What TTC buses used to look like
Although the TTC streetcar takes the cake as far as Toronto transit icons go, our buses hold a particular place in my heart. Sure, buses are a common form of transportation in any North American city (which streetcars are not), but watching them change shapes and styles over the years is the type of nostalgia tripping I'm always up for.
Perhaps surprisingly, bus transit in Toronto dates back to the early 1920s, when the city was serviced by a diverse fleet (see below) operated by the Toronto Transportation Commission. In fact, we even had a few double-deckers cruising around town back then. And it's fascinating to see that even by the end of the decade, there are hints of the exterior styling to come in the 50 years that followed.
Also interesting is the history of the New Look GM "Fishbowl" type bus, which was introduced into the TTC fleet in 1959 and purchased up until their discontinuation in 1983. Although well on their way to being phased out now, there are still about 45 remaining in service. These were popular buses across North America, but no more so than in Toronto.
One caveat. This is not an authoritative guide to TTC buses. Having compiled these photographs, I'm quite sure that such project is beyond my scope. Even captioning these images proved challenging, so do leave a comment if I've misidentified something. Should one be interested in this subject beyond the visual level, the best place for information is the Transit Toronto archives and photo galleries, which have plenty more over and above what's presented below.
Fifth Avenue Double-decker bus
AEC 404 Double-decker (I think)
Trolley bus by J Packard
Fifth Avenue J-type
Fifth Avenue single deck model
Fifth Avenue single-deck variation
Humberside bus 1923
Orange Day celebrations on a double-decker (1926)
Yellow Coach model Z
Yellow Coach model X
Fifth Avenue Coach
Studebaker Bus No. 29
Tommy Holmes, TTC Conducter (in a convertible!)
Brill Trolley Coach on Ossington
Brill Coach at Yonge and College
Crowds board buses
Christmas bus (1957)
Getting painted (1958)
Brand new in 1958
GM Fishbowl at Rosedale Station
New Look GM at Bathurst Station 1970
Toronto Flyer Trolley Bus (via the Wikimedia Commons)
Ditto (via the Wikimedia Commons)
And one more