Wednesday, January 29, 2014

great moments in toronto transportation history

Source: The Telegram, October 14, 1961. Click on image for larger version.
An amazing fact: if this was the first accident on the DVP, it occurred a month-and-a-half after its first section (Bayview/Bloor to Eglinton Avenue) opened. Were drivers that much more careful in 1961, or was it plain old luck that nobody else had spun out or suffered a fender bender?

If you're wondering when the DVP experienced its first traffic jam, the answer is: August 31, 1961, the day it opened. Star reporter Fred Hollett was brave enough to experience the DVP's first evening rush hour.
I rode the new five-mile section of parkway yesterday during its first evening rush-hour. And it was a five-minute trip from Dreamsville to Nightmare junction.
Dreamsville was the Danforth Ave. entrance to the parkway, where I had all three lanes to myself for nearly a mile. Nightmare Junction was the Eglinton Ave. exit where hundreds of motorists celebrated the parkway's official opening with one of the worst traffic jams in Metro history.
Eglinton Ave. during rush hour is usually jam-packed. The parkway traffic just increased the pressure. There were so few cars at the Danforth end of the parkway I could have sat down in the middle of the road and boiled a three-minute egg. At the Eglinton end the only things boiling were motorists and radiators.
Hollett suspected the south end of the highway was empty because motorists couldn't figure out where to enter it from either side of the Bloor Viaduct.

Additional material from the September 1, 1961 edition of the Toronto Star.

UPDATE: It appears Brian Ferguson wasn't the first driver to get into an accident on the DVP, though he may have been the first under normal circumstances. During the opening procession, Toronto alderman Joe Piccininni smashed a taillight while trying to make a turn. Thanks to Chris Bateman for this piece o' information.

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