TTC crews successfully escorted a test car through Gunns Loop

July-August 2010

Streetcar service on St. Clair Avenue West (512 St Clair route) resumed operation to Gunns Loop on June 30. The milestone marks the end of the right-of-way project, which now sees streetcars run along their own dedicated lanes raised on a six-inch trackbed all the way to St. Clair Station.

Streetcar service now runs every three-to-four minutes in peak periods, and every five-to-nine minutes at all other times of the week. Scheduled travel times have been reduced by up to 14 per cent in the peak periods, and by up to 25 per cent at off-peak times.

Before the right-of-way was built, one out of every five streetcars on St. Clair, in a typical afternoon rush hour, never made it to its planned destination because of traffic congestion.

The 512 St Clair is one of the most heavily used routes, carrying 32,000 trips per day, or about half of all the trips made during the busy times along the avenue.

The St. Clair right-of-way is the first “priority corridor” project to be built in the TTC’s Ridership Growth Strategy and Toronto’s Official Plan. Toronto City Council approved the 6.7-km project in 2004.

Last January, Commissioners approved a report on the St. Clair experience called “Getting It Right” - Lessons Learned from the St. Clair Streetcar for the Implementation of Transit City. According to its authors, transportation experts Richard M. Soberman and Les Kelman, its main objective was to extract valuable lessons learned from implementing the St. Clair streetcar improvements and using those as a guide for Transit City LRT projects.