Toronto Driving Tips – Passing a Streetcar

Toronto has the largest streetcar system in North America, and visitors and residents alike are sometimes puzzled about rules for passing them.

Most streetcars are found in downtown Toronto. For those not familiar – It is an offence under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act to pass a streetcar stopped for customers. Vehicles must halt at least two metres behind the doors.

Streetcars run in the centre of the street (left lane) and stop for passengers at designated stops.   When the streetcar stops and opens its door at these stops, passing the streetcar on the right/in the right lane is not allowed

Some corner cases:

  1. You are stopped at a traffic light in the right lane, beside a streetcar stop. The streetcar pulls up beside you to let passengers on/off.  In this case, do not move your vehicle
  2. The streetcar stop has is on its own island for passengers to board from (in between lanes of traffic).  In this case you can pass a loading streetcar
  3. The streetcar has its own dedicated lanes (right of way).  Spadina Ave, St Clair Ave, Harbourfront.  Are you allowed to pass a loading streetcar

Not so fun fact:

From Jan. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2016, 26 people were hit by an automobile or bicycle while boarding or exiting a streetcar (Toronto Transit Commission numbers)

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