A Toronto streetcar route that has not operated since the mid-1990s has been resurrected and will resume operation for the first time in almost three decades this month.
Starting on November 19, the TTC’s long-lost 507 Long Branch streetcar route will once again serve southern Etobicoke for the first time in a generation.
As of Nov. 19, the 507 Long Branch streetcar is back! For the first time since ’96, the 507 will operate every day until 10 p.m. between Long Branch Loop and Humber Loop. Customers can board from platforms on Lake Shore Blvd. For more information, visit: https://t.co/VgEsON9BMz pic.twitter.com/uEkDrHy53G
— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) November 14, 2023
The 507 Long Branch streetcar last operated in the mid-’90s, when the TTC merged the route into the 501 Queen — resulting in an extensive line linking Scarborough in the east with the border of Mississauga in the west.
The TTC’s Long Branch route has a surprisingly fascinating history that extends well before the line was officially created as a TTC route in 1935.
It was born as an interurban route — and was at one point the only TTC streetcar line that extended beyond Toronto’s city limits — however, the transit agency would opt to merge service with the Queen route, bypassing the Humber Loop to eliminate a transfer and better-connect local residents.
The last 507 streetcar ran in March 1995 when the route was officially folded into the 501 Queen, just shy of 60 years after it commenced operation.
However, there have been many efforts to revive the mothballed route over the years, and a series of studies, proposals and investments in the decades since have brought the route back into existence.
A temporary but unofficial restoration of the 507 — sans the route number — came in 2016 when the TTC split off the 501 at the Humber Loop, a change that came in response to a shortage of the now-retired ALRV streetcars, lasting until 2021.
The TTC has now announced that it will run the revived route between Long Branch Loop and Humber Loop every day until 10 p.m.
From 10 p.m. through 1 a.m., service will continue to be provided by the 501 Queen streetcar, while the 301 Queen overnight replacement bus will continue to operate between Long Branch Loop and Neville Park Loop, seven days a week.
The reinstatement of this route means passengers can once again travel transfer-free between the Long Branch Loop in Etobicoke and McCaul Street in downtown Toronto — and the end of replacement shuttle buses that have covered the 501L and 501M Queen routes due to construction.