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History Roads Toronto Transit

The story of Stop 17

Kingston Road is one of Toronto’s oldest and most important thoroughfares. Sections of the road were first laid out by Asa Danforth in 1799, though a straighter, more direct route was established by the early 1800s. By the 1830s, it was a busy stagecoach route, connecting Toronto with Cobourg, Belleville, and Kingston. As Toronto grew […]

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History Infrastructure Maps Ontario Roads

One hundred years of Ontario’s provincial highways

On February 26, 1920, Ontario’s provincial highway network was born. That year, 16 highways were established across southern Ontario, between the Ottawa and Detroit Rivers. These highways, previously maintained by townships and counties, connected the province’s largest cities and provided important links to Quebec and the United States. In 1925, these highways were assigned numbers […]

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History Toronto Transit

The story of Toronto’s streetcar “bull’s eyes”

Replica of Toronto Railway Company streetcar #327 operates at the Halton County Radial Railway museum, with the unique glass bulbs visible below the metal “Belt Line” sign. Photo taken June 2012 In 1891, the Toronto Railway Company (TRC) was created, taking over the city’s streetcar system from its predecessor, the Toronto Street Railway. The TRC […]

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Brampton History Maps Transit

Brampton Transit’s evolution from a laggard to a leader

For TVO this week, I discuss Brampton Transit’s impressive ridership growth. In the last five years, Brampton Transit has bucked the trend of stagnant ridership numbers encountered elsewhere in the Greater Toronto Area and North America in general. I argue that Brampton’s success in improving transit ridership comes from sustained investment over many years, the […]

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Canada History Travels

A visit to New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

New Glasgow City Hall After our wedding, we went away to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I’ve been to Halifax and the Annapolis Valley once before, in April 2004, but I’ve never been to Cape Breton (which has become one of my favourite places in Canada), or PEI. It was a wonderful trip. We […]

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History Parks Toronto Walking

Exploring Earl Bales Park

View from the top of the ski hill at Earl Bales Park Last Sunday afternoon, I went for a walk around Earl Bales Park. The large, multiuse green space is located near the corner of Bathurst Street and Sheppard Avenue in North York; it also descends into the West Don Ravine. It was a delight […]

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History Toronto Transit

Hallam Street and the Harbord Streetcar

Hallam Street looking east from Dufferin Street, January 2017 Hallam Street, which runs east-west from Shaw to Dufferin, north of Bloor Street, is unusually wide for such a quiet, short road. Hallam Street doesn’t provide a convenient thoroughfare for motorists, and nearly every storefront is either vacant, or converted to other uses. Despite being located in […]

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History Toronto Transit

Mapping Toronto’s street railways in the TTC era (1921-2016)

Yonge Street at St. Clair Avenue, 1922. The TTC was busy in its first few years joining together the various street railway systems together and expanding services. Here, work is underway to extend city streetcar service to Glen Echo Loop and connect with the former Toronto Civic Railway’s St. Clair line.  City of Toronto Archives […]

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History Maps Toronto Transit

Mapping Toronto’s streetcar network: The age of electric – 1891 to 1921

In 1891, after obtaining a new 30-year franchise, the Toronto Railway Company went to work electrifying Toronto’s streetcar system.