Thirty Years’ War
Between 1891 and 1921, the Toronto Railway Company operated Toronto’s streetcars under a franchise granted by the City. The arrangement brought the City a modern electric streetcar system, but the relationship between the two entities was a tempestuous one, marked and marred by almost constant conflict and confrontation. Remarkably, the many court battles that resulted went to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on fourteen separate occasions. This book details these legal disputes, and along the way, links them to the city’s expansion and development, its municipal politics, the provincial debates over public ownership of many kinds of utilities, and the legal culture of the day, which reveals a remarkable faith in the courts. This is a fascinating historical story set in its own time and milieu, but which also has considerable contemporary relevance as Toronto — and Canada’s other major urban centres — wrestle with their modern transportation problems. It will be of interest not only to legal historians, but also to those interested in transit and municipal history, and in the correct balance between public and private ownership.
— The Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History
C. Ian Kyer
C. Ian Kyer is a distinguished lawyer, historian, and author. For more than thirty years he practised law with the Faskens law firm, where he led the Technology and Intellectual Property Group. Ranked as one of Canada’s top 500 lawyers, he has advised both private sector parties and federal, provincial, and municipal governments on numerous projects, including public-private partnerships. He has often been praised for his even-handed approach and his ability to bring parties together. But Ian was an historian before he became a lawyer (with a PhD in Medieval ecclesiastical history), and on his retirement from the Faskens partnership, he has returned to history. He has written a history of the Faskens firm, an historical novel about Salieri and his relationship to Mozart, and numerous short biographies for the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.