TTC 1960s

What the TTC looked like in the 1960s and '70s

The TTC of the 1960s and '70s witnessed great change. While the original 12-stop subway had opened in 1954, it was the following decades that would see the system take its modern shape, first with the opening of the University line in 1963, then with Bloor-Danforth in 1966, and finally with the Spadina Line in 1978

The fascinating thing about photos of the subway from this era is the profound familiarity they evoke, even as the stations and vehicles look very different. In the 1960s, Vitrolite tiles ruled the system, giving it an aesthetic that's been described as "bathroom architecture."

The most iconic feature of the old TTC, however, must surely be the red G-series cars. They have stiff competition from PCC streetcars, which are likely the source of the red rocket moniker, but in the end civic pride rooted in the first subway cars give them the edge.

Well, that and the fact that the lights used to always flicker out, which brought a certain allure to even the most mundane subway trip.

In some sense, these were the glory years for the TTC. The system was well equipped to deal with the population of the city, and overcrowding wasn't a constant problem.

The stations themselves also had a remarkably clean appeal during this period, representative of a Toronto that was known as "the city that works."

Here's what the TTC looked like in the 1960s and '70s.

ttc 1960s

Bloor Station streetcar platform pre-Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth). Photo by John Bromley.

ttc 1960s

Gloucester Car in Davisville Yards, 1960s. Photo via Chuckman's Nostalgia.

ttc 1960s

Davisville Station looking south, 1969. Photo by NE2 3PN.

ttc 1960s

St. Clair Station, 1960s.

ttc 1970s

St. Andrew Station, late 1960s. Note original Vitrolite tiles. Photo via Transit Toronto.

ttc 1960s

Looking north up Lansdowne at Bloor. Photo via John Bromley's archives.

ttc 1960s

TTC route map, early 1970s (before Spadina Extension).

ttc 1970s

Union Station, late 1970s. Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg, Library and Archives Canada.

ttc 1970s

Queen Station, 1975.

ttc 1960s

Davisville Station, early 1970s.

ttc 1970s

Rosedale Station, late 1970s. Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg, Library and Archives Canada.

ttc 1970s

Presidents Conference Committee streetcar on King near Church, 1970s. Photo via John Bromley's archives.

ttc 1970s

Interior of subway train, 1975. 

ttc 1970s

Opening Day of Spadina Line at St. Clair West Station, 1978. Photo via Robert Lubinski.

ttc 1970s

Wilson Station, late 1970s. Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg, Library and Archives Canada.

ttc 1970s

Spadina Station moving sidewalk, late 1970s. Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg, Library and Archives Canada.

ttc 1970s

Eglinton Station, late 1970s. Photo by Ben Mark Holzberg, Library and Archives Canada.

Lead photo by

Toronto Archives


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