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Streetcars return to service on King St after 73 years on the first day of the ION LRT Network. Passing the iconic Kaufman building, streetcars last operated in passenger service on December 27 1946 when the Kitchener-Waterloo Railways system was shut down due to an ice storm that prematurely ended service on the line which was planned for the end of 1946. It was a long time coming for ION and the transformation of Kitchener and Waterloo because of it is already staggering. If you told me 15 years ago weed would be legal and streetcars would roam the streets of K-W I'd tell you you've been smoking too much reefer. Ultimately, now that it's here my only thought now is as follows: Hamilton - what are you waiting for?
Copyright Notice: This image ©Stephen C. Host all rights reserved.



Caption: Streetcars return to service on King St after 73 years on the first official day of the ION LRT Network. Passing the iconic Kaufman building, streetcars last operated in passenger service on December 27 1946 when the Kitchener-Waterloo Railways system was shut down due to an ice storm. This event prematurely ended service on the line which was planned to end December 31 of 1946 and be replaced with Trolly Busses. It was a long time coming for ION and the transformation of Kitchener and Waterloo because of it is already staggering. If you told me 15 years ago weed would be legal and streetcars would roam the streets of K-W I'd tell you you've been smoking too much reefer. Ultimately, now that it's here my only thought now is as follows: Hamilton - what are you waiting for? And Congrats to Waterloo Region for making it possible.

Photographer:
Stephen C. Host [942] (more) (contact)
Date: 06/21/2019 (search)
Railway: Transit (search)
Reporting Marks: ION 507, 514 (search)
Train Symbol: ???? (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Central Station (search)
City/Town: Kitchener (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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11 Comments
  1. Agreed – the “a” line and “b” line would be wonderful but our short sighted (cheap) government keeps meddling to save a few bucks.

    Kitchener did it right. They built LRT on the side-streets in Kitchener because the main drag was already developed and narrow. This will intensify the periphery (sidestreets) and the main drag has their ‘life support’ during construction. I see more plots turning over in Kitchener with large highrises going up along Frederick on this trip.. it’s working.

    The short term pain is a long term gain – what everyone has to realize is the LRT is NOT for the current generation – it’s for the next and the next after that. It’s solely a planning tool to bring intensification, redevelopment, tax dollars for those generations – the existing residents will stay in their cars, and houses, but the next generation won’t…

    you have to start somewhere and transit is it. I hope the message is received loud and clear, I want Hamilton to succeed, ION is the model of success to base on now.

  2. Thanks, Mr. Host; for a report that is not sugar coated. The problems in Hambone are very real.
    I would have suggested they work some sort of LRT down that way, believe it or not, because even though there is not much doing on Barton; that means very little business would actually be disturbed. And as you say, developers would move in once they saw the renewed opportunity.
    This comes under the old adage: It takes money to make money.
    Sink some money in, and the benefits will follow.
    The original LRT plan was interesting, but the whole viable downtown would be rocked to its’ core with all the construction.

  3. Arnold.. the action is still there…. I drove down barton one night around 8 PM with a friend.. we saw someone shooting up on the street and 2 minutes later another using the grass as a public washroom.. in broad daylight..

    In reality Barton will become Canada’s ghetto (it’s damn close) if they don’t turn it around. Hamilton has a chance – without LRT it may as well become it.

    If they want intensification and people you have to attract the wealth, and they’ll be attracted to transit. REAL transit not fake bus crap or 2 trains a day out of the laughable “West Harbour” station. All day service is required and some form of LRT.

  4. Nice Steve. That shot certainly tells a story.

  5. Most interesting. Barton St needs all the help it can get……as in armed guards :o )
    When I was a kid Barton and King were such vibrant streets…..neat bars and where all the action was.
    Bars are still there, action not quite the same………….

  6. Apparently The Hammer is building a bunch of ‘World class’ sound studios on…ahem..Barton St. Not a rail subject but kind of ties in.

  7. Got a chuckle out of the caption….”Hamilton, what are you waiting for”???
    Hambone will never get anything off the ground. Not even the garbage and litter than is the predominant ‘attraction’.
    Real shame.

  8. Brad I have bad news for you…. it’s in the middle behind me, just splits at this station before downtown Kitchener whete they each take a different route. :)

  9. And next to the curb. Where they should be unlike Toronto.

  10. Nice. I’ll be doing an LRT photo shoot sometime…I guess I have time :)
    It is very great for K-W to have this.

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