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New TTC map combines subway and streetcar routes

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 17, 2014

TTC route mapWhen the first of the new TTC streetcars hit the rails Aug. 31 a new map showing both streetcar and subway routes will begin to roll out. Historically, the TTC has resisted mixing streetcar and subway lines on its subway maps, partly for clarity. The current streetcars do not have maps, for reasons that aren't entirely clear.

"We wanted to make sure people understood where they were on the network relative to other major routes, like subways" says TTC spokesman Brad Ross. "If you're on the 501 you know that you're going to touch Queen and Osgoode stations, or the 504 or 505 are alternatives."

The map, available in full here, marks regular streetcar routes as thick red lines and limited service routes as dots. In order to use the map, a rider needs some knowledge of the road grid, because stops and city streets are left off entirely.

"Our streetcar network is an incredibly important one. We carry 250,000 people a day on it. With the new car, the size of the car, and the fact the operator is in a separate cab, the streetcar network map is really important to help customers navigate the system."

The TTC expects the map to be in all its streetcars in the next few months.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.



iSkyscraper / August 16, 2014 at 11:07 pm
Hole. E. Cow.

Could it be? Is it April 1? I've been asking for this for ten years. I'm stunned that someone at the TTC finally showed some common sense and did what a transit agency in ANY OTHER DAMN CITY IN THE WORLD would do, and put all the rail vehicles on one map. Whoa. The mind, it blows.

steve / August 17, 2014 at 08:59 am
Wow! Only took a half century.
I hope this is a new direction for the TTC a realization that real people use the system, not just volumes
Blair / August 17, 2014 at 09:02 am
What a ridiculous idea. Either show a map of the line you're on (with connections), or something that shows ALL surface transit routes. This is incomplete at best, and streetcar propaganda at worst.

That said, I'm all for surface transit that moves people efficiently, but if I have to go to the corner of Harbord and Ossington, or anywhere outside of the old City, this is useless.
Moaz Ahmad / August 17, 2014 at 09:14 am
The map is on a white background...another major change. Stop TTC ... with modern streetcars, a new platform at Union, those 9 proposals for better service, and this new map, you're becoming sensible all at once! It's too much to handle. Still love you though. Looking forward to a "New Era" for TTC. Cheers, Moaz
links / August 17, 2014 at 09:27 am
Here is one idea. Why not make the downtown relief line a dedicated light rail line on the existing street car streets. In Geneva Switzerland the streetcars are in the right hand lane making on and off super safe for pedestrians and keeping the traffic flowing in the left lane for cars. A toronto rush hour has a major issue with various vehicles's stopping in the right hand lane, I see it constantly every day. At times cars have no lane at all when stopped vehicles are blocking the right lane and streetcars get backed up. Having a dedicated light rail lane and a single car lane seems clearly better than today's rush hour nightmare. Am I naive to think this would be a better solution?

Would require construction but no where near the time and inconvenience a subway would require.Yes of course they'd be a lot less parking spaces on one major street, so maybe a parking hub or two would be required.

Yardl replying to a comment from links / August 17, 2014 at 09:47 am
We don't need a relief line. We need people to disperse outside of the core and create new cores. Relief line -ironically- will attract more people and density. There is no 'sweet spot' people will always overwhelm and destroy whatever you give them. New cores should be near hub malls - sherway, dufferin park/york u, scaboro town. These should have 2 subway lines, near highway access, and a GO train station that could upgraded. Stop getting sentimental for downtown core living - its ruining for everyone - Nice Map though.
W. K. Lis / August 17, 2014 at 09:59 am
Toronto is streetcars. About time the TTC shows us all how important streetcars are to the city. Now if only they can get the single-occupant automobiles out of the way.
Zi / August 17, 2014 at 10:12 am
Blair: look at the complete image at the link. It shows the streetcar routes in their entire glory.

Maybe the map isn't a street by street instructional map but it does show a good comparison of the subway and streetcar lines. Is it faster to go along the western line 1 to get to Dufferin or does a streetcar ride get closer to your destination along Dufferin. Bam! A quick look and you can sort it out.

Looks like a good map.
iSkyscraper / August 17, 2014 at 11:21 am
Note that my joy over seeing this mini-network map does not alleviate the need for a line map as well on each vehicle, something that pretty much every other rail transit vehicle in the world has over the door. Though the electronic announcements help with that somewhat...

In any case, it is clearly starting to snow a little in Hell, because now the TTC is also talking about two-way travel and timed fares, another thing streetcar riders have been asking for forever.

Getting out my binoculars to go look for flying pigs.
R.R. Martin / August 17, 2014 at 11:29 am
Streetcars are absolutely useless and slow. Toronto is unfortunately lagging about 40 years in public transit infrastructure. What good are new streetcars when speed of getting from point A to B remains the same?

Nothing at the TTC is Kaizen, or have the smallest hint of public improvement. Very little capability of constant improvement. Had the TTC been pro-active, I am confident the number of people drinking and driving would also decrease (even a drunkard would be able to ascertain that taking public transit for $6 to the bar and back, is much better than risking driving. However if there is no convenient transit, then heck, car it is).

Shame...and sadly enough nothing will change, until the city gets so bloated that people will have 3-4 hours commutes to Toronto.
Tasso / August 17, 2014 at 11:42 am
I think the best solution, relative to time and money, is reducing the streetcar stops and improving their speed (I trust the new cars will solve the latter), effectively turning them into an express line, while having a limited number of busses for those looking for non-express transport. Changing lanes, as suggested by a previous poster, will add marginal improvement for inflated cost and peeved motorists due to the construction time. Building an above-street solution (maglev?) as others have suggested in the past is a pipe dream for now. Converting the streetcar lanes into express transit provides the most service for people who use public transit, and if the ttc reduced the fares to be more competitive with other North American cities, I think they would also see an increase in revenue within a couple years.
Moaz Ahmad / August 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm
@links the streetcars run in the middle of the road because when they were added to the road 100 years ago they were the most important vehicles on the road...that and the fact that they have a big turning radius and Toronto's streets are narrow.
Moaz Ahmad / August 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm
@iskyscraper the TTC probably isn't putting strip/line maps on each streetcar because different vehicles are occasionally run on different routes. I suppose that the solution is having screens inside the vehicles that didplay the line map as appropriate...but that would cost money that the TTC probably doesnt want to pay.
Dan / August 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm
I don't get it. Why should i prefer streetcarsthan buses? It would be more useful to list buses here
Blair replying to a comment from Zi / August 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm
I'm not saying it's not a nice map; it certainly is. And yes, it shows the streetcars in all their Map-Not-To-Scale glory.

The point is that a streetcar-only map is useful only to streetcar fanpeople and not to the great unwashed who ride them and who might need to make a transfer onto some other form of surface transit (i.e. a bus).

One of the TTC's big problems has been its integration (or lack thereof) into the rest of the GTA's transit landscape. This thing advertises a silo within a silo and should be used only for postering the walls of people who've already painted them to look like vitrolite tiles.
Marisa / August 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm
I think it looks great. One of my biggest problems with the TTC is the lack of modernization so I think this is a really great step. It looks simple and easy to read, but I am extremely fimilar with the subway and streetcar routes so that may be my biased opinion. I hope to show this map to visitors of the city and see their thoughts.
Marisa / August 17, 2014 at 01:01 pm
Also, forgot to mention that the streetcar routes shown here should aboslutely be subway lines... But thats only a dream :(
Dee / August 17, 2014 at 02:58 pm
Why is the subway line truncated at St Clair and St Clair West?
Mitchell replying to a comment from Blair / August 17, 2014 at 03:42 pm
Which is why these are only shown on streetcars.
Aaron / August 17, 2014 at 03:54 pm
Replace the streetcar routes with subways and Toronto will have a kick-ass transit system.
stopitman replying to a comment from Yardl / August 17, 2014 at 05:59 pm
Yardl - Metro planning thought there'd be nodes dispersed outside of the downtown with tens of thousands of jobs. What happened 60 years later? Scarborough Town Centre is a failure, not much happened at Islington, North York Town centre is generally a bust, and Yonge & Eg has some jobs.

There is a very good reason why jobs stay downtown: efficiency of location - related businesses (banks, lawyers, advertising agencies, government, clients), local transit, intercity transit, amenities are all nearby.

The suburbs aren't suited for a high density of jobs, they're built incredibly inefficiently to handle rapid expansion and diversification of work along with the movement of goods and workers that those businesses depend on.
Krešimir Radić / August 17, 2014 at 06:13 pm
In the centre of the map, the 503/508 should be separate lines.
Miroslav Glavic / August 17, 2014 at 06:29 pm
There is an error on the map.

The 508 goes east on king, north on parliament, west on some street, south on church. Source:

Has the 508 loop changed?
Miroslav Glavic replying to a comment from stopitman / August 17, 2014 at 06:35 pm
stopitman, Actually suburbs CAN handle the grow. Not with your attitude that everything should be downtown.

Did you know Jack Layton wanted the growth to be in the suburbs and downtown be the quiet little village?

Scarborough has 2 regional bus terminals, 7 GO Train stations, 3 subway stations and 1 VIA Rail station.

Scarborough does have local transit, intercity transit, amenities are all nearby. You are just not able to see them.
Marc replying to a comment from stopitman / August 17, 2014 at 08:01 pm
You dont know Yonge and Eglinton.

You're not from here, are you?
iSkyscraper replying to a comment from R.R. Martin / August 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm
Get with it; I don't have time to educate every dolt who comes here to post some silly anti-streetcar rant. Modern cities build light rail, streetcars, commuter rail, airport links, BRT and, where possible, subways. Toronto's problem is that it does not have enough of all of these things, not an issue with any one mode in particular.
JP replying to a comment from Aaron / August 18, 2014 at 02:22 am

Considering the full DRL would be expected to cost $8 Billion, making all the streetcar routes into subways would cost what ... 50 or 60 billion dollars probably?

Build the DRL and make all day, 15-minute, electrified Go Service, and Toronto will be in pretty good shape.
KevinN / August 18, 2014 at 08:08 am
This actually makes a lot more sense. Ironically never realized that the majority of streetcars only go east west.

I don't know what took so long to have this come out.
Doug Ford / August 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Who is calling who a dolt? I CAN'T BE EDUCATED! You must be a commie activist riding a streetcar. Do you have your conductor's hat on? Choo choo! Chugachugga Choo choo!
Thomas / August 18, 2014 at 07:02 pm
Remember when Toronto had 4 times as many streetcar routes?
NYCC / August 18, 2014 at 08:31 pm
@stopitman Sorry, but you are wrong. All former cities can handle growth, some better then others. Scarborough Town Centre shot itself in the foot because it built a mall instead of a downtown setting where you can walk/live and get around outside. Doesn't mean they can't handle it. They actually have space to rezone areas. Toronto has no space left. Also, Downtown North York (not North York Town Centre) is a great example of planning. At the time they pushed for a downtown to compete with toronto. They did it well. Lots of jobs, places to walk/play great homes, safe area. They are also served by two subway lines, transit hubs at Yorkdale/Downsview, Finch, and Fairview Areas, GO Transit, Viva/YRT, etc. Look at NYC, Brooklyn, Queens etc. they all have their own cores and it works well.
Tom West / August 20, 2014 at 10:24 am
This is backwards step. Steetcars perform the same function as buses, and there's no reason to give a special map.
Darren / August 20, 2014 at 11:51 am
Why is the TTC using Bus routes for its rapid transit lines? Route 1-139 are BUS routes, according to the TTC's own internal route listings and has been since 1921. Since the subway was built, routes 600-699 are used for RAPID TRANSIT lines. A subway is NOT a bus route and should NOT be treated as such. If the TTC is putting rail lines on the same map, why not show the subway as a rapid transit route number instead of a bus route number
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