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.


A bus is on a country road. There are metal arms coming up from the top of the bus to meet the electric wires overhead.
Mount Pleasant Road had trolley-bus service from 1922 to 1925. The trolley-bus was a short-lived experimental service and was replaced by streetcar service, but then the trolley-buses returned again to Mount Pleasant Road from 1977 to 1991!
Fonds 16, Series 836, Subseries 4, File 6.


A line of people are standing along a curb waiting to board a bus.
Toronto’s first bus route, Humberside, started on September 20, 1921 when four solid-tired, double-deck buses commenced service between Dundas Street and Runnymede Road via Humberside Avenue. Bus route numbers were used for only a short time in the early 1920s, before returning to use in the 1950s.
May 7, 1923
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 2115.


A small bus drives down a road in winter. There are detached three-storey houses behind it.
The Glen Road bus in Rosedale
March 8, 1923
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 1917.


Front of a bus with a front that looks like an old-fashioned truck. The sign reads "High Park Ave., Annette, Jane.:
This White Company chassis has a TTC-built body on it.
November 20, 1924
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 3555.


A round sign on top of a shoulder-high pole. It says "Runnymede bus stops here."
Runnymede and Lambton bus stop signs on Keele Street, south of Dundas Street. By 1933, TTC car and bus stop signs were standardized to the familiar white pole with red bands at top and bottom, still in use today.
August 2, 1929
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 7085.
People in winter coats are boarding a double-decker bus with an open top. In the background is the outside of a two-storey sports stadium with large arched windows.
TTC double-decker bus on Fleet Street, serving people who worked along the waterfront. The Maple Leaf Baseball stadium that had been near the foot of Bathurst Street is visible at the right of the image.
April 3, 1930
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 7516.


A small bus with a front end that looks like a truck, and a shiny boy with white trim around the windows.
Bus for the Oakwood Avenue route seen at the Hillcrest facility. Within a few years, buses of this design would be made obsolete by modern rear-engined buses, which increased capacity and improved access for passengers.
April 2, 1929
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 6685.


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.


A map showing the different routes in different colours. Most are concentrated in downtown Toronto, but some go out as far as Jane Street, Weston, North York, and the Beach.
Map showing the daily TTC streetcar and bus routings (except Sunday) in effect on December 1st, 1925. “Daily” at the time referred to Monday to Saturday. Most offices worked a half day in the morning on Saturday as part of the normal work week, and TTC routes had to accommodate the early afternoon rush on Saturday. A revised route network, with less service, operated on Sunday.
Fonds 16, Series 836, Subseries 3, Item 268.