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Old Time Trains
The City of Toronto Takes Over

The City of Toronto took over the private street railways within its city limits after years of a mix of municipal and private ownership split into a number of separate operations. This was done in order to provide an integrated system with one fare and without the need to change cars at invisible boundaries. These boundaries had been unintentionally created by the original franchise and by the various annexations towns and villages by the city of Toronto. This was accomplished by the creation of the Toronto Transportation Commission to take over the city-owned Toronto Civic Railways which were split by the privately-owned Toronto Railway Company of Mackenzie and Mann who also owned the Toronto Suburban Railway.

Proposed purchase of Toronto Suburban properties by City of Toronto. Article 1922

The TTC began its operations on September 1, 1921 however; it was not until November 15, 1923 that agreement was reached to take over the TSR operations centering on the Junction within the city limits. This included the Davenport route which had already been shortened slightly when the track on Bathurst Street was sold to the TTC and the route terminated at Davenport and Bathurst effective October 30, 1921. The Lambton route from Keele Street along Dundas to Runnymede and the Weston route from Dundas along Keele and Weston Road to Northlands Avenue were also purchased.

The portions of the routes beyond the city were acquired by other entities. The Township of York acquired on November 18, 1924, that portion of the Lambton route within its boundaries from Runnymede Road to Lambton Park. It was re-gauged November 24-25 from standard to the odd-ball TTC gauge of 4 feet 10 and 7/8 inches and its operation was turned over to the TTC effective on the 25th. It is unknown if a separate fare was required for this short distance although it is likely so. In any event the line didn't last long as it was replaced by buses on August 17, 1928 which originated in the Junction at Keele and Dundas and on June 24, 1929 this Lambton bus route was extended west across the new high-level bridge over the Humber River to Lambton Avenue (Prince Edward Drive).

Total disruption! Looking east at Dundas and Keele changing track gauge. November 19, 1923 TTC

The Weston route was far more complicated with four ownerships. As already mentioned the TTC took over the portion within the City of Toronto from the Junction up Keele Street and Weston Road to the city limits at Northlands Avenue. The next portion was acquired October 1, 1925 by York Township north to its boundary with the Town of Weston which likewise bought its portion November 10, 1925. That left the piece beyond Weston for 7.53 miles to Woodbridge. Canadian National Railways acquired this line along with all of the rest of the Canadian Northern Railway System which is was compelled to take over along with the failed Grand Trunk Railway System and other railways. Orphaned and unwanted by anyone due to its losses it continued to run with three cars until May 10, 1926 when it ceased operation. The CNR was glad to be rid of it because of its losses due to bus competition which the public still had the use of. Bus service was operated over this route by Roseland Bus Lines between Weston and Woodbridge.

Weston Road Route
Schedule and fares

TTC track construction work in the Junction

Later Years




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