ttc history

Someone in Toronto found what just might be the oldest TTC subway transfer ever

Someone in Toronto recently found a TTC subway transfer from 69 years ago, and it just might be the oldest subway ticket out there. 

The transfer dates back to Aug. 28, 1953, which is actually months before the Yonge subway line — and Canada's first ever subway line — opened to the public in March of 1954

In fact, it seems the ticket was merely a souvenir presented to attendees of the Canadian National Exhibition that summer, where the first subway cars were put on display ahead of the line's opening.    

"My grandmother Pauline Ross or her Brother Jack Sullivan probably picked this up," Wesley French, who discoverd the small piece of history, told blogTO.

"They were both artists, and they had many collections accumulated over the decades. They religiously attended the CNE and they kept things that most people wouldn't."

While there are archives of transfers dating back as far as the late 1800s and early 1900s, these tickets were for the Toronto Railway Company and TTC buses and streetcars, respectively.

This subway transfer, on the other hand, appears to be one of, if not the, oldest of its kind.

At the time of its opening, the Yonge subway line only included 12 stops: Union, King, Queen, Dundas, College, Wellesley, Bloor, Rosedale, Summerhill, St. Clair, Davisville and Eglinton. 

In total, it only took 12 minutes to ride the whole line. But it was an absolute game-changer for the city at the time, so it's no wonder French's relatives chose to hold on to the souvenir. 

"My grandmother loved this city," French said. "She came into her prime, as did the city, in the modern post-war era."

Lead photo by

Wesley French


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