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McCaul Street Track Reconstruction (Summer 1990)

Text by James Bow; pictures by James Bow, except where noted.

The home where I did most of my growing up was located on McCaul Street. Close to the corner of College and University, this street was something of a last bastion of residential surroundings standing firm against an onslaught of downtown construction. McCaul Street had lost the entire eastern half of its houses, and the growing hospitals played havoc with our television reception. It was a good place to get sick, though, with all that medical attention so close at hand.

It also boasted operating streetcar tracks across its entire length, from Queen Street to College. Perhaps this was one reason why I grew up so fascinated with streetcars, or perhaps I only appreciated the tracks because I was fascinated with streetcars; either way, I thought it was very cool. Occasionally a streetcar would trundle past the front window. My only regret was that I didn't live on a street where streetcars passed more regularly. More than once, I wrote to the TTC suggesting that the 502 Downtowner car be extended up McCaul, but I was young and naive then.

McCaul Street's track was pretty old. I clearly remember some of it possessing cobblestone insets, as the TTC used to have, but gradually replaced throughout the 1970s (today, the only piece of trackage remaining with cobblestone insets may well be Dundas Square at Victoria Street). It needed to be replaced and, finally, in 1989, the section between Dundas Street and College was taken up and relaid. This fortunately coincided with the gift of my first camera. When the TTC decided to replace the aging track I decided to use a whole roll of film to log this special event. This is the record I have.


McCaul Street Track Reconstruction Image Archive

And there you have it: track that's good as new. In fact, it *is* new!

For more information on the TTC's Surface Rail Grinders, click here.