The All-Time List of
Canadian Transit Systems

1.0 Introduction


The several cities listed are an attempt to enumerate all the currently or previously operating urban transit systems in Canada. Where data has been found listing a transit operator for an urban area, that area, listed under the name of its principal city, is included in this list. Omissions from the list are due to one reason: no transit system cited in any of the references, and does not exclude the past or present existence of an urban transit system.


Urban Transit Systems are organized around existing urban transit service areas. Where an existing service area encompasses formerly individual operations, the various predecessors are included under the modern city designation. Except as noted below, transit service areas known by regional names are still listed under the name of the principal city.

Where multiple commuter services connect (or connected) large cities with outlying communities it has been convenient to group them on a single page. These are: Calgary Region, Edmonton Region, Banlieues de Montreal, Banlieues de Quebec & Levis, Toronto Region, Vancouver Region, and Winnipeg Region.

Principal System

Under each city is listed the known transit properties with their beginning and ending dates of operation. Throughout the list, operator and property names are given in italics. Where no dates are known, the (dated) source of the information is provided. No effort has been made to list handicapped transit services, airport services, or services operated for special events or other temporary circumstances. Operator names or parts of names contained in square brackets are assumptions.


In circumstances where modes other than motor bus are or have been used a list of modes and their dates of operation are given. The list is complete in its inclusion of the “animal railway,” “electric railway” and “trolley coach” modes, and the “motor bus” mode can probably be assumed universally. Dates of a mode's start and end of service are less complete. Where the last scheduled day's service extended after midnight into the next calendar day, the last “full” day is listed and suffixed “>” meaning “and into the early morning hours of the next day.” The omission of “omnibus” (animal powered bus) cannot be assumed to exclude it.

Urban Transit During the Second World War

The Second World War (1939-1945) brought extensive gasoline and rubber rationing to Canadians and as a result many smaller communities supported local transit services and many suburban services operated between employment centres and nearby towns. The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, with more than 200 operating locations, also generated extensive requirements for local bus services. Almost none of this has been adequately documented and it probably constitutes the greatest shortcoming to the data this document contains. While street and electric railways had been the subject of government interest since before the end of the 19th century, the collection of statistical information on local (bus) transit by the federal government originated with the establisment of the Dominion Transit Controller during the war. Research into the records of the DTC remains to be done.
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Copyright ©1989-2012 David A. Wyatt. All Rights Reserved. This page last modified: Wednesday, 29-Aug-2012 16:00:17 CDT