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TTC opens its doors to transit history

May 24, 2023


This Sat., May 27, the TTC is giving the public a unique chance to experience the inner workings of North America’s third largest transit system, when it opens the doors to its McCowan Carhouse and Danforth Garage as part of Doors Open Toronto.

At the McCowan Carhouse, TTC fans will have a chance to look behind the scenes before Line 3 Scarborough is decommissioned later this year. And, more than a century of Toronto public transit history will be on display at the Danforth Garage, a site rarely open to the public.

“Doors Open Toronto is a great opportunity for transit fans to get an inside look at two TTC sites,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie. "Thank you to the TTC for working to open up the McCowan Carhouse and Danforth Garage. I encourage people to come out and explore this weekend."

“We are so pleased to once again host Doors Open Toronto events at the TTC,” said TTC Chair Jon Burnside. “We hope that visitors enjoy this unique opportunity to experience the size and complexity of TTC infrastructure and maintenance operations that keep Toronto moving every day.”

At the 4,146,000-square-foot McCowan Carhouse, Doors Open visitors will experience the full scale of TTC train maintenance operations, with an SRT car, wheels, axles, and snow-removal vehicles on display. The prefabricated metal maintenance facility was built for the Scarborough RT, the world's first intermediate-capacity transit system, and houses four tracks, including a giant train carwash.

At Danforth Garage, a vintage GM New Look bus and the all-new TTC e-bus will be on display, along with more than a century of public transit history. Originally called Danforth Carhouse, the Edwardian-style facility began servicing streetcars for Toronto Civic Railways in 1915, until 1921 when the TTC took over operations and introduced the new Peter Witt streetcars. After the Bloor-Danforth subway opened in 1966, the facility was converted to an all-bus garage, and it served in that capacity until 2002. Today, Danforth Garage is home to TTC heritage barns and serves as an office for subway operations.

“The TTC is proud to invite the public behind the scenes as part of Doors Open Toronto,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “We hope visitors will take the opportunity to explore Toronto’s transit history, and learn more about the evolution of transit, starting from the first streetcars and leading up to some of our newest eBuses that are on the road today.”

Doors Open visitors can go on self-guided tours and take photos of TTC trains and equipment. TTC staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and a BBQ lunch in support of the United Way will be held at both locations.

At Danforth Garage, there is one accessible entrance and no accessibility between levels. Accessible portable washrooms will be available. At McCowan Carhouse, everything is accessible at street level. There is no accessibility between levels and there are no public or accessible washrooms.

Date: Sat., May 27, 2023
Time: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last admittance at 4:30 p.m.)
Where: McCowan Carhouse, 1720 Ellesmere Road, M1H 2V5
Danforth Garage, 1627 Danforth Avenue, M4C 1H7

Doors Open visitors are encouraged to share their experience on social media using #DOT23.
 
I got a picture of the work at Main Street station today so far it looks like they are replacing the streetcar platform possibly to raise it to be level with the low floor cars.

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I also took a look at Kennedy and there isn't much going on yet to give more ideas about the plans for the new bus terminal
 
I got a picture of the work at Main Street station today so far it looks like they are replacing the streetcar platform possibly to raise it to be level with the low floor cars.
That seems unlikely to me, given they've already dug up the loop once since the low floor cars entered service.

I thought this was all about subsurface issues and the mezzanine?
 
That seems unlikely to me, given they've already dug up the loop once since the low floor cars entered service.

I thought this was all about subsurface issues and the mezzanine?
It looks like right now they are only removing the platform around where the streetcars pull up though. The last time they only did the tracks and put in the elevators however they are on the other side of the roadway and not actually under the platform.
 
It looks like right now they are only removing the platform around where the streetcars pull up though. The last time they only did the tracks and put in the elevators however they are on the other side of the roadway and not actually under the platform.
The elevators went in around a couple of decades ago. I thought the tracks were all rebuilt when they rebuilt the rest of the bus loop in 2019.
 
The elevators went in around a couple of decades ago. I thought the tracks were all rebuilt when they rebuilt the rest of the bus loop in 2019.
They only did the tracks and repaved the road in 2019 when they also did the new wiring they haven't really done anything major to be platforms which are pretty old at this point other than some minor changes or work when they did the elevators.
 
If it's just the platforms, I'm not sure why it's extending to September. The signage at Coxwell for the road construction says July.
 
The bus-side platforms were largely reconstructed in 2019; with the exception of the Dawes 23 platform which was not (despite having a large crack in it, which has since grown); but why ever finish a job as a complete thought, when a 1/2 effort results in perpetually more expenditure?

***

I'm not sure exactly what is or is not in scope here.

But wouldn't raising the streetcar platforms entail replacing all the doors into and out of the station? I assume it might also impact on drainage.
 
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Would it be possible to alter the City’s contract with the current Advertisement Company in charge of the TTC’s shelters to display bus/streetcar arrival times on their new LCD Ad-displays?

Example:
toronto-boldvu-bus-shelter.jpg

Source

I was thinking of showing next arrivals in a similar way to the format they use to display upcoming subway trains. Maybe devote 2-3 lines worth of text on the top end of the screen.
 
Would it be possible to alter the City’s contract with the current Advertisement Company in charge of the TTC’s shelters to display bus/streetcar arrival times on their new LCD Ad-displays?

Example:
toronto-boldvu-bus-shelter.jpg

Source

I was thinking of showing next arrivals in a similar way to the format they use to display upcoming subway trains. Maybe devote 2-3 lines worth of text on the top end of the screen.

It would likely represent a contract change; but there's no reason I can see, in theory, that it couldn't be done; I might add, I think it would work for the advertising agency as well, because putting information someone wants to look at on your screen draws eyes to your ad.
 
I just noticed this Advisory on TTC website: Red text highlighted by me.

Why the hell do these (I assume regularly scheduled) buses NOT appear on transit apps - the TTC really is whatever the opposite of customer-centric is!

More Convenient Commutes on King Street
Effective May 9, 2023



We are adding more buses to connect downtown and the east end via King Street.

The additional buses will run from King Street West and York Street to Queen Street East and Kingston Road. The 501 Queen eastbound and the 504 King westbound buses run every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, making it easy to get to your destination.

These buses will not appear on your transit-focused apps. However, please continue to check our website for the latest updates on our bus schedules and routes.
 
Still partying on York Street. Five buses sitting for the ten minutes I watched there today at 5:00 p.m..

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I waited for a 504 streetcar to show up for those ten minutes. None of those buses moved during that time.
 
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