Ice, Snow, and a Temporary Thaw, 1893-99

AuthorC. Ian Kyer
   bales involving the performa nceof t he TorontoRailway
Company (TRC) were fought directly between the City and the Company.
Attimesa nissuewit htheCit yledtoaprivateac tionbyan aectedc itizen
That was the case with two of the ea rly operational issues t hat arose between
the City and its transit provider — transfers a nd snow removal. Ironically,
these arose at a period of relative peace between the City and the TRC and
contributed in each instance to t he TRC and the City reach ing agreement on
issues without themselves resorting to t he courts.
Oneofthe keyconditionsimposed bytheCitywasthattran situsersbe
permiedtotravelthroughoutthesystemforasinglefare Payment of that
toanyot herpointToenableth istransfer arrangementsweretobe made
by the Company that met with the approval of the City engineer and c ity
Aswith manyoperationalmaers theprecise formth attheset ransfers
wouldtake wasnots etouti nthe agreement this wasto be seled
between the parties over ti me. In the beginni ng, the TRC relied on a per
son stationed at each transfer point. This agent would segregate tran sfer
ring passengers from new passengers as best he cou ld. When the streetcar
on the second line arrived the agent would identify transferring passengers
to the conductor of that streetcar so that when the conductor went around
collecting fares he would know not to collect a fare from t hese passengers.
Att imes howeverthe conductor wouldget bus y with other maers and
not collect fares until someti me after the transfer. In these ca ses there was
always the chance that he would not remember who had transferred. If the
person being asked for a ticket said that he or she had paid on an intersec ting
line, the conductor had to decide if they were being truthf ul. If the conductor
thought that the person was lying and th at person did not produce a ticket
or pay the fare, the conductor could ask the person to leave the car. If asking
This is exactly what happened to Albert Gri nsted on the bierlycold
enuewhere he notiedt heconductor that heintended to transfer toa car
going south along Spadina to King Street West. The conductor on the Queen
Spadina to look after transferri ng passengers. When the Spadina car arrived,
Grinsted boardedbut the conductoroft heSpadina car wasbusyand did
notcollec tfaresfortwobloc ksWh enhen allywentaroundh easkedGr in
stedfora fareatwh ichtime Grinsted informed theconductorth athehad
transferred at Queen. The conductor did not believe him, and even though
Grinsted hadat leastth reerai lwaytickets in hispockethe refused to use
oneBoththeconductorandGrinstedbeca mebelligerentandtheconductor
physicallythrew him othe carGri nstednow sweatyand upsetwal ked
back to the transfer point at the corner of Queen a nd Spadina. The agent
wassympathetic andlet him waitforanot hercarO necame abouttwenty
minuteslaterUpsetand standingi nthe frigidnight airGrinsted caughta
As a result, he missed work for several weeks.
theTRCforbreachofcontractAtt rialGrinstedscounselca lledthedoctor
whotreated him duringh isil lnessT hedoctor testied thatin ammation
or severe cold might have ensued upon his exposure to the frigid conditions
ofthatn ightHecould notbe certain becausethe eectwould bedierent
ondierentpersons buttheexposure experiencedbyGri nstedmighthave
beensucienttobringonhi schron icbronchitis andrheumati smHenoted
that a person going out into the cold air who was excited, and thereby over
The judgeinst ructed the jury that to awardda magesto Grin stedt hey
wouldhavetondthatGrinstedhadbeen wronglydeniedhistransferand

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