Date unknown but car appears to be 1936 Ford Coupe, so one of the last years of the SW&AR

Windsors long gone streetcars: Date unknown but car appears to be 1936 Ford Coupe, so one of the last years of the SW&AR
Photo Credit: University of Manitoba

Windsor to restore antique streetcar

Share

The southwestern Ontario city of Windsor Ontario, long a major centre of manufacturing and distilling, has another claim to fame.

Known alternatively as trams or trolleys, Windsor was the first city in Canada to have electric “streetcars”.  Like many other cities however, they abandoned streetcars in favour of busses, decades ago.

Now one of the long lost cars has been found, and will be restored by the city for display as an historical artefact of the city’s past.

Drew Dilkens is Mayor of Windsor.

Listen
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens © Jonathan Pinto-CBC

Windsor had a harse-drawn streetcar system  since 1872,  and the electric system was developed in 1886, a first in Canada.

The system which extended between several communities, was eventually known as the Sandwich, Windsor & Amherstburg Railway, or SW&AR.

In 1939, the transit company, like others in North America, decided busses would be less expensive and discontinued streetcar service.

The old cars were sold off, for about $100 each, and disappeared.  Only three of the old streetcars out of 220 are known to exist.

The recovered #351 streetcar inside an originial SW&AR repair shop in Windsor. The building which was to be a restaurant, has been sold again.
The recovered #351 streetcar inside an original SW&AR repair shop in Windsor. The building which was to be a restaurant, has been sold again.. This is the building with the pyramid shaped roof shown in the period photos below © Mayor’s office, City of Windsor

One has been acquired by the city and will be restored over the next two years at a cost of at least $500,000.

date unknown: *Streetcar conductor, Mr. Patrick Sr., ready to start work on the Erie Street line*
date unknown: *Streetcar conductor, Mr. Patrick Sr., ready to start work on the Erie Street line* © City of Windsor

A few years ago, a couple of businessmen bought the old streetcar servicing building to convert to a restaurant. As a theme they sought one of the original cars but these were almost impossible to find.

The original streetcar barns now serving busses probaly very early 1940’s.
The original streetcar barns now serving busses probaly very early 1940’s. A sign above the smaller dark building behind says SW&AR ELECTRIC RAILWAY © university of Windsor

Eventually they tracked one day which had been used as part of a summer vacation cottage.

The old original streetcar servicing buildings today.
The old original streetcar servicing buildings today. © google streetview

Eventually they acquired it, but after bringing it back their plans changed. When the city heard it was available they decided to restore it as an historical artefact of the city.

The 99-year-old streetcar will be restored for display purposes, and likely serve as a kiosk of some kind at the redeveloped Windsor waterfront. The cost is expected to be at least $500,000.

Additional information

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*