Kevin Chen


You know what really kills my nerves? Those big, ugly, red behemoths that we call streetcars. What is the point to their existence? Before you call me  crazy, let me tell you why they’re awful.

For one, they create traffic jams in our streets. Big, spacious streets and roads like St. Claire Avenue have lost much of their lanes to street car tracks. Every time my dad drives me to school through St. Claire, it takes an insane half hour to get down the street. Why? It’s because street cars are always planted in the middle of the road, forcing cars to crawl along the sides. There is little space to park and drive on the sides of the streets, causing the cars to get crammed on just two tiny meters of road. These result in commuters struggling to get through streets and troublesome traffic wars.

Streetcars are also ancient; they date back to the twenties. You’d think in the last ninety years, Toronto would have become a modern and convenient city. In many ways, we have. But, unfortunately, we are bizarrely content with our old-fashioned mode of transportation – the streetcar. Other cities in Europe and Asia are advancing faster than our city—they only have underground networks of transportation called “subways”. Yes, we have them too. So why are we keeping these pesky streetcars around? Subways are more convenient because they are underground and can travel without disturbing aboveground traffic. Cities like London, Moscow, Paris, and many cities in Asia have adapted and upgraded the concept of underground transport.  Our subways are old, small, dirty, and haven’t been updated for several decades. The subway networks in Toronto are extremely limited. What a pity! We’ve seen some limited improvement in the form of the new “Rocket,” but there seems to be only one or two around. We are still stuck with those big cumbersome street cars that clog up the bustling streets of Toronto.

Torontonians have to consider that streetcars are now outdated; they cause everyone to be stuck in traffic and waste their precious time. We are definitely becoming a truly “timeless city,” stuck in the past as other cities around the world develop their transportation networks. If other cities have switched to more convenient modes of transport, why aren’t we doing the same?