The TTC gave residents and waterfront tourists a rare treat today — they ran both remaining restored Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) Streetcars on the 509 Harbourfront Line for Simcoe Day. Cars 4500 and 4549 were in operation on the busy route, delighting riders and turning heads of passing pedestrians and motorists.
As mentioned earlier on the Wire, after the devastating 1996 cuts to the TTC after the Conservative government cut all subsidies to municipal transit, all but two PCCs were disposed of. Five went to Kenosha WI, others to various museums. The ones retained were the first and last cars in a 50-car order in 1951, the last new PCCs purchased by the TTC (it did buy second-hand cars from several US cities later). These cars were restored to their original look, inside and out and fully rebuilt at Harvey Shops. The interior aqua and blue-green colours are almost as attractive as the original maroon-and-cream exterior.
This is certainly something the TTC should do more often when it can. This year, the PCCs were also out for Canada Day, so it might be something we see more often. Certainly San Francisco and Kenosha have used historic streetcars to draw tourists and develop their waterfronts. It should be natural for Toronto.