Jack Doyle's Last Charter of 1999 (December 5)

Photos and Text by: James Bow

It rained for Jack Doyle's annual Christmas Charter, but it did not dampen the spirits of the many in attendance. Jack had a high turnout for his charter of PCC 4500 on Sunday, December 6. Railfans were treated to interesting skies and wet scenery from coziness of the inside of a streetcar. The photo-shoots gave viewers something different from the typical blue skies and sunny days.

The charter celebrated the return of the two remaining TTC PCCs to active charter service. As part of these celebrations, we had two special guests on the charter: one Mike Filey, Toronto historical columnist for the Toronto Sun, and Joe Mihevc, Toronto City Councillor who helped spearhead the drive to preserve the cars. After the initial pick-up and tour was made, speeches were given, everybody clapped, and the rest of the charter proceeded.


Charter

Although the pick-up point of the Charter was Dundas and Bond Streets, some railfans gathered at Connaught Carhouse to help get the PCC ready for its day on the road. Here, the historical rollsign is being loaded.

Charter

Here's Brad O'Brien, happy to be on yet another streetcar charter. It was overheard here that a modest three-track shed would be built in Connaught Carhouse to house the two PCCs and the Peter Witt, protecting them from the elements and maintaining their state of good repair. The news was greeted with enthuiasm by those in attendance.

Charter

Councillor Mihevc makes a speech congratulating everyone on the success of preserving the PCCs for another generation. Mike Filey looks on.

Charter

Finally, our driver is honoured. A veteren of charters and a veteren of streetcar driving in general, his soon-to-retire present was a model of a CLRV done up for King Night service, a favourite haunt of his.

Charter

After taking a circuit around the downtown and letting off our dignitaries, we made a run for Bingham Loop. Along the way, we stopped at the newly renovated Queen-Kingston Road intersection, and took this shot of the streetcar in the left-turn only lane.

Charter

At Bingham Loop, a favourite railfan spot, a KINGSTON ROAD-COXWELL sign was pulled up, while a bus doing the modern equivalent of this run rolled past us.

Charter

After we left Bingham Loop, PCC 4500 trundled down Kingston Road. There was a brief photo stop at Woodbine Avenue, by the graveyard of the old village of Norway.

Charter

Our next stop was Woodbine Loop, where a short-turning Queen car was waiting for us.

Charter

Our lunch stop was at McCaul Loop. Where the railfans took advantage of many nearby restaurants for their noon meal, some took some good time-exposed shots of the lit-up PCC inside the dark loop.

Charter

With lunch over, we decided to head north on McCaul Street for a stop at Spadina Station. The problem is, being inside McCaul Loop, we could only head back south to Queen Street... Unless... Pat Lavallee keeps an eye on the trolley pole as the streetcar is backed out of McCaul Loop and onto the northbound tracks.

Charter

Our next stop was Spadina Station. After letting the railfans off on the platform to get a shot of the PCC entering it, 4500 circled around using the loop-the-loop tracks. A quick photo shoot was taken inside the loop.

Charter

Our next stop was the scenic and always popular High Park Loop, where we captured PCC 4500 from a variety of angles...

Charter

...some more unique than others.

Charter

After High Park, we looped around Lansdowne to return to Roncesvalles Avenue for a special and carefully supervised visit to Roncesvalles Carhouse. Here was a shot taken at the first stop, near the north end of the barn.

Charter

Another brief photo shoot was taken at the southwest corner of Roncesvalles Carhouse. Then we headed west to Long Branch Loop.

Charter

At Long Branch, we pulled onto the passing siding and snapped a number of photos while we waited for the service car to pull out.

Charter

Most of the Long Branch photos were taken on the passing siding. Personally, I find that the waiting shelter offers a lot more character to the shots.

Charter

With the charter drawing to a close, we returned along Lake Shore Boulevard towards our last photostops of the day. This brief one at Humber Loop was one of them. Though brief, it offered a lot of extra equipment to capture on film.

Charter

One of our last stops was Exhibition East Loop. With the rain and darkness setting in, those with tripods and slow shutter speeds were rewarded with some great shots.

Charter

Our last stop, before returning to the carhouse, was to the Harbourfront Line and Queens Quay Station. There, in anticipation of the new Harbourfront streetcar line opening in the summer of 2000, a special rollsign was brought up.

Special thanks go to Jack Doyle for organizing a charter that was so good, the rain and the clouds served only to heighten the effect. What a great way to close out 1999. Here's to more charters in the new year.