Author(s)

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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.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price

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Background to the legal battles between the City of Toronto and its transit provider in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 13 $1.30

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Account of the end of the franchise of the Toronto Street Railway Company and the need to replace it. 16 $1.60

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Account of political activities surrounding the enactment of the legislation to incorporate the Toronto Railway Company. 16 $1.60

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Account of legal actions commenced by two individuals over operational issues in the early years of the Toronto Railway Company. 16 $1.60

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Account of operational disputes between the City and the Toronto Railway Company, specifically in relation to the issue of overcrowding of streetcars. 15 $1.50

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Account of a case appealed to the Privy Council dealing with certain operational issues, including which of the City or the Toronto Railway Company had the power to decide about establishing new … 23 $2.30

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Account of the creation of the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board and its role in the disputes between the City and the Toronto Railway Company over expansion of transit services. 18 $1.80

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Account of the City’s attempt to purchase the Toronto Railway Company and the Toronto Electric Light Company. 10 $1.00

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Account of the City’s attempt to weaken the Toronto Railway Company and the Toronto Electric Light Company so that their ownership would be motivated to sell cheaply. 17 $1.70

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Account of the arbitration relating to the 1921 takeover of the Toronto Railway Company’s transit operations. 13 $1.30

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Illustration of how the issues arising in the accounts of the transit dispute could be applied in a modern context. 11 $1.10