Toronto · Transportation

Happy Birthday Toronto!!

So today is Toronto’s 183rd birthday and the city has changed a lot over the years.

And while many people (natives and tourists alike) know Toronto for being a multicultural, ‘alpha’ city and DRAKE, I think of Toronto as a city easily accessible by transit. Since I don’t live close to the core, I usually take the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) to get downtown. Since today’s all about Toronto, and its history, it’s fitting to talk about the TTC’s history.

In the 1920s a provincial Act created the Toronto Civic Railways, which eventually lead to the establishment of the Toronto Transit Commission in 1954. That was the same year Toronto’s first subway line opened, now commonly known as the Yonge-Univeristy line or Line 1. The Bloor-Danforth line or Line 2  followed shortly after. The period between 1954 to the 1980’s is known as the ‘subway boom’ in TTC history.

In the 1970s the TTC created a streetcar abandonment policy, which aimed at replacing all streetcars with busses. That policy obviously did not reach fruition as Toronto still has (and is improving) its streetcars.

Development was at a standstill in the late 1990s and early 2000s, arguably due to the amalgamation of the City of Toronto. The Sheppard Line was opened in 2002, and since then there haven’t been any major developments, aside from the Yonge-University-Spadina extension, up to York Region, in the city of Vaughan.The most recent extension is decades in the making, with countless roadblocks and delays. The extensions plan for completion is December 2017. Here’s hoping! The delays and roadblocks of the most recent extension highlight the TTC’s history of making transit users wait years for changes or improvements. That being said, the TTC continues to be a trusted ‘people-mover’, with consistent ridership and dedicated customers.

Below is a portrait by Edwin McCormick, posted on the TTC’s website on their History page, portraying  the first workers who laboured to build Toronto’s first subway.

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Photo credit: Edwin McCormick, artist.

– That’s all for now,

Amina

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