Thursday, March 5, 2009

PDP #6: Grand Union

For a city that, as I said the other day, tends to bulldoze its past, Toronto has maintained a hell of a lot of it in the form of the streetcar system. Its first routes were laid down by private operators almost a hundred and fifty years ago, and although it has seen better days it is presently one of the last urban light-rail systems that does not run entirely in a dedicated right-of-way; these streetcars still run in the street, like they were meant to.

A prepondrance of streetcars, of course, demands an equal amount of track, and so the downtown core's streets are riven with rails to speed them wherever they need to go. When two streets which carry rails intersect fully, the result is a junction known as a grand union. These junctions aren't too common - this one is the intersection of Dundas Street East and Church Street, photographed from the roof of the Merchandise Building. Since I lack a jetpack, it's a perspective I don't get too often.

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