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Where to find abandoned TTC buses and subway trains

Posted by Chris Bateman / August 2, 2012

ttc abandoned busThere's a haunting and strangely beautiful quality to Toronto's abandoned and derelict places that makes for fantastic photography. Maybe it's due to the faded signs of life, and the grass and wild flowers slowly reclaiming the man-made objects, or maybe its the sense of silence and privacy.

Snapped a few days ago at sunset by photographer Peter Muzyka and uploaded to the blogTO Flickr pool, these graffiti-covered and seemingly mothballed TTC vehicles near the commission's Wilson Subway Yard do, apparently, serve a purpose.

toronto ttc abandoned subway train wilson"I was going through Downsview many, many times and I always saw those objects from far, far away and I wasn't sure what they were at the time until someone mentioned it," explains Russian expat Muzyka. "You can see them from the window of the train [between Downsview and Wilson]."

To get inside the fenced-off area, Muzyka sweet-talked friends at the Wilson yard into letting him inside for a few hours while they performed maintenance. Though technically part of the complex, the field containing the vehicles is actually some distance from any active tracks.

"It was quite surreal because usually you don't see a train or bus in that kind of setting. Usually you see them in concrete with people around and all that. Here, it was quite a contrast because you see them in a really beautiful field. There were lots of different flowers there, such as camomile flowers, and the bus was basically sinking in this tall, beautiful grass."

According to Brad Ross, executive director of corporate communications at the TTC, the H2 H4 series subway cars and city bus are used by Toronto Police Service for training exercises, though the undisturbed brush around the vehicles suggests no-one has been by for some time. Inside, a thin layer of gray-white dust coats the seats and floor.

toronto ttc abandoned subway train wilson interiorMuzyka estimates the cars last saw use in 2001, gauging by dates on promotional material left inside. The last H4 subway train made its final ride on the Bloor-Danforth line in January of this year.

"It was quite nostalgic for me because I actually came to Canada in 2001. It was like they were taken from the past and frozen in time."


toronto ttc abandoned subway train wilson window

toronto ttc abandoned subway train wilson cab interior

toronto ttc abandoned subway train wilson graffiti



Blair / August 2, 2012 at 09:47 am
Effin Foamers!
Shannon / August 2, 2012 at 10:29 am
stinger / August 2, 2012 at 11:27 am
blogto, do you advocate tresspassing?
Elle Em / August 2, 2012 at 11:47 am
Very cool shots!
j-rock / August 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm
I had a photo entered in the photo-of-the-week contest last week, and I still voted for this person. They knocked it out of the park with some of these shots.
chau / August 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm
I love these! It's so beautiful! :) Please make prints~
Ron / August 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm
My god, the shot from inside the cab at sunset is breathtaking. It's like looking into a time machine. So incredibly well done.

The pictures really affected me. Very impressed.
ReadingIsGood replying to a comment from stinger / August 2, 2012 at 01:09 pm
If you actually bothered to read the article, you would have seen:

"To get inside the fenced-off area, Muzyka sweet-talked friends at the Wilson yard into letting him inside for a few hours while they performed maintenance."

Liz Kantor / August 2, 2012 at 01:15 pm
Beautiful pictures!
stinger replying to a comment from ReadingIsGood / August 2, 2012 at 01:28 pm
I read the article and acknowlege that the photographer gained permission to enter (although I doubt the TTC's insurance permits this sort of thing) but believe that articles like this will just promote copycats to tresspass.

Liam / August 2, 2012 at 01:32 pm
Excellent shots - like out of a beautiful apocalypse or something
drew / August 2, 2012 at 01:46 pm
Glorifying trespassing at a location where security should be of utmost concern. Great job blogTO
Dina / August 2, 2012 at 01:59 pm
Pics are great, but I hardly doubt this person got permission and the people he "sweet talked" better keep a lid on it or they may end up fired. This is not allowed unless it comes from the top brass. Sweet talking employees is NOT the same as getting permission.
Doublya / August 2, 2012 at 02:04 pm
For every cool article on BlogTO I gotta see a bunch of idiotic comments from these wanna be high-brow looser.
Jesus Christ / August 2, 2012 at 04:38 pm
who cares if people trespass or not? They get caught, they get fined/arrested. Its their life.
Svej replying to a comment from drew / August 2, 2012 at 04:48 pm
Calm your tits and appreciate the photography.
Gus / August 2, 2012 at 06:26 pm
I took more issue with the article title: "Buses" turns out to be 1 bus; "Subway Trains" turns out to be 2 cars, or 1/3 of a train. I was hoping it would have been more of a comprensive listing of vehicles found around Ontario, like old PCC streetcars turned into diners, that sort of thing.
Toronto My Way replying to a comment from stinger / August 2, 2012 at 07:23 pm
Stinger, seriously?

The photographer asked permission and was permitted onto the property. And he wasn't there to do damage or otherwise upset whatever he found, he took some haunting, enchanting photos with artistic and historic merit to them.

erik mauer / August 2, 2012 at 08:37 pm
trespassing? the real crime here is the TTC's poor quality of service to its paying customers.
The Lonely Troll / August 2, 2012 at 09:02 pm
Rob Ford!
uniqueperspective / August 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm
Very inspiring shots. Trespassing or not, no harm was done..only good through sharing and inspiring others through their unique perspective. it takes real talent to be able to tell a story through the medium of photography and this individual has succeeded in doing so. Thank you for captivating me through your juxtaposed compositions of the well-known ttc vehicles I see everyday. Amazing.
JoVoPhoto / August 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm
Nice work yes, but also very close to Downsview airport lucky security didn't give you a hard time..
Aaron / August 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm
Cool! Would be a great spot for a late night festivity.

Some of you have your butt cheeks clenched way too tight.
namehijacked / August 3, 2012 at 07:16 am
How about the middle of Parliament St?
At 10 pm last night, I had to pick something up at the office, so after the gym I swung by and on my way home took Parliament, figuring - heck, it's late, traffic will be light... No, this is Toronto. The usual parked behemoth in the middle of the street, another north-bound - empty, of course. Parliament must be the busiest non-streetcar serviced streetcar route in the city.
Even late at night they obstruct traffic.

Who needs to travel to far flung places to capture a shot of a rusting dinosaur?
Tom West replying to a comment from stinger / August 3, 2012 at 11:00 am
He got permission to enter...
Mike / August 3, 2012 at 11:58 am
Uh there are no h2 cars left anywhere. The cars in the picture are the h4 series.
Chucky replying to a comment from Jeff / August 5, 2012 at 07:57 pm
Hawker Siddeley FTW!!!
HRHNikkiAwesome replying to a comment from stinger / August 23, 2012 at 06:13 pm
It's gorgeous art, dick.

Harrumph elsewhere!
Chris / September 1, 2012 at 07:15 pm
thanks for blowing up the spot! the cars are gone now. either stashed somewhere in the yard or being cut up in pieces at a scrap yard in hamilton.
darryl / April 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm
I saw a old ttc bus in a farm feild north on hwy six going toward aberfoyle on the right hand side
Alishba / October 20, 2014 at 03:52 pm
Hey guys...
Are these still there?
Ee / December 31, 2015 at 03:06 pm
It in Wilson yard
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