All-Time List of Canadian Transit Systems
by David A. Wyatt
Toronto Region, Ontario
Metropolitan Street Railway Company of Toronto (26 January 1885 -
Incorporated 02 March 1877 (Ont.) Animal railway service on Yonge
Street began in 1885. Electric service began 01 September 1890. Animal power
was resubstituted circa October 1890 - circa May 1891 (RFC).
Name changed to MStRyCo 1893.
Metropolitan Street Railway Company (1893 - 1897)
Name changed to MRyCo 1897.
Metropolitan Railway Company (1897 - 01 November 1904)
Service extended to Aurora and Newmarket by 1899.
acquired by the
Toronto Railway Company (city system), through
its subsidiary, the T&YRR, 01 August 1904. (photos Donald P. Evans collection)
Toronto and York Radial Railway Company (01 November 1904 - 16 March 1930)
Incorporated 1898 (Dom.) Owned by the
Toronto Railway Company (city system).
Company operations began when the MRyCo,
the T&SERL&PCo and the T&MRyCo were combined as the T&YRR 1904.
Acquired by the City of Toronto 16 August 1922 and
operated by the
Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario as
Hydro Electric Railways: Toronto and York Division from
01 November 1922 until 12 January 1927. After this date, service was
operated under contract by the
Toronto Transportation Commission.
Mimico line service suspended 27 September 1928 - 09 December 1928 and was
ended 09 February 1935> (RFC).
Scarborough line ended service 25 June 1936> (RFC).
North Yonge service abandoned by the T&YRR 16 March
1930>. Partial service resumed in July under a new owner.
North Yonge Railways (17 July 1930 - 09 October 1948>)
Owned by area municipalities. Operated under contract by the
Toronto Transportation Commission.
(photo: railpictures.ca/J. Bernard 1948).
Schomberg and Aurora Railway Company (1916 - 1922)
(Dom.) Opened in 1904 as a steam railway and acquired that year by
the T&YRR. Line was the site of a trial operation by gasoline-electric
car in October and November 1912.
Electrified in 1916. Operated as a subsidiary of
the T&YRR throughout its existence.
Reported in the CYB 1916 to 1922 (CYB 1916-17 - CYB 1922-23).
Line closed June 1927.
Kingston Road/Scarboro' Line
Kingston Road Tramways Company (09 June 1875 - circa May 1887)
Horse car operation from the Don River east on Kingston Road (now Queen Street
and Kingston Road) (RFC, Stamp).
A forerunner of the T&SERy (RFC).
Toronto and Scarboro' Electric Railway, Light and Power Company
(01 July 1893 - 01 November 1904)
Incorporated 18 August 1892 (Ont.)
Controlling interest acquired by the TRC 06 March 1895. Line
divided between the city system and the
T&YRR in 1904 or 1906.
Mimico/Port Credit Line
Toronto and Mimico Electric Railway and Light Company (16 July 1892
Incorporated 14 November 1890 (Ont.) Initial service between Sunnyside (Toronto) and the Humber River. Service suspended 10 September 1892 -
01 July 1893 (RFC). Controlling
interest acquired by the TRC 05 July 1893.
Service extended from Humber River to Mimico Creek 10 July 1893, and further to
Etobicoke Creek (Long Branch) 29 September 1893.
Name changed to
Toronto and Mimico Railway Company (1903 - 01 November 1904)
Service extended from Long Branch to Port Credit 24 December 1905.
Amalgamated into the T&YRR 1904.
City and Suburban Electric Railway Company (October 1892 -
Incorporated 12 November 1890 (Ont.) as the
Weston, High Park and Toronto Street Railway Company. Name
changed to C&SERyCo 1891.
Davenport Street Railway Company (06 September 1892 - 1894)
railway operating west of the then city limits of Toronto. Line was
merged into the Toronto Suburban in 1894.
Toronto Suburban Street Railway Company (1894 - 1900)
Incorporated 1894 as the merger of the C&SERyCo and
the DSRyCo. Name changed to
Toronto Suburban Railway Company (1900 - 26 December 1923)
Canadian Northern Railway Company
interests in 1911 and gradually extended. Line to Woodbridge opened October 1914. Service via Cooksville and Georgetown to Guelph opened 21 April 1917 (formal opening 14 April 1917).
Canadian Northern became
Canadian National Railways.
Suburban lines within the city of Toronto sold
15 November 1923 and absorbed by the TTC.
Canadian National Electric Railways: Toronto Suburban District (26 December 1923 - 15 August 1931)
Track in the Township of York sold to the municipality
25 November 1924 for operation as
York Township Railways
on behalf of the community by the TTC (see Toronto).
York Township and the
Town of Weston jointly acquired Toronto Suburban Weston line 28 November 1925, adding it to
York Twp Rys. The line from Weston north to Woodbridge
was abandoned 10 May 1926.
The Toronto - Guelph line closed 15 August 1931.
Toronto Eastern Railway Company (No operation)
Commuter rail service in Canada has existed almost as long as there have
been passenger railways, but the operation of rail commuter services
by a transit agency in the Toronto region dates only from 1967.
Incorporated 04 April 1910 (Dom.) to build a high speed electric interurban from Toronto east
Oshawa. Company acquired by
Canadian Northern Railway
interests 1911 who extended the proposal east of Oshawa to
Cobourg. Construction begun 1912.
By 1913 track was in place from Bowmanville to Whitby, and construction halted. The
property passed with its parent to
Canadian National Railways September 1918.
Amalgamated with the Toronto Suburban 26 December 1923 to form
Canadian National Electric Railways.
CNERys began rehabilitation of the existing trackwork in 1923, and new construction between
Whitby and Pickering was undertaken. The CNR abandoned the project a second
time in 1924. No commercial service ever operated on the line. (RFC, Due)
Exactly when a train is a commuter train is open to debate. The pre-GO selections below are
based on meeting three criteria:
With this criteria several commuter train services can be identified from CN
and CP timetables in the late 1950s and late 1960s. This is supplemented by additional sources, but cannot be considered complete.
- operation at least Monday through Friday,
- scheduled to arrive downtown just before the start of the workday and with a return trip
departing just after the workday, and
- a one-way trip time of approximately 90 minutes or less.
Toronto Belt Line Railway [Company] (30 July 1892 - 17 November 1894)
Organized by local interests but closely allied with the
Grand Trunk Railway Company. Constructed
linking trackage creating two loops between downtown Toronto and nearby suburbs.
Financially unable to complete construction, the TBL was
acquired 01 June 1892 by the GTR which completed it and began operations.
Unprofitable, the GTR terminated passenger service and abandoned some of
the trackage in 1894. (Riddell, p. 7)
Canadian National Railways (1918? - 1982)
- Hamilton - Oakville - Toronto
(39.3 mi./62.9 km, 80-90 min.).
Commuting by train between Hamilton and Toronto has long been available.
In the 1920s and 1930s short turn trips were also operated between Toronto and Oakville (21.3 mi./34.1 km).
In 1956/57 a weekday Hamilton train arrived in Toronto at 7:35am and another, daily except Sunday, followed
at 8:30am. Return commutes departed Toronto daily except Sunday at 5:20pm and weekdays at
Those homebound to Hamilton could also take a 55 min. express at
6:00pm. Off-peak service was supplemented by additional trains. (CN 1956/57).
In 1956/57 a reverse commute was also possible, with passengers
arriving in Hamilton at 8:20am. Return service was provided by a train originating at
Niagara Falls, Ont., and boarding at Hamilton at 6:30pm (CN 1956/57).
The Toronto schedule was the same 1966/67, but the reverse Hamilton commute was no longer possible
(CN 1966/67). GO Transit assumed the service in 1967.
- Guelph - Georgetown - Toronto
(48.8 mi./78.1 km, 85-92 min.).
In 1966/67 a weekday morning train arrived in Toronto at 8:00am, with a corresponding
homeward departure at 5:20pm (CN 1966/67). This service was discontinued 14 November 1975
after overlapping with new Georgetown GO service for 18½ months
- Weston - Toronto
(8.6 mi./13.8 km).
In the 1920s and 1930s CN operated frequent round trip service between Toronto and Weston.
- Stouffville - Markham - Toronto
(28.7 mi./45.9 km to Stouffville, 22.3 mi./35.7 km to Markham).
Route established by cutting back Toronto - Belleville via Stouffville
1962 to Toronto - Markham (out only).
A 1971 application to abandon yielded order to extend to Stouffville.
Became a GO Transit service September 1982.
(Mark Brader, Tom Box).
- Barrie - Toronto
(64.1 mi./102.6 km).
A CN commuter run from April 1974.
Became a GO Transit service September 1982 and cut back to
Bradford (41.5 mi./66.4 km). GO resumed running through to Barrie between September 1990 and July 1993.
(Mark Brader, Tom Box).
Canadian Pacific Railway Company (? - 1978)
Via Rail Canada, Inc. (1978 - 1982, 1985 - 1990)
- Havelock - Peterborough - Toronto
(100.8 mi./161.3 km and 145-150 min. from Havelock, 76.5 mi./122.4 km and 110-115 min. from Peterborough).
Although very long by commuter train norms, it's difficult to explain why else this service
was scheduled daily except Sunday, arriving in Toronto at 8:50am and departing at 6:30pm
except for commuters (CP 1957/58). The schedule was still in place in 1968
(CP 1968/69) and was transferred to Via c1978.
In 1988 bleary-eyed commuters still arrived
in Toronto by 8:30am (163 minutes after leaving Havelock and 123 minutes from Peterborough).
The return trip left Toronto at 5:30pm with similar running times (Via 1988/89).
Service last day 06 September 1982, reinstated 03 June 1985, and cancelled permanently January 1990. (Tom Box, Via timetables 01 June 1982 and 01 June 1985, photo: S. Danko/www.railpictures.ca).
If the commuter travel time window is stretched to two hours, then
Via Rail Canada, Inc.'s weekday trains between Toronto and
London via Brantford and Woodstock (185 km, 115-121 min.) arriving Toronto 8:25am and
departing 5:15pm, and between Toronto and Niagara Falls via St. Catharines, Grimsby and
Oakville (132 km, 113-115 min.) arriving Toronto 8:35am and departing 5:45pm would also
qualify as commuter trains (Via 2006/2007). Weekdaily commuting, especially from intermediate points, is
also available on Via's trains 86 & 87 (Toronto - London)
and 651 & 48 (Toronto - Kingston), although endpoint-to-Toronto travel times
approach or exceed three hours on these services (Tom Box).
Commuter train operation by a public transit agency began in 1967.
GO Transit (23 May 1967 - present)
Originally established as
Government of Ontario Transit, but
this long form of the name is now obsolete.
GO Transit became the responsibility of the
Greater Toronto Services Board 07 August 1999 as the
Toronto Area Transportation Operating Authority (TATOA).
GO returned to provincial
control as a crown corporation under the
Greater Toronto Transit Authority (GTTA) 01 January 2002.
Seven rail lines.
GO also operates (or contracts for the operation of) bus services in the Toronto region.
Bus services, first introduced 08 September 1970, now
link several additional communities with the rail system and
with Toronto, including
Barrie, Bolton (discontinued 1990s),
Churchill, Courtice, Goodwood (ended 1996),
Guelph, Holland Landing, Huttonville,
Nobleton (discontinued 1990s), Norval,
Palgrave (discontinued 1990s),
Rockwood, Stroud, and Uxbridge (ended 1996).
Bus service contractors have included
Gray Coach Lines (CC72, Russell's 1989),
Charterways Transportation Limited (Russell's 1989),
Penetang-Midland Coach Lines Limited (Russell's 1989).
(CUTA 1989, CUTA 1991/2, CUTA 1992. Photos: Richard Hooles 2001, Alex Regiec 2004, Wikipedia)
- Lakeshore West (1967 - present)
Port Credit -
- Lakeshore East (1967 - present)
Oshawa (1990 - present).
- Georgetown (1974 - present)
Acton (1990 - 1993, 2012 - present) -
Guelph (1990 - 1993, 2011 - present) -
Kitchener (2011 - present).
- Milton (1981 - present)
- Richmond Hill (1978 - present)
- Bradford (1982 - present)
King City -
Barrie South (2007 - present) /
Barrie (1990 - 1993).
- Stouffville (1982 - present)
|Service area population||4,200,000 (1991)
||Vehicle fleet||211 buses,
314 coaches (2000)
|Data source:||CUTA 1991/2|
Mike Rivest 1998 (logo)
CTF [Aug. 2010] (ridership)
Greyhound QuickLink Commuter Service (200x? - present)
Various routes and schedules operated by
Greyhound Transportation Canada Inc. in the Toronto Region are marketed
as QuickLink commuter services, with commuting schedules and monthly passes.
A January 2008 survey found around twelve routes with either schedules, monthly passes, or both:
Since October 2007 Greyhound has been a subsidiary of
FirstBus Canada Ltd. The QuickLink brand is also used in the United States.
(www.greyhoundquicklink.ca 27 January 2008).
- Toronto - Barrie (monthly pass: $315.00, 17+ round trips per weekday, one-way travel times 1:30-1:45);
- Toronto - Buffalo (pass: $425.00/student: $382.00);
- Toronto - Cambridge (pass: $359.00, 12+ rt/wkdy, 1:00-1:45);
- Toronto - Guelph (pass: $309.00, 16 rt/wkdy, 1:10-1:45);
- Toronto/Scarborough Town Centre - Grimsby ($254.00/student: $200.00);
- Toronto - Waterloo Sun Life/Kitchener ($359.00, 23+ rt/wkdy, 1:15-2:50);
- Toronto/Scarborough TC - Niagara Falls ($424.00/student: $412.00, 11 rt/wkdy, 1:20-2:15);
- Toronto/Yorkdale - Orillia ($359.00);
- Toronto/Scarborough TC -Peterborough ($355.00, 10 rt/wkdy, 1:30-2:25);
- Toronto/Scarborough TC - St. Catharines ($330.00/student: $297.00, 10 rt/wkdy, 1:10-1:50);
- Toronto - Hamilton ($269.00/student: $199.00, 4+ rt/wkdy, 0:55-1:20); and
- Toronto - Brantford ($350.00, 1 rt/wkdy, 2:10).
- Canadian National Railways Time Tables 30 Sep 1956 - 27 Apr 1957.
- Canadian Pacific Time Table, System Folder, 27 Oct 1957 - 26 Apr 1958.
- Canadian National Railways, System Time Table, 30 Oct 1966 - 29 Apr 1967.
- Canadian Pacific Time Table, 27 Oct 1968 - 26 Apr 1969.
- Official Canadian Bus Guide, Russell's Guides, Inc.,
Cedar Rapids (Iowa), July-August 1989.
- Riddell, John, The Railways of Toronto (Volume Two): The First Hundred Years,
B.R.M.N.A., Calgary (Alberta), 1994[?].
- Stamp, Robert M., Riding the Radials: Toronto's Suburban
Electric Streetcar Lines, The Boston Mills Press, Erin (Ontario), 1989.
- Via National Timetable, Effective 30 October 1988.
Copyright ©1989-2013 David A. Wyatt. All Rights Reserved.
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This page last modified: Monday, 22-Jul-2013 17:00:53 CDT