Vintage TTC Buses Toronto

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.

1920s

Fifth Avenue Double-decker bus

2011513-double-decker-bus-1921.jpg


AEC 404 Double-decker (I think)

2011513-Double-decker-bus-1922.jpg


Trolley bus by J Packard

2011513-trolley_bus_1922.jpg


Fifth Avenue J-type

2011513-fifth-avenue-j-type-bus-1923.jpg


Fifth Avenue single deck model

2011513-single-deck-1923-2.jpg


Fifth Avenue single-deck variation

2011513-single-deck-1923-variation.jpg


Humberside bus 1923

2011513-Humberside-bus-1923.jpg


Orange Day celebrations on a double-decker (1926)

2011513-Double-Decker-Bus-1926-Orange-Day.jpg


Yellow Coach model Z

2011513-Yellow-Coach-Model-Z-1926.jpg


Yellow Coach model X

2011513-Yellow-Coach-model-x-1926.jpg


Fifth Avenue Coach

2011513-Fith-avenue-coach-1926-modified.jpg


Studebaker Bus No. 29

2011513-Studebaker-bus-no29-1927.jpg


Mack Bus

2011513-mack-bus-229-1928.jpg


1940s

Tommy Holmes, TTC Conducter (in a convertible!)

2011513-Tommy_holmes-VC-TTC-Conducter-1940s.jpg


Driver trainee

2011513-bus-female-trainee-1940s.jpg


1950s

Brill Trolley Coach on Ossington

2011513-bus-ossington-1950s.jpg


Brill Coach at Yonge and College

2011513-yonge-bus-1950s-better.jpg


Crowds board buses

2011513-crowds_buses1957.jpg


Christmas bus (1957)

2011513-christmas_bus-1957.jpg


Getting painted (1958)

2011513-painting_buses-1958.jpg


Brand new in 1958

2011513-New-bus-1958.jpg


1960s

GM Fishbowl at Rosedale Station

2011513-Bus-at-Rosedale1961.jpg


2011513-bus-3108-1963.jpg

1970s

New Look GM at Bathurst Station 1970

2011318-lead-Bathurst-Station-1970.jpg


1980s

Toronto Flyer Trolley Bus (via the

2011513-Toronto_Flyer_trolley_bus_in_1987.jpg

Wikimedia Commons)

Ditto (via the

2011513-Toronto_Flyer_E700A_trolleybus_in_1987.jpg

Wikimedia Commons)

And one more

2011114-90s_bus.jpg


1990s

Articulated bus (via

2011513-TTC-articulated-320-yonge.jpg

Transit Toronto)
All photos from the Toronto Archives unless otherwise noted.


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