1892 Toronto Railway Company's Map Showing Street Railway Lines

“This bird’s-eye view illustrates streetcar service provided by the Toronto Railway Company shortly after it took over operations in 1891. In spite of continued city growth, the company refused to extend its single-fares, build new lines or buy additional cars to service the area beyond the city limits of 1891. This inflexibility eventually led to the establishment of the publicly-owned Toronto Transportation Commission in 1921.”


There is a surprising amount of detail in this bird’s eye view -- at least for a transit map. Observe how the Don River has been straightened, while Garrison Creek has been buried. Route descriptions appear along the bottom. The depiction of smokestacks was artistically at the time a positive indicator of industrial progress.


Click the image to view a full-size version.

1892 Toronto Railway Company’s Map Showing Street Railway Lines

Toronto Railway Company’s Map Showing Street Railway Lines, 1892. Lithograph.
Image courtesy Toronto Public Librar: TRL, 970-16

“The Toronto Railway Company (TRC) was the first operator of horseless streetcars in Toronto.

Formed by a partnership between James Ross and William Mackenzie, a 30-year franchise was granted in 1891 to modernize transit operations after a previous 30 year franchise that saw horse car service from the Toronto Street Railways (TSR). At the end of the TSR franchise, the city ran the railway for eight months, but ended up granting another 30-year franchise to a private operator, the TRC. The first electric car ran on August 15, 1892, and the last horse car ran on August 31, 1894, to meet franchise requirements. There came to be problems with interpretation of the franchise terms, for the city. By 1912, the city limits had extended significantly, with the annexation of communities to the North, East and the West. 

After many attempts to force the TRC to serve these areas, the city created its own street railway operation -- the Toronto Civic Railways -- to do so, and built several routes. Repeated court battles did force the TRC to build new cars, but they were of old design. When the TRC franchise ended in 1921, the Toronto Transportation Commission [TTC] was created, combining with the city-operated Toronto Civic Railways lines.”

Toronto Railway Company (Wikipedia)


Bonus Map
The following map was published as part of a guidebook to Toronto, intended for visitors from the United States.

Click the image to view a full-size version.


Plan of the City of Toronto Showing Streetcar Lines, Canada Railway News Company, 1912.

Image via Illustrated Guide to Toronto by way of Niagara Falls (at end of book).

See Also
1892 Map of Toronto & Suburbs Shewing the Location of the Toronto Belt Line Railway

Bird’s Eye views
1870 Canadian Railway News Bird’s Eye View of Toronto
1876 PA Gross Bird’s Eye View of Toronto
1876 Gascard City of Toronto Bird’s Eye View from the Northern Railway elevator
1886 Wesbroom: City of Toronto [Bird’s Eye View]
1893 Barclay, Clark & Co. Bird’s Eye View Chromolithograph

Further reading
A Brief History of Transit in Toronto (start from section, ‘The First Stab at Public Ownership’

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