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City Council has approved the donation and the restoration of an old street car by a vote of 6 to 5.
Street Car #351 was built-in 1918 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and it is believed that Cars #351-354 were purchased by SW&A as used vehicles in 1927 from Public Service of New Jersey. The cars were sold for $100 when the city switched to bus service in the late 1930’s.
Several years ago, Street Car #351 was found in Belle River and moved to 1200 University Avenue where it has sat. It is one of just three left.
Recently, the Mayor was approached by Van Niforos regarding the potential donation of the street car to the city. Due to the sale of the building located at 1200 University Avenue, the street car needs to be removed from the premises by November 9th, 2017.
Administration then approached RM Auto Restoration of Blenheim to determine if the restoration of this Street Car is a project that they are able to complete.
Administration set a budget totaling $750,000 for transportation and restoration an additional $10,000 set aside for contingencies.
It is recommended that the funding come from the $116,191 funding surplus in the 2016 FINA World Swimming Championships Project with the rest from the 2014 enhanced capital budget placeholder of $7.2M for a new multi storey parking garage.
Restoration of the streetcar is expected to take two years.
A future report will go to council that outlines options to install the street car within the footprint of the riverfront which will include any expenses that may be incurred as part of the project. Community consultation will also take place.
Councillors Sleiman, Gignac, Francis, Elliott, Payne, Borrelli and Mayor Dilkens voted in favour.