The Second World War saw significant changes on the home front. The government encouraged businesses to enter war production, and rationing came into effect. Women entered the workforce in great numbers into jobs not generally seen as being in their realm of expertise.

During the Second World War, a Federal Transit Controller was installed to ensure that all transportation systems were used effectively and assisted in the war effort. The TTC and its Hillcrest Shops aided in this effort. Under this controlling body, the TTC was given permission to purchase more PCCs and buses. These purchases were necessary to meet the TTC’s ridership growth, which doubled from 1939 to 1945. To accommodate demands for new services and increased ridership, the TTC extended routes or began new services, new loops were created, and more substations were needed to relieve the electrical overload.


Three articles on one page. They are titled "T.T.C. War Equipment Production", "Record Traffic Year for Toronto Indicated", New Substations for Toronto"
Canadian Transportation, TTC War Equipment Production
Fonds 16, Series 2158, Sub-series 2, Item 22.


The provision of public transit was seen as necessary for the success of the war effort.


Crowds of people awaiting buses in an industrial area.
Buses at Research Enterprises Limited, Leaside
June 10, 1943
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 14442J.
Crowd of people going to streetcar. Background shows large industrial brick buildings.
Wartime loading at King and Strachan for the Massey-Harris Company
March 17, 1943
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 14351.
New substations were erected to supply the additional power required by TTC streetcars to meet the high demand on the system.


One storey brick building with small pine trees around it with fenced yard..
Beaches Substation
July 26, 1943
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 14469.
One story brick building with transformer yard in the backyard.
Roncesvalles Substation
June 3, 1943
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 14431.
TTC built and maintained a variety of bus and streetcar loops around the City, which made it easier for rolling stock to navigate the ends of routes, while also providing comfort for riders and easing traffic congestion. Several additional loops were built during the war to reduce the need for streetcars to turn around via public roadways; improve connections between buses and streetcars, and extend streetcar service closer to newly-built war industries.


Vacant bus shelter with pillars, roof, and bench. Background shows houses and three storey brick buildings.
Vaughan Loop, looking eastward
April 21, 1942
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 14105.
Vacant large circular bus loop beside a BA Oil Gas Station.
Avon Loop, looking northwest. Avon Loop, on Weston Road, was planned to provide sufficient service to accommodate war workers at the York Arsenal and other war industries in that area. It remains in use today for bus service.
September 9, 1943
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 14483.
Victory loans were a means for the Canadian Government to raise monies for the war effort. TTC employees, through payroll deductions, invested in Victory Loans and War Savings Certificates. The 4th Victory Loan had 2832 TTC employees apply, which resulted in a $238,500 contribution.


Victory Bonds sign attached to TTC vehicle. Background shows brick building storefronts.
TTC 4th Victory Loan float. This was a TTC maintenance work car that was decorated with these patriotic signs.
May 6, 1943.
Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 14400.
Article about contributing to victory loans
The Coupler, the Fourth Victory Loan, April 1943.