st clair streetcar

Toronto neighbourhood livid that streetcar will be replaced by buses for the next year

Residents of a Toronto neighbourhood are absolutely fuming today after learning that their streetcar line — which runs in a dedicated lane that necessitated years of messy construction — is being replaced by shuttle buses for an entire year.

The TTC shared the news on Monday, informing customers that the 512 St. Clair streetcar would no longer be operating between St. Clair Station and Gunns Loop as of this Sunday, September 3 — and won't be returning until Summer 2024.

The commission has chalked the diversion up to "various construction projects," which include upgrades to city watermains, TTC tracks and overhead components, the St. Clair West Station, and a Metrolinx rail bridge.

But locals are not having it, and are dreading the nightmare that the thoroughfare will inevitably soon become.

While replacement vehicles are set to run along the 7 km stretch every three minutes during rush hour, and every 6–10 minutes during non-peak hours, those who regularly commute on the busy line are already bemoaning having to ride a bus, which one called "the sole reason people hate public transit."

While the buses will eventually be able to use the centre streetcar lane, it will only be for portions of the route and only in one direction starting this fall.

This means transitgoers who have had the luxury of a priority streetcar lane for over a decade will find themselves bogged down in regular traffic. 

The 512 St. Clair is the eighth-busiest TTC bus or streetcar route based on the most recent figures from 2018, with an estimated 35,200 people using it daily as of that year.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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