|Operated by||Toronto Transit Commission|
|Structure type||Streetcar loop|
|Opening||June 19, 2016|
Distillery Loop is a rapid transit streetcar loop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that lies at the south end of the Cherry Street branch – originally dubbed the Cherry Street streetcar line – that runs from a streetcar junction on King Street East south along Sumach and Cherry streets. The loop opened in June 2016 and is some of the newer streetcar infrastructure in the city. The Cherry Street branch and Distillery Loop currently form the eastern segment and terminus of the 504A King streetcar route.
Distillery Loop is located south of Mill Street and north of the railway viaduct on the east side of Cherry Street. It lies across the street from Distillery Lane in the Distillery District. The loop runs counter-clockwise. With the junction at Sumach Street and King Street, the loop can turn streetcars coming from either direction along King Street.
Decorative features at the loop include paving blocks, a small grove of young trees, and a small flower bed between the track and the street. At the railway viaduct on the southern side of the loop stands the Cherry Street Tower which the Toronto Terminals Railway uses to control the eastern approach to Union Station.
Cherry Street branch
Running on a separated right-of-way, the branch line is approximately 700 metres (0.43 mi) long, and has three stops, each with a platform. Both streetcar tracks run on the east side of the street with a tree-lined median separating them from two automobile lanes and bike lanes on either side of them. The entire width is 32.5 metres (107 ft), including sidewalks 5 metres (16 ft) wide.
The branch line was built by Waterfront Toronto, in cooperation with the Toronto Transit Commission, to serve the West Don Lands neighbourhood and the Distillery District. The new West Don Lands neighbourhood was expected to have 6,000 units once opened. The projected cost of the branch line was $90 million.
In 2007, the plan for the Cherry Street streetcar line was finalized. Construction started south of King Street in 2012. In April and May 2014, the TTC constructed the junction at the corner of King Street East and Sumach Street. Completion and opening of the branch were delayed until after the 2015 Pan American Games; the new streetcar right-of-way crossed the security zone of the competition's Athletes Village.
A few problems were reported within several months of the line's opening. Traffic lights were poorly timed at the intersections at Cherry & Front streets and Cherry Street & Eastern Avenue. As happened along Queens Quay, painted turn lane lines were not clear enough to discourage motorists from accidentally getting onto the streetcar right-of-way and then being trapped there. Because of complaints of squealing wheels at the corner of Sumach and King streets as well as at the Distillery Loop, streetcars were replaced by buses overnight along the Cherry Street line. Late night streetcar service was restored on July 15, 2017 as TTC riders found the transfer between the night bus and streetcar to be inconvenient. To address the reported problems, the TTC:
- Added extra signage to discourage motorists from driving on the tracks.
- Imposed a maximum speed of 10 km/h (6.2 mph) at Sumach and King.
- Use only Flexity streetcars which have an on-board wheel lubrication system.
- Enhanced the on-board wheel lubrication system for higher lubricant output.
On October 7, 2018, the 514 Cherry route was discontinued, and replaced by route 504A King running from Dundas West Station to Distillery Loop.
As part of the framework for redevelopment of Toronto's Port Lands, the city is aiming to have 55% of all trips to the area be made by public transit. As part of this initiative, it was recommended that the streetcar service along Cherry Street be extended south from Distillery Loop to the Ship Channel in a dedicated right-of-way on the east side of the street in similar fashion to the former 514 service. This would make Cherry Street the primary north–south transit route within the western Port Lands and would include stops at a re-aligned Queens Quay and Commissioners Street.
- Munro, Steve (June 25, 2014). "King & Sumach: Connecting to Cherry Street (Update 9: June 25, 2014)". Steve Munro. Archived from the original on March 4, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- "Operations". Toronto Terminals Railway. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
The [Train Movement Directors (TMDs)] work out of the three original towers, John St, Cherry St and Scott St controlling and directing over 4 miles of station platforms and 25.5 miles of circuited track and the trains that operate on them.
- Munro, Steve (November 14, 2016). "The Travails of Cherry Street". Retrieved November 14, 2016.
- Kalinowski, Tess (December 11, 2007). "Transit-first street plan hailed". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
Unlike Toronto's other streetcar routes, which traditionally run in mixed traffic and board passengers from platforms in the middle of the road, the Cherry St. plan calls for putting all the transit on the east side of the street, running in two directions, with a tree-lined platform separating it from other traffic.
- "Two figures incorrect in Cherry St. transit plan". Toronto Star. December 12, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
The transitway envisioned for this section is 700 metres.
Morrow, Adrian (May 25, 2012). "A tiny perfect streetcar line is being laid along Cherry Street". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
There's a new streetcar line under construction in Toronto, the first in more than a decade and a surprising development during the tenure of a mayor who is outspokenly opposed to light rail.
- Kalinowski, Tess (March 17, 2016). "TTC touts Cherry trolley as 'creative and ingenious solution' to crowding on King St". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- "Streetcars On Cherry Street And Sumach Street Serving The West Don Lands Development" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. December 6, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- Kalinowski, Tess (October 1, 2014). "TTC won't run streetcars on Cherry until at least 2016". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on October 3, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
A planned extension of the King streetcar service down Cherry will wait until after the Pan Am Games and the conversion of the Athletes Village to condos.
- "TTC approves new 514 Cherry streetcar to run alongside 504 King route". CBC News. March 23, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- Morse, Eric (November 13, 2016). "CRBA agenda hijacked by streetcar problems". The Bulletin. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
- "514 Cherry – Regular streetcar service will return". Toronto Transit Commission. July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- "Streetcar Noise Reduction – King & Sumach Intersection" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. June 27, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- "The current section is Service Advisories 504 King and 514 Cherry route changes". Toronto Transit Commission. October 7, 2018. Archived from the original on September 25, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
- "Port Lands Planning Framework, Chapter 4.6 – Movement and Access" (PDF). toronto.ca. Retrieved April 21, 2018.