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December 13th, 2017
All Aboard Kingston Road Radial Line is Born

All Aboard - Kingston Road Radial Line is Born



Source unknown. Possibly posted at a STOP or on the radial train.

The TTC was created in 1920 and took over the Kingston Road Radial Line, operating it until the 1930s. The increasing use and popularity of the automobile put the Radial Line out of business, with the final section between Birchmount Road and Eglinton Avenue closing in 1936. However, the old streetcar line was remembered in some of the stop numbers, such as the Stop 20 Plaza at Fenwood Heights. Until the completion of the Highway 401/Don Valley Parkway alternative in the 1960s, Kingston Road remained the principal route into the City of Toronto from points east, as reflected in its abundant supply of motels and gas stations.

The trip along Kingston Road starts at Victoria Park Avenue, STOP 0, and continue east through many numbered "Stops." These stop numbers might be no stranger to many, but for those who don't know, they're the transit stops on the former Kingston Road Radial line. Instead of naming the transit stops by street names, it was then named by stop numbers.

The old radial line transportation was an electric rail transit service that used cars somewhere in size between a streetcar and a heavy locomotive. In its early days, the Toronto region had five such lines "radiating" out from the city.

Kingston Road Radial was operated by the Toronto and York Radial Rail company. Starting in 1893 it ran as a single track from Queen Street to Blantyre, then it was extended to the Toronto Hunt Club in 1898 and continued extending in stages until it reached West Hill in 1906. The single track meant that cars operated in both directions on one track, using sidings at fixed locations on a strict schedule, when cars needed to pass.

Starting in 1921 the TTC gradually took over the route. TTC service ran on all or part of the line until 1936 - but the Stop numbers lived on in common use well into the 1970s. If you want to impress a longtime Scarborough resident, just refer to the Midland-Kingston intersection as "Stop 14", or mention R.H King Collegiate Institute as "Stop 17".

Stop 0 was Victoria Park Ave. at Toronto City limits. The passenger stops were originally numbered from Queen Street, then renumbered from Victoria Park Ave. At different times the transit service was lengthened or shortened, but in its heyday the line went all the way to West Hill at Stop 35.

Following these Stops can be fruitful, because many of them served historic private institutions like the Toronto Hunt Club, or hotels and taverns such as the Half Way House inn. Other Stops aligned with significant homesteads like the West family properties that were converted to Rosetta McClain Gardens.

Every Stop has a story, and we'll discover several of them throughout this publication. We hope this will inspire you to share your own stories of local marvels along Kingston Road and the Scarborough Bluffs.

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