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Spotted: Four Generations of Streetcars

Old and new TTC streetcars rode the rails together at the Beaches Easter Parade.

SPOTTED BY: dtstuff9, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

WHERE: Toronto Beaches Lions Easter Parade, which ran along Queen Street East from Neville Loop to Woodbine Avenue.

WHEN: Sunday, April 20, 2 p.m.

WHAT: The streetcar model we are all currently familiar with, accompanied by a Peter Witt streetcar (which operated here from 1921 until 1963), a Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcar (which dominated the TTC’s streetcar fleet from 1938 until 1995), and one of the TTC’s brand-new low-floor streetcars, which will begin service August 31 on the 510 Spadina route. The parade marked the first time all four types of streetcar had coasted along anywhere together.

Spotted features interesting things our readers discover in their journeys across Toronto. If you spot something interesting, send a photo and pertinent details to

CORRECTION: April 21, 2013, 10:40 AM This post originally stated that the parade occurred on Monday, April 20; in fact, it took place on Sunday, April 20.


  • SonuvaScrimbro

    All that picture is missing is Ford in his Cadillac SUV behind all four streetcars, shaking his fist and pounding his head on the steering wheel. :)

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      yeah, shame he was asked not to come to this parade(of course all politicians were asked to stay away, but who are we kidding, it was really an attempt to keep Ford away)…maybe we would’ve seen him cursing these streetcars.

      • SonuvaScrimbro

        The nice thing about Ford is that he’s a timeless symbol of people cursing things. There’s a handlebar-mustached Ford in a Model T cursing public transit… and a zoot-suited Ford in a Studebaker cursing public transit… and a leisure suit-wearing Ford cursing public transit in his Trans Am… “Fashions may change but populist-spewing outrage never goes out of style.”

        • TheSotSays

          What an odd thing to say! Everyone knows that the award for “Timeless Symbol of People Cursing” goes to Jack Layton of the NDP for the spectacular performance he gave when he was nailed on that fateful day by the vice squad.

          As for the populist view that “fashions may change,” Jack certainly regretted that he didn’t find enough time to climb back into his “leisure-suit.” Unfortunately It was hanging on a hook behind the door when the police axe came through and inadvertently chopped the seat out of it.

          • SonuvaScrimbro

            Ah, stomping on a dead guy’s grave. Truly, the troll tactic that never goes out of style.

            So, which is it… you’re too lazy or just refusing to learn the names of politicians who actually have an impact on your life, or are you just really sad Jack went and died before you could break out your really good stuff? Trick question — clearly it’s not Option B.

    • wklis

      The Ford brothers would have probably say that the people were not photographing the streetcars, but were taking selfies of themselves.

    • TheSotSays

      What would have been better is Chow in an elephant basket riding along on top of the oldest piece of Junk the TTC could find to put out there.

      • SonuvaScrimbro

        Oh, look. Someone trying this “comedy” thing out for the first time. How adorable. Don’t quit your day job, kid — unless you’re actually Rob or Doug, in which case please do.

        • dsmithhfx

          Does being little brother’s unpaid minder count as an actual “job”?

          • TheSotSays

            Gee it’s only 20 after 9 and already you’re busy stealing time from the poor taxpayers stuck with your salary.

  • WN

    To me, that was the highlight of the parade. No kidding, you could hear gasps and “wow”s from the crowd as the newest streetcar went by. A few people may have seen videos and photos taken by others at night as they were tested, but very few people would have seen them in person during the day. The juxaposition between old and new was quite impressive. I hope they do this kind of streetcar trip down memory lane again, but can’t think of any special occasion on streetcar lines that are coming up. Perhaps when they re-open Queen’s Quay?

    Only quibble was that the Peter Witt was second, behind the PCC. Shouldn’t it be first to be in chronological order?

    • Conservative Astroturf Brigade

      I would presume they put it in the middle to protect it (and/or tow it if it breaks down). The PCC, although old, is still repairable.

    • Clay

      Safety reasons. Witt has to be bookended.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      I went to the 100th celebration of the St Clair streetcar line last September and visited this same Witt car. It was explained that the TTC can’t get insurance any longer for their Peter Witts (something to do with the old style braking system). So, whenever they bring out the Witt car it is pulled by a PCC streetcar. I would assume that’s what’s happening here.

      • TheSotSays

        Having it pulled by a PCC streetcar must have been an oversight.

        Usually they pull their old junk around with a Miller/Mihevic cement truck.

        Ever since the Miller /Mihevic fiasco on St. Claire: cement all over the place, closed roads, closed businesses, cost over runs in the 100′s of millions; after that piece of NDP brilliance it’s become not unusual to hear Mihevic referred to as “Cement Head Mihevic” (epithet deleted).

  • andrew97

    It bugs me to an irrational degree that the cars are not in chronological order.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    I’m sorry I was too much of a lazybones to head down to this parade — it is in my area. I would’ve loved to see all these streetcars together.

  • Notcleverguy

    I hope this was a move by the TTC to troll Ford.

    • dsmithhfx

      Streetcars: 1
      Ford: 0

      • TheSotSays

        Streetcars: Junk
        Ford: 100% Correct

        • OgtheDim

          So you want to give more of your hard earned taxpayer’s (wait, you don’t have a job you scofflaw) to unionista’s by putting more buses out on the road.

          Glad you finally have admitted that you are a populist neo-socialist.

          The first step is acceptance of who you are.

          Do us all a favour though……….no pillow talk list.

          • TheSotSays

            Show us your tongue OgDerp

  • JLo_Biafra

    Where’s the videotape?

  • bugstomper2

    They got the order wrong. 2, 1, 3, 4 instead of 1, 2, 3, 4.