For the first time in 16 years, the TTC has launched a new streetcar route.

The new 514 Cherry streetcar, which officially goes into service on Sunday, connects Cherry Street and the West Don Lands area in the east to Dufferin Street and Liberty Village in the west.

The streetcars, which will run between the Distillery Loop and Dufferin Gate Loop via Cherry Street/ Sumach Street, King Street and Dufferin Street, will operate every eight to nine minutes during peak periods and every 15 minutes at all other times.

The new route, according to a news release issued by the City of Toronto, is part of Waterfront Toronto's wider revitalization project.

"When Waterfront Toronto began planning the West Don Lands, we knew transit would be a key priority in transforming the area into a great new urban community with strong connections to the rest of the city. And after 13 years of planning and construction, we're thrilled that residents and visitors now have the 514 Cherry Street Streetcar - a convenient, reliable and environmentally sustainable transit service," Meg Davis, the chief development officer with Waterfront Toronto, said in a written statement accompanying the news release.

Davis, Mayor John Tory, TTC Chair Josh Colle and Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin were all on hand for the official launch at the Distillery streetcar loop this morning at 10 a.m.

Colle told members of the public Saturday that the new streetcar route will also improve capacity along King Street.

"This service will be overlaid on top of the existing 504 King streetcar on what we all know as the busiest route in our city. As many of you know who ride King, it is at capacity and this will help to increase capacity along King Street through the core of the city," Colle said.

An estimated 65,000 customers ride the 504 King streetcar every day.

TTC CEO Andy Byford said the new route and its ability to reduce overcrowding along King Street is "genius" transit planning.

"This is the kind of imaginative transit planning that my team are capable of and I really credit them for what I think is a brilliant idea," he said.

But Byford conceded that the TTC still has a lot of work to do when it comes to transit along the waterfront.

"We’ve got to keep building. I mean we are already working on other initiatives like the Waterfront LRT. That’s got to happen," he added.

"We are tireless in looking for improvements."