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"Baby you can drive my car...beep beep, beep beep, yeah". A warm summer's afternoon along St. Clair Avenue in midtown Toronto offers something for everyone: passing PCC streetcars, and some vintage auto action from Pontiac, Ford and a few other brands in the mix (anyone got an ID on the car on the left?). TTC 4565, an A9-class ex-Cincinnati PCC originally built in 1947, operates on the St. Clair route heading eastbound for Eglinton Loop, passing newer A8-class PCC 4520 heading in the opposite direction, just west of Kenwood Avenue (near Vaughan Road). The standard air-conditioning back then (in both streetcars and most autos) consisted of rolling down your windows and enjoying the breeze.Upon casual examination, one would note that 4520 is sporting a repainted red lower body but an older maroon upper stripe, and 4565 is sporting faded body paint but repainted doors. At this point in time the TTC wasn't sure if it was keeping its streetcar fleet or not, and streetcar lines including St. Clair were up for abandonment and replacement by diesel or trolley buses. As early as 1962, there were plans by the TTC to phase all streetcars out by 1970 with new rapid transit. An article in the Toronto Star from April 1962 described them in such glowing terms as "semi-mobile cattle-pens" and "trams" that "belong to an earlier era" (but even back then the case was made, as it is today, that a streetcar could handle twice as many passengers as a bus could). Elimination partially hinged on having a "blitz on subway building" to constuct a subway network adequate enough to handle the capacity. Fast forward a few years, a decision in November 1972 by the commission to retain Metro Toronto's streetcar network resulted in streetcar service staying on St. Clair, a rebuild program that saw the newer A6-A8 cars overhauled to extend their service lives, and a search for a new manufacturer of streetcars which eventually lead to the late 70's CLRV cars.Lewis Swanson photo, Dan Dell'Unto collection slide (with some editing/colour correction).
Copyright Notice: This image ©Lewis Swanson photo, Dan Dell'Unto coll. all rights reserved.



Caption: "Baby you can drive my car...beep beep, beep beep, yeah". A warm summer's afternoon along St. Clair Avenue in midtown Toronto offers something for everyone: passing PCC streetcars, and some vintage auto action from Pontiac, Ford and a few other brands in the mix (anyone got an ID on the car on the left?). TTC 4565, an A9-class ex-Cincinnati PCC originally built in 1947, operates on the St. Clair route heading eastbound for Eglinton Loop, passing newer A8-class PCC 4520 heading in the opposite direction, just west of Kenwood Avenue (near Vaughan Road). The standard air-conditioning back then (in both streetcars and most autos) consisted of rolling down your windows and enjoying the breeze.

Upon casual examination, one would note that 4520 is sporting a repainted red lower body but an older maroon upper stripe, and 4565 is sporting faded body paint but repainted doors. At this point in time the TTC wasn't sure if it was keeping its streetcar fleet or not, and streetcar lines including St. Clair were up for abandonment and replacement by diesel or trolley buses. As early as 1962, there were plans by the TTC to phase all streetcars out by 1970 with new rapid transit. An article in the Toronto Star from April 1962 described them in such glowing terms as "semi-mobile cattle-pens" and "trams" that "belong to an earlier era" (but even back then the case was made, as it is today, that a streetcar could handle twice as many passengers as a bus could). Elimination partially hinged on having a "blitz on subway building" to constuct a subway network adequate enough to handle the capacity. Fast forward a few years, a decision in November 1972 by the commission to retain Metro Toronto's streetcar network resulted in streetcar service staying on St. Clair, a rebuild program that saw the newer A6-A8 cars overhauled to extend their service lives, and a search for a new manufacturer of streetcars which eventually lead to the late 70's CLRV cars.

Lewis Swanson photo, Dan Dell'Unto collection slide (with some editing/colour correction).

Photographer:
Lewis Swanson photo, Dan Dell'Unto coll. [488] (more) (contact)
Date: September 1970 (search)
Railway: Toronto Transit Commission (search)
Reporting Marks: TTC 4565, 4520 (search)
Train Symbol: St. Clair (ebnd to Eglinton Loop) (search)
Subdivision/SNS: St. Clair Avenue West at Kenwood Ave. (search)
City/Town: Toronto (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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2 Comments
  1. Thanks for filling in the gaps SS! I’ve got a few more in mind for posting :)

  2. Fabulous Dan. Please keep up the ongoing series of history lessons. The cream coloured car curbside on the left (with the gentleman sporting the dapper hat) is a mid 1960′s Plymouth Valiant, parked behind it is a four door Chrysler Newport. I believe the brown sedan alongside 4565 is a Pontiac Catalina (note the center of grill Pontiac symbol). Here’s hoping that the owner of the Mustang touched up the door and that the pony is still around! Note the Gulf and Supertest signs in the background! Simply fabulous!

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