They’re big, they’re air-conditioned, and they’ve pretty much become media darlings since their clandestine, early-morning voyage in March. The new TTC streetcars have a lot going for them, including extra capacity, new accessibility features, massive windows and did we mention the air-conditioning?
Even though the new vehicles haven’t rolled out onto the city’s main thoroughfares just yet, we couldn’t help but feel a little sad about the current fleet’s upcoming retirement. You might even say we’re prematurely nostalgic. After all, what’s the point of a streetcar if it doesn’t make that charming chiming noise?
It inspired us to dig through the Toronto Public Library’s digital archives to check out the trolleys from Toronto’s past. Enjoy!
A very early incarnation of the Spadina streetcar, seen heading south at College Street in 1892. It looks like the CIBC has had a presence on that corner for quite some time.
Electric rail transit didn’t look too different in this picture of Yonge Street, just north of College Street, in 1910.
Maybe it’s the black and white photography, but doesn’t this interior shot from 1938 make taking public transit look a little more luxurious?
In this photo from 1953 featuring a jaunty child, it’s clear that ads have adorned the inside of transit vehicles for a long time.
A close-up of a car’s exterior from 1951 shows ads were on the front-end of the exterior too.
Most of the new streetcars that will be rolling out in 2014 will have a home at the new storage yard at Lake Shore Blvd and Leslie Street. This picture from 1939 shows the Dundas yard, on Dundas Street West, between Ritchie Avenue and Howard Park Avenue.
The latest incarnation of the streetcar, which will have new features such as all-door boarding. Photo: TTC Facebook page.