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Before 1953, the Toronto Transit Commission was called Toronto Transportation Commission.

HistoryEdit

Toronto's first public transportation company was the Williams Omnibus Bus Line and owned by undertaker Burt Williams. The franchise carried passengers in horse-drawn stagecoaches along Yonge Street between the St. Lawrence Market and the Village of Yorkville for sixpence in 1849. The city granted the first franchise for a street railway in 1861 to Alexander Easton under the franchise of Toronto Street Railways (TSR) and Metropolitan Street Railway of Toronto (MSR) in 1885. In 1891, the franchise was passed onto William Mackenzie's Toronto Railway Company for 30 years. Outside of the city there were a number of other operators, including:

Prior to the establishment of the TTC, the City of Toronto operated their own system under the Toronto Civic Railways (TCR). However, the TCR routes were operating in areas not served by the private TRC. In 1920, a Provincial Act created the Toronto Transportation Commission (TTC) and, in 1921, the Commission took over and amalgamated nine existing fare systems within the city limits. Between 1921 and 1953, the TTC added 35 new routes in the city and extended 20 more. It also operated 23 suburban routes on a service-for-cost basis. It abandoned money-losing radial railway line (known as 'interurbans' elsewhere in the continent), North Yonge Railways.

The Great Depression and the Second World War both placed heavy burdens on the ability of municipalities to finance themselves. During most of the 1930s, municipal governments had to cope with general welfare costs and assistance to the unemployed. The TTC realized that improvements had to be made despite the depression and in 1936 purchased the first of the newly-developed PCC streetcars. The war put an end to the depression and increased migration from rural to urban areas. After the war, municipalities faced the problem of extending services to accommodate the increased population. Ironically, the one municipal service that prospered during the war years was public transit; employers had to stagger work hours in order to avoid overcrowding the streetcars. Toronto continued their program of purchasing PCC cars, running the world's largest fleet, including many obtained second-hand from U.S. cities that abandoned streetcar service.

With the creation of Metro Toronto in 1954 and the building of the Yonge subway line, the Toronto Transportation Commission was renamed Toronto Transit Commission.

StreetcarEdit

The Toronto Transportation Commission began as a streetcar operator and remained the core operations before 1954:

All remaining TRC cars as of 1921 and all TCR cars as of 1921 was absorbed into the TTC.

Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
Preston Car Company Birney Car single truck double end car N/A N/A N/A ex-TRC
Canada Car and Foundry/Brill Peter Witts - Large with trailers single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A
Canada Car and Foundry/Ottawa Car Company Peter Witts - Small Witts single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A
St. Louis Car Company and CCF President Conference Committee Car A1 single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A
St. Louis Car Company PCC A2-8 single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A
St. Louis Car Company PCC A9-10 single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A ex-Cincinnati
St. Louis Car Company PCC A11 - single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A ex-Cleveland
St. Louis Car Company PCC A12 single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A ex-Louisville
St. Louis Car Company PCC A13 single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A ex-Brimingham
St. Louis Car Company PCC A14 single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A ex-Kansas City
St. Louis Car Company PCC A15 single end double truck electric streetcar N/A N/A N/A A8 rebuilds

BusesEdit

Buses are a large part of the TTC operations today, but before 1960s they played a lesser role to streetcar operations. Bus service in Toronto started in 1921, but it was not until the creation of the TTC that buses become a part of public transit. There were a few independent bus operators that continued to provide inter-urban bus services:

  • Hollinger Bus Lines (East York and Scarborough 1921-1954)
  • Danforth Bus Lines (Scarborough, North York and York 1926-1954)
  • West York Coach Lines (York, Etobicoke and Malton 1946-1954)
  • Roseland Bus Lines (York, Weston-Woodbridge 1925-1954)

Here is a list of historic and current buses used by the old TTC:

Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
AEC 404 double-decker bus 1 1922 N/A upper level was removed in 1925
Fifth Avenue Bus Company L and J double-decker bus 4 - L, 6 - J 1921, 1922 N/A 1 preserved at Canada Science and Technology Museum
Pierce Arrow Z diesel bus 2 1922 N/A N/A
Tilling-Stevens TS4 diesel bus 1 1922 N/A N/A
Veteran K diesel bus 1 1927 N/A N/A
White Motor Company 50A diesel bus 6 1924 N/A
White Motor Company 50A diesel bus 5, 10 1927, 1929 N/A 1929 purchase from Highway Queen Bus Lines; 2 sent to Gray Coach
White Motor Company 50B diesel bus 5 1927 N/A N/A
Packard ED diesel bus 1 1922 N/A N/A
Yellow Coach Y-Z (227, 229) diesel bus 5 ,6 1925 N/A N/A
Yellow Coach Y diesel bus 1 1925 N/A N/A
Yellow Coach Y-O-254 diesel bus 1 1927 N/A N/A
Yellow Coach Z-AQ-273 diesel bus 4 1926 N/A N/A
Yellow Coach Y-U-316 diesel bus 3 1927 N/A N/A
REO 96HTD diesel bus 5 1946-1947 N/A ex-Hollinger Buslines
REO W diesel bus 3 1928 N/A N/A
Fitzjohn FTG diesel bus 6 1951, 1953 N/A ex-North York Bus Lines
Fitzjohn Falcon N/A N/A N/A ex-Hollinger Buslines
Fitjohn Hercules JXLD gasoline bus N/A N/A N/A ex-Hollinger Buslines
Ford Transit 19B, 29B diesel bus 2, 4 1941, 1942 N/A N/A
Aerocoach P-46-37, P-47-37 diesel bus 2, 1 1947, 1948 N/A N/A
Aerocoach 371 diesel bus 1 1948 N/A N/A
Prevost 50-PI-33 diesel bus 1 1950 N/A N/A
Fagoel/Brill Twin Coach 44S diesel bus 2 1950 N/A N/A

Suburban/Inter-urban BusesEdit

Gray Coach Lines was suburban bus operator founded in 1927 by the Toronto Transit Commission. Gray Coach used inter-urban coaches to link Toronto to outlying areas throughout Southern Ontario. In addition, Gray Coach operated tour bus operations in association with Gray Line tours. The main terminal was at the Toronto Bus Terminal on Elizabeth Street, downtown.

Here is a list of historic and current buses used by the Gray Coach:

Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
AEC/CCC Ranger Coach suburban coach 4 1932-1933 N/A later to Gray Coach
Flxible Clippers 29BR-series suburban coach N/A 1940s-1950s N/A acquired by Independent Bus Lines and later to Gray Coach
GM Highway Parlour Coach PD4104 suburban coach 7 1950s N/A later to Gray Coach

Trolley bus linesEdit

The TTC once operated trolley buses on 10 routes, mostly on downtown routes and a few in the northern limits of the old City of Toronto. Many of these routes replaced streetcar routes, using the old overhead power lines which were adapted to dipole service. The buses consisted of a standard bus platform with electric motors with two poles connected to electrical lines above. The system was scrapped due to high operating cost and the age of the vehicles used; this decision has been criticised by some, who note that the prices of gasoline and natural gas have increased dramatically in the subsequent years.

Routes served by trolley buses:

  • 4 Annette
  • 6 Bay
  • 40 Junction
  • 47 Lansdowne
  • 61 Nortown/Nortown West
  • 63 Ossington
  • 74 Mount Pleasant
  • 89 Weston Road
  • 97 Yonge
  • 103 Nortown East

Here is a list of trolley vehicle types:

Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
Packard/Canadian Brills ED trolley bus N/A N/A N/A retired
Canadian Car Foundry T44-T1, T44-T2, T44-T3 and TC48-T5 trolley bus N/A N/A N/A retired and some rebuilt as Western Flyer D700s
Marmon-Herrington TC48-T5 trolley bus N/A N/A N/A retired and some rebuilt as Western Flyer D700s

Ferry ServiceEdit

The TTC had once operated the ferry service from Toronto Island. Starting from 1927 to 1962, the TTC used the following ferry boats:

  • Mayflower 1890-1938 - built by John Doty Engine & Ferry Company and acquired from the Toronto Ferry Co.
  • Primrose 1890-1938 - sister ship to the Mayflower, built by John Doty Engine & Ferry Company and acquired from the Toronto Ferry Co.
  • Bluebell 1906-1955 - built by Polson Iron Works Limited for Toronto Ferry Co.
  • Trillium 1910-1957 - built by Polson Iron Works Limited for Toronto Ferry Co.; re-enter service 1976 with Metro Parks:
Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
Miss York ferry 1918 1929
Miss Simcoe ferry 1918 1929
Clark Bros. ferry 1918 1927
John Hanlan ferry 1918 1927 retired
Luella - built by W. Armour & Company for Toronto Ferry Co. ferry 1882 1934
Ned Hanlan ferry 1902 1966 retired
T.J. Clark ferry 1918 1960 retired
Alymer ferry 1918 1929 retired
Buttercup ferry 1918 1929 retired
Jasmine ferry 1918 1929 retired
William Inglis - built by Toronto Drydock Co. ferry 1935 presently operated by the City of Toronto
Sam McBride - built by Toronto Drydock Co. ferry 1939 present operated by the City of Toronto

ReferencesEdit

  • The TTC Story by Mike Filey
  • Not A One Horse Town by Mike Filey
  • Reflections & Recollections Transfer Points January 2005
  • Independents Take Over - TTC Goes Metro Wide Transfer Points August-September 2004
  • Toronto Transit Commission Goes Metro Wide Transfer Point December 2004
  • TTC Archives

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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