New Canadiana Gallery: Harvey Yards

A selection of photographs taken inside the Harvey Shops (called “Harvey Yards” in the Open Doors Toronto brochure I had). It was an amazing place, and brought home just how complicated running the TTC is, having to support equipment of many models and ages. The TTC actually makes parts for much of its fleet, as the manufacturers no longer do so!

From the TTC website:

When the Toronto Transportation Commission took over streetcar operations from the Toronto Railway Company, the top priority was updating and repairing the dilapidated network. The tracks, streetcars, and even many of the TRC's buildings had been allowed to deteriorate as the end of that company's charter approached. The Toronto Railway Shops on Front Street between George and Sherbourne had been built in 1882 (by the Toronto Street Railway, the precursor to the TRC) to construct, repair, and store small horse cars and were now totally inadequate for the new equipment the TTC hoped to receive. Worse, the TRC's maintenance facilities weren't all located in the George Street shops, but were scattered across several properties on Front Street between Yonge and Sherbourne. Rather than rebuild these shops, the TTC decided to replace them outright with a single complex. This would give the TTC a truly modern facility, and consolidating these operations would improve efficiency.
The property that became the site of the new complex was, at the turn of the twentieth century, part of a 23-acre farm. Twelve years later, the Toronto Driving Club leased the southern portion and set up the Hillcrest Race Track. This venture lasted for only a few years. In 1921, the TTC was able to purchase this property to construct the modern and spacious new facility. The site was chosen because it was close to the geographic centre of the city, and thus would be close to the centre of all of the streetcar network that the TTC hoped to build.
After three years of construction, the new facility was ready. The equipment was moved to Hillcrest starting on March 13, 1924, and the old TRC facility was slowly abandoned. The Motor Shops were moved on March 14, followed by the Rolling Stock Department on April 16. The Emergency Section was moved from its offices on Scott Street on May 13, and the School of Instruction and the Roadmasters' offices followed on June 9. Once the move was complete, the rebuilding of the aging TRC fleet could occur in earnest.
The shops boasted the most up-to-date facilities. Maintenance bays were well spaced to allow work on one vehicle to continue without hampering work in the next bay. A transfer table moved streetcars from the entrance track to the various bays. In 1925,
Davenport Garage opened at the north end of the site, adding a full-facility bus garage and two 10,000-gallon gasoline storage tanks to the site.
Links and Things
Not many links at the moment — this is mostly here because otherwise the page doesn't display a scroll bar. As long as I need a sidebar, though, I'll mention a great photoprinting place (at least if you're in Canada):

Decent prices, great products, and good service. They only deliver in Canada, though.
© 2012 Robert Prior