Sunday 9 June 2013

Toronto Transit Tour: History Along The 501 Queen Line

Since I first read about the 501 Queen Street streetcar line, I have wanted to travel the full length, from one end to the other. At 15.4 miles (about 25km), it is the longest streetcar line in North America and one of the longest in the world. In fact, the National Geographic named it one of the 10 Great Tram Rides of A Lifetime.

Today I got to do a version of that as Heritage Toronto did a bus tour version of the trip. Teena and I started at city hall and traveled to the Longbranch Loop. On the way, our tour guide Wayne Reeves, Chief Curator of Museum Services at the City of Toronto, told of us the history and many buildings along the way.  He was very interesting and a great speaker.

Once we reached Longbranch,  we took a few detours through the neighborhood and parks. It was very interesting a scenic. Teena and I plan to go back.

The bus was in constant motion with tinted windows so picturetaking was out of the question. Here are a couple of photos from the 'Net I dug up of the Longbranch Loop.


The trip from Neville Park to Longbranch takes a little over 90 minutes and passes through the old towns of Leslieville, Riverside, Corktown, Toronto, Parkdale, Brockton, Swansea, Mimico, New Toronto and Longbranch. We learned a little about them all.

We were told that the origin name of the loop at Neville Park was a mystery, as there never was a Neville Park. It turns out that at one time the tracks looped around the next western street over, Neville Park Boulevard, thus the name.

Here are some shots that I found on the net of the Neville Park loop.


We also took a side trip there through the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant that is at the Neville Loop. It was amazing piece of architecture and Teena and I plan to return for some picture taking. Again, another Internet photo.

It was a very interesting trip ... but I still want to do the streetcar trip myself!

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