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Toronto streetcar system facts for kids

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A Toronto streetcar

The Toronto streetcar system is a network of eleven streetcar routes in the Canadian city of Toronto, Ontario. It is by far the largest network of its kind in the Americas. It operates as part of the Toronto Transit Commission's public transport network, and shares a common fare system with buses and subway services.

Unlike modern light rail systems that are becoming more commonplace in North America, streetcars runs on city streets and call at frequent bus-type stops, where the passenger waits on the sidewalk for the next streetcar and pays his or her fare on board the vehicle. There are 685 of these stops, eight of which are shared with and connect to the subway system. The system mainly serves the downtown and waterfront areas of the city, and acts as feeder routes to the subway.

The system, which has been one of the longest in continuous operation, was opened in 1861 as a horse tramway. The system was bought by the Toronto Railway Company in 1891 and it was electrified in 1892. Vehicles run on 82 km (51 mi) of tracks with a non-standard gauge of 1,495 mm (4 ft 10+78 in) and collect power from overhead lines at 600 V DC using trolley poles mounted on each streetcar.

More than 300,000 people ride the system on an average weekday, and about 100 million on an annual basis, making it among the busiest systems in the world.

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