Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Toronto Transportation Commission
Before 1953, the Toronto Transit Commission was called Toronto Transportation Commission.
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.
The Toronto Transportation Commission began as a streetcar operator and remained the core operations before 1954:
- All remaining TRC cars as of 1921
- All TCR cars as of 1921
- Birney Car - ex-TRC
- Canadian Car and Foundry/Brill Peter Witts - Large with trailers
- Canadian Car and Foundry/Ottawa Car Company Peter Witts - Small Witts
- St. Louis Car Company and CCF President Conference Committee Car A1
- St. Louis Car Company PCC A2-8
- St. Louis Car Company PCC A9-10 - ex-Cincinnati
- St. Louis Car Company PCC A11 - ex-Cleveland
- St. Louis Car Company PCC A12 - ex-Louisville
- St. Louis Car Company PCC A13 - ex-Brimingham
- St. Louis Car Company PCC A14 - ex-Kansas City
- St. Louis Car Company PCC A15 - A8 rebuilds
Buses is a large part of the TTC operations today, but before 1960s it played a minor role to streetcar operations. Buses service in Toronto started in 1921, but it was not until the creation of the TTC did buses become a part of public transit. There were a few independent bus operators continued to provide inter-urban bus services:
- Hollinger Bus Lines (East York 1921-1954)
- Danforth Bus Lines (North Toronto-King City 1926-1954)
- West York Coach Lines (York 1950s)
- Roseland Bus Lines (North York 1925-1954)
Here is a list of historic and current buses used by the old TTC:
- AEC 404 - double-decker bus
- Fifth Avenue Bus Company L and J - double-decker bus
- White Motor Company 50A
- Packard ED
- Pierce Arrow
- Yellow Coach Y-Z (227, 229), Y, Y-O-254, Z-AQ-273, Y-U-316
- REO 96HTD - ex-Hollinger Buslines
- REO W
- Fitzjohn FTG - ex-North York Bus Lines
- Fitzjohn Falcon - ex-Hollinger Buslines
- Fitjohn Hercules JXLD - ex-Hollinger Buslines
- Ford Transit
- Aerocoach P-46-37 and 371
- Prevost 50-PI-33
- Fagoel/Brill Twin Coach 44S
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:
- AEC/CCC Ranger Coach
- Flxible Clippers - acquired by Independant Bus Lines
- GM Highway Palour Coach
Trolley bus lines
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:
- Packard/Canadian Brills ED
- Canadian Car Foundry T44-T1, T44-T2, T44-T3 and TC48-T5
- Marmon-Herrington TC48-T5
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:
- Miss York 1918-1929
- Miss Simcoe 1918-1929
- Clark Bros. 1918-1927
- John Hanlan 1918-1927
- Luella 1882-1934 - built by W. Armour & Company for Toronto Ferry Co.
- Ned Hanlan 1902-1966
- T.J. Clark 1918-1960
- Alymer 1918-1929
- Buttercup 1918-1929
- Jasmine 1918-1929
- William Inglis 1935-present - built by Toronto Drydock Co.
- Sam McBride 1939-present - built by Toronto Drydock Co.
- The TTC Story by Mike Filey
- Not A One Horse Town by Mike Filey
- Reflections & Recollections Transfer Points January 2005
- Independants Take Over - TTC Goes Metro Wide Transfer Points August-September 2004
- Toronto Transit Commission Goes Metro Wide Transfer Point December 2004
- TTC Archives
- Official TTC site
- News, history and discussion
- Transit Toronto - Trolley Buses
- Transit Toronto Buses
- Transit Toronto Streetcar
- Gray Coach Roster
- Toronto Ferries
- Independent Bus Lines
- Drawings of TTC vehicles (and some more) by Peter McLaughlin
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