent the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (WW1) and its units as well as those who fought in the Fenian Raids of 1866-1870, the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, and the Boer War (1899-1902).  Once upon a time, brass plaques were placed at the foot of each tree to indicate the units the tree stood for.  If any plaques remain, I didn’t see them.

below: Another memorial is close by, a  “Memorial to Lieut. Tommy Hobbs gallant British Canadian soldier in the Great War 1914 – 1918.  Died on active service November 10, 1940.  Beloved and remembered by his comrades.”   Tommy Hobbs was involved in the creation of this park.

a memorial in a park made of a small pile of rocks. The top rock is inscribed, memorial to Tommy Hobbs, died 1940, in Coronation Park

below: A little farther on I noticed another rock, one that was painted red.   The bronze plaque on the rock says that 20 trees have been planted here in commemoration of the G20 Summit held in Toronto in 2010.

a large rock with a bronze plaque on it. The rock has been crudely painted red

below:  A 30 foot tall Inukshuk stands looking out over Lake Ontario.  Approximately 50 tonnes of mountain rose granite was used to create the Inukshuk, which was made by Inuit artist Kellypalik Qimirpik from Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

a tall stone inuksuk on a raised mound of warth

below: Streetcars across the baseball outfield.

Looking across the outfield of a baseball diamond towards a street. A line of mature trees by the street with two red and white TTC streetcars on the street, condo towers behind.

below: A closer look at that brown octagonal structure in the middle of the streetcar loop for the 509 and 511 cars.  Apparently it’s the Queens Wharf lighthouse, one of a pair built in 1861.

a brown structure, the Queens WHarf Lighthouse, sits on a patch of grass beside TTC streetcar tracks in front of a new condo.

The lighthouses marked the entrance to the Toronto Harbour from 1861 until the Western Channel was built in the early 1900’s.   This one stood on Queen’s Wharf which used to be at the foot of Bathurst Street, adjoining Fort York.  The wharf was built by the military; in 1833 it was a pier 42 feet long.    The pier no longer exists; a hundred years ago it was buried under what is now Bathurst Quay.

below:  A picture of an historical map (1886 or 1887) of the area showing Toronto Harbour, Fort York and the railway lands.  Queen’s Wharf is the pier on the left.   At that time, Front Street was the southern most street in this part of the city.   All the present day development south of the train tracks is on reclaimed land.

picture of historical map of part of Toronto Harbour from 1886, showing Fort York, Front St., and Bathurst St., and the railway lands and wharves into Lake Ontario,

below:   Taken from google maps, what the layout of the city looks like now.   As you can see, there have been many changes!

present day map taken from google maps of Coronation Park and Bathurst Quay including Fort York

Lake Ontario in the foreground, trees in Coronation Park in the middle and Toronto skyline in the distance with the CN Tower and a large Canadian flag.
a sticker of a rainbow in a heart shape. A small purple heart is in the center, then a blue heart is drawn around it, moving outwards in rainbow colours.

As you all know, the TTC is replacing their older streetcars with new longer Bombardier streetcars.   Or at least they are trying to 🙂  Because they are longer, they don’t fit into existing “garages”, hence the new Leslie Barns facility.  Located on Leslie St., south of Queen, it is the new streetcar “home”.  It is where streetcars are parked, maintained and repaired.  It has been in operation since Nov 2015 but the first chance the public got to peak inside the finished complex was at Doors Open on the 28th of May.

below: While waiting for a streetcar at the corner of Queen and Broadview on the way to visit the Leslie Barns, I saw this renovated TTC streetcar from the 1950’s.

An old restored TTC streetcar, maroon and yellow, on Queen St. East

below:  The streetcar tour involved riding a new streetcar through a maintenance bay in the building and then around the parking lot out back.

People at Doors Open in TOronto, at the TTC LEslie Barns streetcar facitlity, lining up for , or just getting off of, streetcar tours, riding the new streetcars around Leslie Barns

A group of people inside Leslie Barns streetcar facility, standing aside to make way for a new streetcar that is taking other people on a tour.

people riding in a new streetcar, photo taken from the outside, most of them are waving

A man in black T-shirt and black cap is taking a picture of people riding in the new streetcar, inside Leslie Barns at Doors Open

below: Exterior, parking space for at least 100 streetcars

the massive concrete parking lot for streetcars with all the overhead wires. The building that houses the workshops and cleaning and office for the ttc is in the background.

below: Special bays have been constructed with space for workers to access both the underneath and the top of the streetcars.  Because the cars have been designed to ride low, a lot of their workings such as the HVAC and propulsion systems are built into the roof of the car.

the back of a new streetcar as it passes through interior of Leslie Barns streetcar facility, a large, tall interior space with lots of pipes

A streetcar sits in a repair bay of the Leslie Barns, space underneath the streetcar for workers to go down and work on the underside of the streetcar.

below: It’s a big space!  …. 17,510 square metres (188,500 sq ft) in fact.

interior of Leslie Barns streetcar facility, a large, tall interior space with lots of pipes

below: A spic and span shiny paint room

interior of the paint room at Leslie Barns, where streetcars go to get painted.

below: A myriad of colour coded pipes

A myriad of pipes running up walls and across the ceiling, blue, pink, red, grey, all colour coded, interior, Leslie Barns

below: There were renovated vintage streetcars on display.  On the left is a 1921 Peter Witt streetcar and next to it is a PCC streetcar from the early 1950’s.

a number of people waiting to go inside old renovated vintage TTC streetcars

below: Interior of a refurbished Peter Witt streetcar with its wood trim.  The Witt cars were built for the newly formed TTC in 1921.  They entered service on Broadview in October of that year.  By 1923 they were operating on seven routes.  The last Witt streetcar was retired in 1963.

A young boy stands in the back of an old restored ttc streetcar. A black and white picture of an old street scene has been put across the back window to show you what the view out the window might have looked like at the time the streetcar was functional. Old ads on the upper part of the interior, wood trim

below: Looking out the window of a PCC streetcar built in 1951.  PCC stands for Presidents’ Conference Committee, which was a group of operators from the USA and Canada  who got together in 1938 to design a new electric railway car.  By the late 1950s, the TTC owned the largest fleet of PCC’s in the world.  The last one was retired in 1995.

A young boy wearing a hat looks out the window of an old restored streetcar while his father takes a picture out the window

below: Streetcar wire maintenance truck.

a special TTC truck sits outside Leslie Barns TTC facility on Doors Open day, the truck is designed to run on streetcar tracks and is used to repair tracks and wires. There are people looking at the truck

#DOT16 | #TTC

In 1913 the first of five Wychwood “Barns” were built by the city of Toronto as a streetcar maintenance facility. Streetcars accessed the site from the mainlines on St. Clair Ave., which is just to the north, via tracks on Wychwood Avenue.

There were five barns built from 1913 to 1921 as industrial buildings.  They are brick structures, two storeys high with an interior steel structure that was exposed. The facility remained part of the TTC until 1992. The City of Toronto currently leases the site to Toronto Artscape Inc., a not-for-profit organization that develops and operates space for the arts, at $1 a year on a 50 year lease.

Barn 1 has been converted into a private live-work studio and housing for community artists, while Barn 2 was made into a community gathering space, including a theatre. Barns 1 & 2 became a covered street that is two storeys high, 60 metres long, and 10 meters wide. Barns 3 and 4 are private-public spaces where non-profit organizations can operate.

Interior of the present day Wychwood Barns, central part. Historical photos of Toronto streetcars hang over the doors on the right.

Interior of the present day Wychwood Barns, central part (barns 1 and 2). Historical photos of Toronto streetcars hang over the doors on the right.

A greenhouse and community gardens are located in Barn four.  The roof was removed from Barn 5. All that remains is the steel structure that forms the arcade.

A large number 5 hangs over the remains of the fifth barn.

Barn number 5

part of an old wall showing the brick details.

Exposed interior wall

sunflowers

Sunflowers growing in the community gardens in barn 4.

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