The Department of Labours’ National Selective Service was an agency in charge of the manpower mobilization. The TTC was declared an essential service. Employees were not required to go to war unless approved by the Selective Service. TTC employees who served were guaranteed a job upon their return home.
To accommodate this promise, the TTC redeployed those in its workforce to fill vacancies. However, by 1943 there was a significant shortage of employees within the TTC. Wives of employees serving overseas often were hired to fill these vacancies.
Women were first hired to fill traditional office roles as clerks and stenographers. Eventually, they were also employed to clean streetcars and buses. The TTC gave the matter much consideration before women were hired as bus drivers, operators, and conductors. Women began working as bus drivers on July 29, 1943, as conductors on September 3, 1943, and as operators on November 8, 1943. At the end of the war, the permanent male TTC staff returned, and these female staff left the TTC.
The TTC had been declared and essential service, as such, all TTC employees were exempt from military service. Special permission was required from the Selective Service agency to leave their TTC employ.
By 1943 the TTC decided to start to hire women to fill those vacancies created when men were granted permission to join the war effort. Advertisements were placed in newspapers and women were required to sign a three page contract stating that their employment was temporary; their employment would be terminated upon return of the male employees.
The TTC erected separate quarters at each division to accommodate the female operators. These buildings were slated for demolition upon the termination of the women employees’ contracts.
By 1946 the war had ended and the women who replaced the men were starting to be let go.