Streetcars in Niagara Falls, Canada

In December of 1886, the Niagara Falls, Wesley Park and Clifton Tramway Company began operations over a 6 km line of track. This track started on Main Street (at Culp Street) in Drummondville to the foot of Bridge Street in the Town Of Clifton.

The company began with 10 streetcars and 40 horses. Two horses were used to pull one streetcar. The streetcar and horse barns were located on Simcoe Street at Buckley Avenue.

In January of 1897, George Hanan and Ed Davis acquired ownership of the company.

In the summer, the open railcars were used, while in the winter and early spring, closed railcars were utilized. A coal stove in each car kept passengers warm during their ride.

In 1900, they sold their company to the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto (Street) Railway Company. This company became known as the “NS&T”.

Between April and August of 1900, the NS&T began changing the streetcar line from horse-drawn to electric.

In 1906, the streetcar line was extended along Main Street to Loretto Academy at Falls View. In 1910, this line was further extended from Falls View to Stanley Avenue at the Michigan Central Railway crossing at McLeod Road.

New barns for the electric streetcars were built on Fourth Avenue. These barns burned to the ground on December 10th 1919 and were replaced with a smaller barn and repair shop at the same location.

In 1908, the Canadian Northern Railroad took control of the Niagara, St. Catharines and Toronto (Street) Railway Company (NS&T).

In November of 1923, the Canadian National (Electric) Railway Company operated the former NS&T streetcar lines in Niagara despite their headquarters being located in Toronto.

In 1925, a new streetcar station and car barn was built on Welland Avenue in St. Catharines.

Niagara Falls received 8 of the12 new lightweight streetcars that were manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio. The new streetcars would be used for the streets of Niagara for the next 20 years.

In 1925, the streetcar line was extended from Main Street down Lundy’s Lane to Winery Road (Dorchester Road).

In 1927, the Canadian National Electric Railway trip between Niagara Falls and St. Catharines took 40 minutes one way.

By the end of 1947, all the electric streetcars had been replaced by buses. Between 1947 and 1950, all of the streetcars were scrapped.

After the Canadian National Transportation gave up the franchise they had on transportation, both the Stamford Township & Niagara Falls councils proposed a Greater Niagara Transit Commission. Twelve new buses, each capable of carrying 31 people, were purchased.

The original 3.75 mile route had grown to 28 miles by the time the Greater Niagara Transit Commission took over bus operations.

The new garage site on Park Street was originally occupied by the Town of Niagara Falls electric light plant since 1891. The bus garage continue to operate here for 5 years before moving further along Park Street to the site of the local Ford Motor Company.

Greater Niagara Transit Commission continued to occupy this site until 1946 when Canada Coach Bus Lines built a bus garage on it. This bus garage was later demolished for the much newer and more modern Greater Niagara Transit headquarters and bus garage that today is located on the north side of Park Street at Erie Avenue.

Book Your Niagara Falls Hotel Stay Today