Consolidation: The TTC in the Twenties – Buses and Trolleys
Although the TTC inherited a system that was dominated by street railway services, the Commission quickly realized that combining buses with streetcars would greatly increase the reach of the transportation network. Less populated residential neighbourhoods may not have warranted the investment required for rail service, but buses would be ideal. With the unification of transportation services, and a single-fare system to the suburbs, expansion of the city was inevitable. Workers no longer had to live within walking distance of factories, meaning that industrial expansion could take advantage of undeveloped real estate on the fringes. Businesses vied with each other for locations along the new streetcar routes, and, then as now, new housing sprouted up wherever easy access to the TTC was available. In the 10 years after the TTC was formed in 1921, the population of Toronto grew from 522,000 to 627,000, and assessed property values increased by 60 per cent. There can be no doubt that public transportation services provided a major stimulus to the city’s growth and progress.
Adjoining municipalities also recognized the many benefits that adequate transportation services can provide. Not wanting to be left behind, these communities entered into a special agreement with the Commission to manage the operation of their public transit systems. Included in this arrangement were the Township of York, the Village of Forest Hill, the Town of Weston, the Town of Leaside, the Township of East York, and the municipalities along the northern reaches of Yonge Street as far as Richmond Hill.