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Streetcar Collision at Dundas & Spadina

According to an anonymous tip, there was just (at 3:15 p.m.) a head-on collision between two streetcars at Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue. Apparently, at least one car is derailed, both cars have extensive damage to them, and there are some minor injuries. Hopefully everyone’s okay. We’re not quite sure yet how it happened––there’s no word yet on any other news site, so if you know something, please e-mail––but contributor Adam Hawkins noted that a head-on collision would be possible at the intersection if the Dundas streetcar heading south was veering left to stay on Dundas West while the King streetcar was coming north on Roncevalles as it merged onto Dundas West. The streetcar tracks cross over in the middle of the intersection.
UPDATE (4:50 p.m.): We’re finally getting some information to clarify what happened: the CBC and CityNews are both reporting that the collision took place at Dundas and Spadina, not Dundas West and Roncesvalles, as we’d originally reported (apologies). According to the CBC, “The northbound streetcar veered off the track and smashed into the southbound streetcar in an accident that appears to have been caused by a switching problem”; other than that, details are still sketchy at best, though CBC reports that the driver of one of the streetcars is in the hospital with neck injuries.
Thanks to the many readers who’ve been e-mailing us information as it becomes available.


  • Gloria

    Whoa. Has anything like this ever happened before? I hope everyone is ok.

  • Threnody

    I’d be more worried if a streetcar collided with a car. Those things are built like tanks.

  • mogura

    From what I understand, there are no streetcars running along this stretch of Dundas St. West. There is track work on the Sourauren (sp?) Bridge.
    There are however, King cars, maybe one of these turned by accident. Wouldn’t surprise me with, what with the high end technology they use to flip the switches, crow bar anyone. Some prankster may have done it and the driver didn’t think to do the stop and check.

  • mogura

    This has happened in the past. I was on a westbound King streetcar crossing Church Street many years back. We started to turn left just as a eastbound streetcar was crossing. This was way before it was protocol for drivers to pause to check the track at intersections.

  • Stephanie

    The mainstream news sites are saying it’s Spadina & Dundas.

  • Stephanie

    The mainstream news sites say it’s Spadina & Dundas.

  • David Topping

    I just updated the post with the information. All the news sites seemed to report it at once about five minutes ago.

  • spacejack

    Wow. Unstoppable force, meet unstoppable force.

  • TokyoTuds

    With only minor injuries as the outcome, it once again shows that commuting by public transit is a safer alternative to driving. I would estimate about 5,000 deaths in car crashes per year in Canada and there were likely 10 or 15 deaths on the same day as the streetcar incident.
    Unfortunately, the press sensationalizes what in this case is basically a fender-bender, as it does with subway and inter-city train accidents which also rarely result in death.
    Take the TTC — It’s the Better Way!

  • TokyoTuds

    “Fatalities and injuries have declined about 15 percent between 1994 and 2003 and 5.6 percent from 2002 to 2003. However, an average of 3,000 people died annually on Canadian roads and accounted for 95 percent of the transportation fatalities nationwide.”
    … killing 370 pedestrians and 64 cyclists…
    “Every year in Canada approximately 370 collisions and trespassing incidents occur at highway/railway crossings and along the railway tracks resulting in the death or serious injury of nearly 170 people.”
    But I can’t find any reference to a single rail death among passengers at all:
    We need to invest heavily in public transportation using light rail, subway, streetcar, monorail and inter-city rail now! Here in Japan, the bullet trains have been operated nation-wide since 1964 transporting billions of passenger without one single death. I would advocate a high speed rail line in the Corridor from Quebec City to Windsor.
    What do you think?

  • Adam Sobolak

    Interesting. At about 3:10, I was at Spadina and Queen, ready to take either the Spadina car north, or the Queen car east. The Queen car came first. Lucky me…

  • mizzmonsta
  • tokat

    I was on the Spadina streetcar going south from Harbord around that time, when the driver informed us that the streetcar would be diverted west along College and then down Bathurst because of the collision. A few people at the front were complaining loudly to the driver about how he should have told them this before they got on, this happens all the time, griping about the recent raise in fares, etc. While I shared their frustration, it bothered me that people were taking this out on the driver. TTC drivers are often the ones that have to bear the brunt of passengers’ anger, when they really have no control over the situation. We should give them a break!

  • ozmic