Transit Toronto is sponsored by TransSee.ca bus tracker and next vehicle arrivals. TransSee features include vehicle tracking by route or fleet number, schedule adherence, off route vehicles and more advanced features. Works on all mobile devices and on any browser.
Supports Toronto area agencies TTC, GO trains, MiWay, YRT, HSR and GRT, as well as NY MTA, LA metro, SF MUNI, Boston MBTA, and (new) Barrie.

Toronto's Storm of '99

Storm

The 'Storm of 99' was actually two storms that hit Toronto in quick succession, dumping a total of 50 centimetres of snow within a week. Toronto was ill-prepared to handle the first snowfall, and the second just didn't help matters. The mayor took some criticism and ridicule from the rest of Canada for calling out the army, but there was chaos to be dealt with. In the case of the TTC, commuters were surprised to find that the open cut sections of the subway had to be taken off-line. The snow couldn't be cleared fast enough and trains were starting to get stranded without power. Buses had to be used to ferry passengers through closed sections of the subway and, as you would expect, confusion reigned.

Streetcars also had their share of problems. With snowbanks clogging parking lanes, inconsiderate people made matters worse by parking illegally on the streetcar tracks, backing up service. GO Transit also had its share of delays with slow roads and frozen switches. It took a couple of days for things to get back to normal. The TTC has responded to the problems uncovered by the snowfall with improved snowfighting equipment to keep the subways open, and promises of stricter enforcement of emergency no-parking zones.

With Winter 2000 rolling around, we thought we'd refresh memories by refreshing this web page. The original photos are by Aaron Adel, with new ones by Brad O'Brien.


Storm

A bus waits at a messy Eglinton Station Platform. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

The snow knocked the open sections of the subway out of service. A huge number of buses had to be called in to handle the crowds. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

Understandibly, it was at these points where most confusion reigned. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

The snow delayed the pick-up of one of the H1 cars due for the scrapyard. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

The Supervisor's cab at Yonge and Davisville shows that the supervisor is on duty to help keep the buses flowing. Why the supervisor's cab looks like it has been borrowed from the Hamilton Street Railway is not known. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

The subway right-of-way between Eglinton and Davisville. The clearing crews have the line almost free. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

Here, a T1 tests the cleared section in preparation for reopening the line. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

On January 16, as the storm itself was raging, Aaron braved the elements and trekked up to Wilson Carhouse and took these pictures of TTC workers trying to get the subway open. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

These two flyers due for rebuild were left to get covered by snow. There were too many other things that needed shovelling. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

The army was called out to help deal with the snow. Here are two trucks from nearby CFB Downsview. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

On the streets, these were some of the conditions faced. Very messy. Photo by Aaron Adel.

Storm

Streetcars had their own fare share of trouble, caused mostly by cars parking illegally on the street. The Spadina Streetcar didn't have this problem, but still had to deal with messy right-of-way. Here, CLRV 4013 turns at the foot of Spadina. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

CLRV 4040 trails behind snowfighting equipment on King Street. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

At King and Bay, CLRV 4061 picks up grateful passengers. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

CLRV 4063 cuts through the storm on King Street. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

CLRV 4094 pushes eastbound on Queen Street near Connaught Avenue. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

CLRV 4160 prepares to make a long snowy run across the city, starting from here at Main Station. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

CLRV 4120 pushes past the Royal Alexandria Theatre on King Street during a squall. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

Through for the day, CLRV 4098 wades through the snow towards Connaught Carhouse. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Storm

CLRV 4065 waits out the storm with other streetcars at Connaught Carhouse. Photo by Brad O'Brien.

Some in the rest of Canada chuckled over Toronto's handling of the Storm of '99. It didn't help that the Mayor flipped out, at one point, and said 'I'm terrified' on national television. However, you have to consider that Toronto was a city region of 5 million people, many of who were immigrants from warmer climes. Toronto is a different kettle of fish when it comes to weather such as this. Oh, well. At least Toronto has come away with a little bit of urban folklore to add to its repertoire. Ask around, and eventually somebody will tell you about how they survived 'The Storm of '99'...