ttc streetcar

Someone just bought a TTC streetcar for their farm

Dreams really do come true, my friends, if your dreams involve having a TTC streetcar in your own backyard (and whose dreams don't?)

A 24-year-old transit enthusiast just proved this for certain by buying one of Toronto's iconic and recently-decommissioned CLRVs, better known to most as "the old streetcars."

After 40 years of service, which ended in December of 2019 when the last of its kind was taken off the road, CLRV 4187 will be given a happy afterlife on the young man's family's farm in Princeville, Ontario.

Alex Glista, who just graduated from Dalhousie University with a Masters degree in urban planning, won the vehicle in an online auction for the TTC's minimum bidding price of just $3,400.

Glista was, somehow, the only bidder. In fact, only six of the 10 streetcars put for sale by the TTC were purchased: Two by the Halton County Radial Railway Museum and three to what The Toronto Star called "a recycler."

The remaining four will be scrapped, leaving the TTC with just four of the original CLRVs in its fleet of what was once roughly 200 old streetcars (two of which will be preserved as legacy pieces and two of which will be converted into work cars.)

Glista told The Star that it cost him about $8,000 in total to procure his own piece of Toronto history, after taxes and the cost of transporting a 22,600 kilogram vessel from the TTC's Russell Carhouse on Queen Street East to the family farm, which is roughly 2 hours northwest of downtown Toronto by car.

While he admitted that it wasn't a cheap purchase for someone his age, and that he had some help from his dad and savings from academic scholarships, the young man says he is "thrilled to have saved CLRV 4187 from the scrap heap."

CLRV 4187 is the last old streetcar to leave Toronto, acccording to TTC spokesperson Stuart Green, who congratulated Glista on the purchase Friday, saying that "it will live as a monument to our transit past."

The buyer himself isn't exactly sure on what he'll do with the streetcar yet, aside from preserving it, though he and his father have already installed a short section of track on their property to accommodate the vehicle.

What he won't be doing is altering the interior or converting the streetcar into some sort of hipster restaurant.

After thoroughly enjoying the streetcar experience while working in Toronto for many summers, Glista told The Star that his ultimate goal with the purchase was merely to "save" the CLRV and give it "a home where it's loved after all it's done for the city."

Lead photo by

Malcolm MacPherson


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