In 1997, on the eve of the opening of the Spadina streetcar line, the TTC added a number of exposures at the beginning of its CLRVs rollsigns. These exposures covered both the Spadina route and the 508 Lake Shore streetcar.
In the year 2000, another streetcar route was about to be created, 509 Harbourfront. However, at this time the TTC decided that, rather than add route 509 exposures to the rollsigns on the streetcars, completely new rollsigns would be commissioned and installed.
At the time, a number of exposures were obsolete. Routes 521 and 522 were no longer going to be around. 507 Long Branch had disappeared in 1996. Wychwood was no longer a valid destination. All told, the CLRV rollsigns were full of obsolete exposures and quite long. The TTC wanted to clean things up, make the exposures more descriptive and relevant to passengers waiting to board, and have the drivers spend less time changing the rollsigns at the end of their routes.
Intriguingly, the blue background vanished for the Blue Night exposures. Although exposures remained for 301 Queen Night, 306 Carlton Night and 312 St. Clair Night (despite St. Clair Night being replaced by buses in March 2000), they featured white letters on black backgrounds, just like normal day routes.
The rollsigns were introduced to the CLRVs throughout the first half of the year 2000. By March, they were already somewhat obsolete when the 312 St. Clair Night service was converted to bus operation. Ironically, one of the routes which vanished from the rollsign made a comeback: 521 Exhibition East. A week before the opening of the 509 Harbourfront streetcar, the Molson Indy attracted large crowds to the Exhibition. As the 509 service was not ready to be opened, special cars were operated on the Church-King-Bathurst-Fleet route for the very last time. Although the TTC had designed a "504 Exhibition" exposure (meaning, literally, King-Exhibition), many operators did not remember to use it, choosing instead "509 Exhibition" for the westbound trip and "508 Church via King" for the eastbound trip.
In total, there were 116 exposures on the 2000 CLRV rollsign, 36 more than the original exposures received by the CLRVs in the late 1970s. Part of the reason for this larger number is the drive to supply every possible turning point along most routes with a rollsign (with the exception of 503 and 508, which get the fewest exposures of any route outside of the Blue Night Network). Obviously, a number of street names have been duplicated, which is the result of the CLRV using a single rollsign for both route and destination, unlike the PCCs before them.
Thanks to Ray Corley and George Davidson for supplying me with this information.
Click here to see a representation of one of the first CLRV rollsigns