Toronto Transit Commission route 521 'Exhibition East'
The route connected downtown with The Exhibition. At the eastern terminus in the downtown area, streetcars looped counterclockwise via west on Richmond Street, south on Victoria Street, east on Adelaide Street, and south on Church Street. Streetcars then operated via King Street, Bathurst Street, and Fleet Street to the Exhibition Loop.
The history of the King-Exhibition streetcar began under the Toronto Railway Company on September 2, 1879 providing service to the first Toronto Industrial Exhibition (presently the Canadian National Exhibition) as the King via Strachan route. Horsecars operated the route from a crossover at the intersection of King and River via west on King Street, and south on Strachan Avenue to Wellington Street. From Strachan and Wellington, passengers had to walk the rest of the way to reach the Exhibition Grounds. This was changed starting September 8, 1891 with a new route operating directly to the Exhibition Grounds via west on King and south on Dufferin Street to a crossover at Huxley (present-day Springhurst Avenue). In 1898, the crossover at Huxley was replaced with Dufferin Gates Loop.
Under the operations of the Toronto Transportation Commission beginning in 1921, Dufferin Loop continued to be used to connect with the Canadian National Exhibition until the 1923 Exhibition season. The route was modified and streetcars operated from Erindale Loop, near the present location of Broadview Station, to the new Exhibition Loop via south on Broadview Avenue, west on Queen Street, west on King Street, south on Bathurst Street, and west on Fort York Boulevard to the streetcar loop just west of Strachan Avenue. On August 13, 1980, the King-Exhibition streetcar route was given the number 521 and the route was renamed Exhibition East.
During the late-1990s, due to declining attendance at the CNE and the near completion of a streetcar only right-of-way along Queens Quay that would allow the new 509 Harbourfront route to provide a seamless connection between the Exhibition and Union Station, the route was becoming redundant and its last days were looming. The 2000 Exhibition season was the last year this route operated providing supplemental service during the Molson Indy Toronto between July 14-16. This route was effectively eliminated with the inauguration of the 509 Harbourfront streetcar route on July 23, 2000.
During the summer of 2013, the 509 Harbourfront route was replaced with buses due to trackwork construction as part of the Queens Quay Revitalization Project. As a result of construction delaying the replacement bus service, the 521 Exhibition East route was restored. Streetcars would operate from King and Church Streets to Exhibition Loop via King Street, Bathurst Street, and Fleet Street. Service began at 9:00am on August 20, 2013 and operated until the end of the Canadian National Exhibition on September 2, 2013.
- August 13, 1980 - Route given number 521. Route renamed from King-Exhibition to Exhibition East.
- August 20, 2013 - Route is restored providing relief service for the 509 Harbourfront replacement bus service. Service to operate between King Station, St Andrew Station, and Exhibition Loop.
- September 2, 2013 - The Exhibition season ends and the route is eliminated.
This route had 1 branch:
- 521 Exhibition - King / Church
Overnight service was not provided on this route at the time of operation.
Streetcars that appeared on 521 Exhibition East included the CLRV.
- Bow, James. A History of Transit Service to Exhibition Place, Transit Toronto. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
- Queens Quay Revitalization Project, Toronto Transit Commission. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
- 521 Exhibition East - Special service during CNE, Toronto Transit Commission. Archived from the original on 26 August 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2020.