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Traffic Towers on Dundas Street

90 years ago on May 20th, 1925, London's first red-amber-green traffic signal system went into service.  The traffic tower for the signal system was located on the northeast corner of Dundas and Richmond streets. 

The whole tower weighed about 11 tons and was capable of resisting a wind pressure of 1,400 pounds. 

Later in 1925, towers were installed at Dundas and Clarence, Dundas and Talbot, Richmond and King and Richmond and Queen's Avenue. 

All the towers were controlled by a police officer who would climb up a ladder and go through a hole in the floor of the three by six foot booth in each tower.  The officer would work the lights manually and judge according to the traffic when to change the light.  There were windows all around the booth which could be opened. 

The towers lasted until August 1930 when they were replaced by automatic lights. Before the lights, motorists could make a left turn simply by signalling with their hand out the window of their vehicle.


Traffic tower on Dundas street

The image is from On the Beat:  150 Years of Policing in London Ontario by Mark Richardson, 2005, p. 38.The caption for the article states
"Traffic tower, Dundas Street, north side, looking east from Richmond Street, ca. 1925"