Canadian Street Railways

by David A. Wyatt

[version=28 November 2011]
Each city street railway system, and each interurban electric railway system, is listed with the start and end dates for revenue passenger operation. In some cases electric railway freight operation continued after passenger service was discontinued. Closing dates reflect the last day of scheduled service, even if that schedule extended past midnight into the early morning hours of the next day.

"*" indicates interurban company also operating city streetcar service.

">" indicates last service day extended after midnight into the next calendar day.

(Corrections and additions are gratefully accepted.) EMail to:

dawwpg@shaw.ca

Urban Systems

CitySystemPeriod of Operation
1. Belleville, Ontario
Belleville Traction Co 8 (NA PA-167045)
Animal railway23 May 1876 - 26 November 1891
Electric railway03 August 1895 - 12 September 1901
2. Brandon, Manitoba
Brandon Municipal Ry car (Wpg Tribune Coll.)
Electric railway 02 June 1913 - 30 April 1932 [22]
[22] Electric railway service suspended 15 August 1931 - 01 October 1931.
3. Brantford, Ontario
Brantford Street Railway streetcar
Animal railway04 September 1886 - 1893
Electric railway31 March 1893 - 30 September 1932,
09 January 1933 - 31 January 1940
4. Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary streetcar (davesrailpix collection)
Electric railway05 July 1909 - 29 December 1950
Electric railway (heritage)summer 1975 - present (summer seasons)
Electric light rail transit25 May 1981 - present
Diesel light rail transit11 April 1996 - August 1996
5. Chatham, Ontario.
Chatham Street Railway horsecars
Animal railwaylate 1885? - 29 March 1890,
late June 1891 - 1895?
6. Cornwall, Ontario.
Cornwall Street Railway, Light and Power Company, Cornwall, Ontario (W.E. Miller)
Electric railway07 July 1896 - 27 July 1949 [3]
[3] Electric railway freight operation continued until 09 October 1971.
7. Edmonton, Alberta.
Edmonton Streetcar (DavesRailPix)
Electric railway30 October 1908 - 01 September 1951>
Electric railway (heritage)14 June 1997 - present (summer seasons)
Electric light rail transit23 April 1978 - present [4]
[4] Employees were carried on free rides 17 April 1978, and the public was carried free 18-20 April 1978. Formal opening ceremonies were held 22 April 1978.
8. Guelph, Ontario.
Guelph Radial Railway (W.E. Miller)
Electric railway17 September 1895 - 30 September 1937 [5]
[5] Electric railway freight operation continued until 26 May 1939.
CitySystemPeriod of Operation
9. Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Halifax birney streetcar (davesrailpix collection)
Animal railway11 June 1866 - 17 May 1876,
21 October 1886 - 31 May 1896
Electric railway12 February 1896 - 29 April 1949>
10. Hamilton, Ontario.
Hamilton Street Railway Co., Hamilton, Ontario (W.E. Miller)
Animal railway15 May 1874 - 1893
Electric railway02 July 1892 - 06 April 1951
11. Hull (Gatineau), Québec.
Hull streetcar at Main and Bridge
Electric railway1895 - 06 December 1946
12. Kingston, Ontario.
Kingston Portsmouth & Cataraqui car 11
Animal railway09 May 1877 - 08 November 1894 [7]
Electric railway26 September 1893 - 04 March 1930 [8]
[7] Formal opening ceremonies held 24 May 1877.
[8] Formal opening ceremonies held 23 September 1893.
13. Kitchener - Waterloo, Ontario.
Kitchener-Waterloo (W.I. Miller/W.E. Miller)
Animal railway13 June 1889 - 1895
Electric railway18 May 1895 - 27 December 1946
14. Lake Louise, Alberta.
Lake Louise Tramway
Gascar railway1912 - 1930 (summer seasons)
15. Lethbridge, Alberta.
Lethbridge Streetcar
Electric railway17 August 1912 - 08 September 1947
16. Lévis, Québec. Electric railway 08 December 1902 - 24 November 1946 [42]
[42] Service suspended 23 February 1921 - 12 April 1922.
17. London, Ontario.
London Street Ry Co. streetcar 146
Animal railway24 May 1875 - circa May 1896
Electric railway12 September 1895 - 27 November 1940 [9]
[9] Formal closing ceremonies held 30 November 1940.
18. Moncton, New Brunswick. Electric railway 11 August 1896 - 11 December 1897,
30 November 1911 - 31 December 1931
19. Montréal, Québec. Animal railway27 November 1861 - October 1894
Electric railway21 September 1892 - 30 August 1959
20. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Moose Jaw streetcar corner of High and Main (postcard)
Electric railway 04 September 1911 - 08 October 1932 [10]
[10] Formal opening ceremonies held 19 August 1911.
CitySystemPeriod of Operation
21. Nelson, British Columbia.
Nelson Electric Tramway Company, Nelson, B.C. (B.C. Archives)
Electric railway27 December 1899 - 27 April 1908,
08 November 1910 - 20 June 1949 [21]
Electric railway (heritage)01 July 1992 - present (summer seasons)
[21] Electric railway service suspended 21 December 1910 - 21 June 1911.
22. Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto [Niagara Falls] 307 on Queen Street 1945
Animal railway 06 December 1886 - 1900
Electric railway15 August 1900 - 26 November 1947
23. Oshawa, Ontario. Electric railway13 June 1895 - 28 January 1940 [11]
[11] Electric railway freight operation continued until 27 June 1964. Formal closing ceremonies held 02 July 1964.
24. Ottawa, Ontario.
Ottawa streetcar (davesrailpix collection)
Animal railway21 July 1870 - Fall (September?) 1893
Electric railway29 June 1891 - 30 April 1959 [12]
Diesel light rail15 October 2001 - present [45]
[12] Formal closing ceremonies held 02 May 1959.
[45] O-Train service suspended 27 April 2013 - 02 September 2013.
25. Peterborough, Ontario. Electric railwayAugust 1893 - late 1898,
1902 - 31 March 1927
26. Québec, Québec. Animal railway17 August 1865 - 1898
Electric railway20 July 1897 - 25 May 1948>
27. Regina, Saskatchewan.
Regina streetcar (davesrailpix)
Electric railway28 July 1911 - 09 September 1950>
28. Ridgeway - Crystal Beach, Ontario.
Ontario Southern Railroad
Battery electric monorailcirca 15 July 1896 - end of summer 1897 (summer seasons)
Electric monorailsummer season 1898
29. St. Albert, Alberta
Edmonton Interurban Railway gascar
Interurban gascar railway30 September 1913 - 01 April 1914
30. St. Catharines, Ontario.
Early St. Catharines electric Streetcar
Animal railway01 November 1879 - 1887
Electric railwaySeptember 1887 - 07 May 1948
31. Saint John, New Brunswick. Animal railway24 August 1869 - early 1876,
17 October 1887 - early May 1893
Electric railway12 April 1893 - 07 August 1948
CitySystemPeriod of Operation
32. St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador.
St. Johns birney car 12 (1925)
Electric railway01 May 1900 - 15 September 1948
33. St. Stephen, New Brunswick.
Calais streetcar
Electric railway04 July 1894 - 31 October 1929
34. St. Thomas, Ontario.
St. Thomas Street Ry c1900 (Elgin Co. Archives)
Animal railway1879 - 1898
Electric railway16 June 1898 - 15 February 1926
35. Sarnia, Ontario.
Sarnia Street Ry horsecar
Animal railway1875 - 1901
Electric railwayJanuary 1901 - 25 February 1931
36. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Electric railway01 January 1913 - 10 November 1951
37. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
International Transit Co. [Sault Ste. Marie] streetcar 221
Electric railway30 March 1903 - 01 November 1941
38. Sherbrooke, Québec.
Sherbrooke Ry and Power streetcar 19
Electric railway01 November 1897 - 31 December 1931
39. Sudbury, Ontario.
Sudbury streetcar (davesrailpix)
Electric railway11 November 1915 - 01 October 1950
40. Sydney, Nova Scotia. Electric railway1901 - October 1931 (40. Sydney)
07 January 1908 - 1938 (41. Glace Bay)
1903 - 1929 (42. North Sydney - Sydney Mines)
43. Thunder Bay, Ontario. [39]
Port Arthur Civic Ry Fort William Street Ry
Electric railway02 March 1892 - 15 February 1948 (43. Port Arthur)
01 June 1893 - 16 October 1948 (44. Fort William)
[39] Separate cities of Port Arthur and Fort William merged to form Thunder Bay 01 January 1970. Electric street railway operated as a single system 1892 - 1908 and then by joint commission 1908 - 1913.
45. Toronto, Ontario. Animal railway11 September 1861 - 31 August 1894 [14]
Electric railway16 August 1892 - present [15]
[14] Formal opening ceremonies held 10 September 1861.
[15] Formal opening ceremonies held 15 August 1892.
46. Trois-Rivières, Québec.
Three Rivers Traction Co [Trois-Rivières] tram c1930 (BAnQ, Centre d'archives de Québec, Collection Magella Bureau)
Electric railway11 December 1915 - 12 September 1933
CitySystemPeriod of Operation
47. Vancouver, British Columbia
BCER [Vancouver] 428 PCC streetcar (CVA586-378)
Electric railway28 June 1890 - 21 April 1955> [16] (47. Vancouver)
07 October 1891 - 05 December 1938 (48. New Westminster)
01 September 1906 - 23 April 1947 (49. North Vancouver)
Electric railway [43] (heritage)29 July 1998 - end of summer 2011 [43] (summer seasons)
[16] Formal opening ceremonies held 26 June 1892. Formal closing ceremonies held 24 April 1955.
[43] Between 21 January and 21 March 2010 much of this line was operated by modern LRVs as the “Olympic Line” demonstration LRT.
50. Victoria, British Columbia.
Victoria open streetcar in the 1890s (B.C. Archives)
Electric railway22 February 1890 - 03 July 1948> [17]
[17] Formal closing ceremonies held 05 July 1948.
51. Welland, Ontario. Electric railwayJanuary 1912 - 04 July 1930 [18]
[18] The government publication Canada Yearbook, 1931 erroneously records the last day of operation as 30 June 1930.
52. Windsor, Ontario. Animal railway20 July 1874 - Autumn 1877,
May 1878 - circa 1893
Steam dummyAutumn 1877 - May 1878
Electric railway06 June 1886 - circa 1890,
15 August 1891 - 06 May 1939 [19]
[19] Formal opening ceremonies held 03 June 1886. Public carried free 03 June - 05 June 1886.
53. Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Winnipeg Electric Co 360 at Redwood Bridge
Animal railway20 October 1882 - June 1894
Electric railway27 January 1891 - 18 September 1955 [20]
[20] Formal closing ceremonies held 19 September 1955.
54. Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.
Whitehorse heritage tramway
Diesel-electric railway (heritage)15 July 2000 - present (summer seasons).
55. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
yarmouth-001.jpg
Electric railway26 August 1892 - 20 October 1928


Interurban Systems

InterurbanSystemPeriod of Operation
1. Brantford and Hamilton [Ontario] Interurban electric railway21 December 1907 - 30 June 1931
2. British Columbia Electric * [British Columbia]
BCE interurban 1313 (RailPictures.Net/John F. Bromley coll.)
2. Lower Mainland lines
Interurban electric railway03 June 1891 - 27 February 1958> [24]
3. Saanich Division, Vancouver Island
Interurban electric railway 19 June 1913 - 31 October 1924> [23]
[23] Formal opening ceremonies held 18 June 1913.
[24] Limited service began 03 June 1891.
4. Chatham, Wallaceburg and Lake Erie [Ontario]
Chatham, Wallaceburg and Lake Erie #8 (circa 1913)
Interurban electric railway20 November 1905 - 02 July 1927 [25]
[25] Electric railway freight operation continued until 01 March 1930.
5. Grand River [Ontario]
Grand River Railway, Cambridge - Kitchener, Ontario (W.E. Miller)
Interurban electric railway26 July 1894 - 23 April 1955 [26]
[26] Electric railway freight operation continued until 01 October 1961.
6. Grand Valley [Ontario]
Grand Valley Ry 50 at Brantford circa 1910
Interurban electric railway12 March 1903 - 15 June 1929
7. Hamilton and Dundas [Ontario] Steam dummy railwayMay 1879 - 1898
Interurban electric railway01 March 1898 - 05 September 1923
8. Hamilton, Grimsby and Beamsville [Ontario]
Hamilton, Grimsby and Beamsville interurban (Hamilton Public Library collection)
Interurban electric railwayJune 1896 - 30 June 1931
9. Hamilton Radial [Ontario] Interurban electric railwayJuly 1896 - 05 January 1929
10. Hull Electric * [Québec, Ontario] Interurban electric railway 1897 - 30 March 1947 [27]
[27] In The Intercity Electric Railway Industry in Canada (1966) author John F. Due erroneously reports service ended 30 April 1947.
InterurbanSystemPeriod of Operation
11. Lake Erie and Northern [Ontario]
Lake Erie and Northern, Brantford - Cambridge, Ontario (W.E. Miller)
Interurban electric railway07 February 1916 - 23 April 1955> [28]
[28] Steam operated 1912 - 1914. Electric railway freight operation continued until 30 September 1961.
12. London and Lake Erie [Ontario] Interurban electric railway04 June 1906 - 15 October 1918
13. London and Port Stanley [Ontario]
London and Port Stanley Railway (Ontario) (W.E. Miller)
Interurban electric railway01 July 1915 - 18 February 1957 [29]
[29] Operated as a conventional steam railway 25 September 1856 - 1915. Formal opening ceremonies for electric operation held 22 July 1915. Electric railway freight operation continued until 31 December 1965.
14. Montreal and Southern Counties [Québec]
Montreal and Southern Counties interurban
Interurban electric railway01 November 1909 - 13 October 1956 [30]
[30] Formal opening ceremonies held 30 October 1909.
15. Mount McKay and Kakabeka Falls [Ontario] Interurban electric railway1923 - 18 May 1947 [44]
[44] Operated by gas car 1910-1923. Partial electric operation commenced June 1917. All electric operation conducted by lessee Fort William Street Railway.
16. Niagara Falls Park and River [Ontario, New York]
NFP&R/Niagara Gorge Route (Donald P. Evans collection)
Suburban electric railway24 May 1893 - 11 September 1932
17. Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto [Ontario]
NS&T interurban car (davesrailpix collection)
Interurban electric railway05 October 1887 - 28 March 1959> [41]
[41] Some historians date NS&T's interurban operation from the opening of the former St. Catharines & Niagara Central  line under electric power 19 July 1900.
18. Nipissing Central [Ontario] Interurban electric railway30 April 1910 - 09 February 1935
19. Pictou County Electric [Nova Scotia] Suburban electric railway10 October 1904 - 07 May 1931 [31]
[31] Ceremonial opening held 14 October 1904. John Due (1966, see above) erroneously writes that service ended May 1930.
20. Quebec Railway, Light and Power*: Montmorency Division [Québec] Interurban electric railway27 May 1900 - 15 March 1959> [32]
[32] Operated as a conventional steam railway 10 August 1889 - 26 May 1900.
21. Sandwich, Windsor and Amherstburg * [Ontario] Interurban electric railway04 July 1903 - 15 May 1938 [33]
[33] John Due (1966, see above) writes that service began 10 June 1903.
InterurbanSystemPeriod of Operation
22. Sydney and Glace Bay/Cape Breton Electric* [Nova Scotia] Suburban electric railwayOctober 1902 - 15 May 1947 [34]
[34] The government publication Canada Yearbook, 1948 erroneously records the last day of operation as 21 May 1947.
23. Toronto and York Radial [Ontario]
23. Metropolitan/Lake Simcoe/North Yonge
Animal railway 26 January 1885 - 01 September 1890,
circa October 1890 - circa May 1891
Interurban electric railway 01 September 1890 - circa October 1890,
circa May 1891 - 15 March 1930, [40]
17 July 1930 - 09 October 1948>
[40] The Schomberg branch was operated by conventional steam 1904 - 1916.
24. Mimico/Port Credit
Suburban electric railway 16 July 1892 - 10 September 1892,
01 July 1893 - 27 September 1928,
09 December 1928 - 09 February 1935>
25. Kingston Road/Scarboro'
Animal railway 09 June 1875 - circa May 1887
Suburban electric railway01 July 1893 - 25 June 1936
26. Toronto Suburban [Ontario] Interurban electric railway06 September 1892 - 15 August 1931 [36]
[36] John Due (1966, see above) writes that service ended 01 August 1931.
InterurbanSystemPeriod of Operation
27. Windsor, Essex and Lake Shore Rapid [Ontario]
WE&LSR car Republic arrives in Essex (internationalmetropolis)
Interurban electric railway19 September 1907 - 15 September 1932
28. Winnipeg, Selkirk and Lake Winnipeg [Manitoba]
Winnipeg Selkirk & Lake Winnipeg excursion (Winnipeg Transit Photo Archive coll.)
Interurban electric railway25 May 1908 - 30 April 1939 [37]
[37] Operated as a conventional steam railway 29 August 1904 - 1908. Limited electric operation began June 1906. Formal opening ceremonies for electric operation held 23 May 1908.
29. Woodstock, Thames Valley and Ingersoll [Ontario]
Woodstock, Thames Valley and Ingersol (Ontario)
Interurban electric railway08 November 1900 - 01 October 1925 [38]
[38] In Traction on the Grand (1977) John Mills writes that service ended 16 August 1925.

This is based on the canonical list of Canadian interurban electric railways, as determined by John F. Due (see References). Other authors (notably William D. Middleton) writing from a less rigorous definition include a variety of suburban streetcar lines with interurban characteristics. Among these are: Calgary [Ogden & Bowness Park lines], Winnipeg [St. Norbert & SRT lines], Sudbury [Copper Cliff line], Ottawa [Britannia line], Montréal [MP&I, MT lines], and Québec [QC, Kent House lines]. The Edmonton Interurban, Lacombe & Blindman Valley Electric, and Mount McKay & Kakabeka Falls were operated by gascar and thus excluded from the Due and Middleton lists.

Street Railway Operating Museums

In addition to the above listed heritage tramways (Calgary, Edmonton, Nelson, Vancouver, and Whitehorse) there are street railway operating museums at Milton, Ontario (the Halton County Radial Railway [http://www.hcry.org/]), at Delson, Québec (the Canadian Railway Museum operated by the Canadian Railroad Historical Association [http://www.exporail.org/musee/musee_CRM.htm]), and at Fort Edmonton Park, Edmonton, Alberta (the Edmonton Radial Railway Society [http://www.edmonton-radial-railway.ab.ca/]). A horse car line was operated at Heritage Park Historical Village, Calgary, Alberta (?-circa 1998).

The able and extensive assistance towards the development of this list provided by traction historian Ray F. Corley of Scarborough, Ontario is gratefully acknowledged.

The most up-to-date version of this list is available on the World Wide Web at the URL:
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~wyatt/streetcar-list.html .

Copyright ©2001-2014 David A. Wyatt