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Visions for Toronto Transit in 1960

If you love or if you loathe the TTC and the state of traffic on our streets and highways, I urge you to find 30 minutes of your time to learn a little more about how our current transit system evolved.

Back in 1960, Toronto was dealing with a transit crisis. Roads were congested, the TTC was in desperate need of expansion, funding was meager, and the debates about how to deal with the growing transit problems were abounding.

And now, almost 50 years later, we're facing similar challenges and having similar debates.

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Amongst the nearly 12,000 video and audio clips within the newly updated CBC Digital Archives collection, this incredible 30 minute in-depth video report from 1960 is more than fun and fodder for Toronto history and transit geeks.

It's a history lesson in Toronto transit, and if what they say about history is true (that it repeats itself), it makes me wonder if any of our current visions can/will ever be realized.

Projections that were possible but were never realized (which would today be much closer to impossible) include a Queen Street Subway line joining Roncesvalles to the Danforth; the Spadina Arterial Highway and RT, along with an extension of highway 400 deeper into the core; and an east/west Crosstown Expressway.

Can you imagine how different your daily getting around would be if any or all of these concepts actually came to fruition?

Image: Screencap of 'Crisis on Wheels' -- special report on Toronto transit, from The CBC Digital Archives Website.

UPDATE: Also check out this exciting music clip of The Toronto Subway Song, recorded in 1950.


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