A Tale of Toronto’s Transit
The Horse Revolution of 1884
In the early days of public transit in Toronto, streetcars ruled the roads. The Toronto Street Railway Company operated horse-drawn streetcars along the city’s muddy streets. The rails kept the vehicles out of the mud, and reduced rolling resistance, so a horse could pull a larger load. Where the 262 horsecars couldn’t go, they had 100 omnibuses & 100 sleighs to back them up.
Swarms of Torontonians and outside visitors would come to the City’s yearly Industrial Exhibition to see what wonderful new technology it had to display. That years main attraction was Toronto’s first electric railway, built by Charles Van Depoele and J.J. Wright.
When the hard-working horses of the TSR discovered that the city was planning on phasing out their jobs with electric streetcars in the coming decade, they were OUTRAGED!
The horses took the human’s top hats and whips, and took over the city.
The City Council negotiated with the horses to let the humans go. In exchange the horses got huge severances and free rides on transit forever.