It's 9 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, you're in Toronto, you've checked out but train time is not until 5:40. What would you do? Faced with that prospect a week ago, I made the obvious choice. Buy a TTC Day Pass and get ridin'! I especially wanted to ride as many streetcar routes as possible.
I bought the $13 pass from the fare collector at St Patrick station, and began a one-day odyssey that would eventually comprise 17 different rides - getting my money's worth, here! And not once was I asked for Proof-of-Payment. And I only had to present my pass a time or two. From St Patrick, it was down Line 1 Finch heading for Union Station.
Having checked my baggage at the subtly subterranean VIA baggage counter, I was a free man with pass in hand and camera in pocket. The idea quickly dawned on me to document each ride photographically and with route and car numbers. Riding the 509 to Exhibition Loop aboard Bombardier Flexity 4434, I awaited the bus protecting the 511 Bathurst streetcar route. Bus 1139 appeared after a few minutes:
We were off, heading north to King at Bathurst Sts. I wanted to get on another streetcar as soon as I could - I can ride buses in Kingston, after all! I boarded Flexity 4483, realizing it was going to the Dufferin Loop. I disembarked at King and Dufferin to board a Flexity continuing farther along the King route. Flexity 4517 arrived wearing a Mr Clean wrap. Some wraps I would see this day included Ripley's Aquarium, Coke and a few others that remained undocumented.
With the Flexity, any of the car doors can be accessed, which makes for quick embarking and disembarking. Hence the change to Proof-of-Payment on the TTC, like GO Transit. I was in the front car, just behind the driver as we approached CLRV's outside Roncesvalles carbarns. One can speak to the driver through the holey oval in the middle of this photo, while reading the sticker about one TTC operator being assaulted every day - zero tolerance. I was well-behaved, being a country mouse among all the city 'mouses'.
My next ride was the longest-lasting: the Queen streetcar which runs all the way from Humber College Lakeshore campus in the west to the Beaches in the east end of Toronto. This trip involved two CLRV trips each way - 501 to Humber Loop aboard 4085, then Humber Loop to Long Branch Loop. Westward on 4085-4189, staying aboard 4189 back-tracking east to Humber Loop. Lots of stop lights! An interior CLRV view early in the eastward return trip, taken from my back-row seat:
At Humber Loop, I boarded Flexity 4498 but disembarked at Queensway and Ellis to catch the trailing 4496 (below) which was not as full, riding it to through downtown to Queen at Bellefair in the Beaches (or the Beach, as it is often referred to).
While in the Beach, I rode to the end of the line at Neville Loop before returning west as far as Bellefair, where I visited the neighbourhood Tims for a bagel break before boarding the 501 Humber, continuing west until disembarking at Broadview Avenue:
Continuing back towards downtown aboard CLRV 4089, I transferred to the King- Dufferin Gate route on Flexity 4477. This was a quick, fast-moving trip across downtown. At King and Spadina, I left the King car as it continued on to Dufferin Gate. Note the photographic impossibility of capturing the Flexity's digital route sign lettering!
Flexity 4477 headed west as Mr Clean headed east as I disembarked (above). My next two routes to ride were the 510 Spadina and 504 King. I would ride the subway between them a few stops west, eschewing the 511 Bathurst route, since it was likely buses.
Spadina-bound Flexity 4456 (above) paused for traffic before coasting to the stop at King and Spadina, flanked by northbound and southbound traffic on Spadina. The car interiors are interesting, letting in lots of light, with higher seating over the trucks, and lower, handicapped-accessible seating by the doors. I even saw one baby stroller 'rolled' up to the low floor. Near the back of the five-section car, there were no standees on any of my trips:
Having ridden the Route 2 Kipling subway aboard car 5364 from Spadina Station to Dundast West Station, I came above ground to board the 504A King, heading back toward Spadina Avenue. There was a line of buses covering the 505 route, but Flexity 4457 squeaked its way around the loop departing Dundas West past a waiting bus:
Getting closer to train time, it was time to head back toward Union Station. At King and Spadina, I boarded another Flexity, 4491. It only went as far as the Queens Quay loop (below) so I had to hop off...
All in all, a cost-effective way to ride a variety of equipment and see some interesting sights! Do you know how many Vape shops and Shoppers Drug Marts there are along my routes? I don't either, but there were a lot!! Here's a postscript showcasing some out-the-window views taken along the way.
Did you know Kingston Transit has a one-day pass for 8 bucks? Hmmmmm.
Aboard the TTC, not only was I channelling the Shuffle Demons' sax-saturated hit Spadina Bus, I was also channelling the Guess Who's straight-up rock'n'roll rollercoaster Bus Rider:
Get up in the morning, get on the bus/Get up in the morning like the rest of us
Places to go, important people to meet/Better not get up or you might lose your seat
I've heard of the Song that Never Ends, but this is the Car That Never Leaves. Click the link to read more.