The TTC's Christmas-Painted Buses (1955-1960)

Compiled by Pete Coulman
Additional Text by James Bow

In the autumn of 1955, to celebrate the Christmas season, the Toronto Transit Commission decided that a bus should be painted in festive colours. In the days long before plastic wraps were common (or, even, invented), this meant taking the candidate buses into their shops and painting them by hand. This required a fair amount of time from maintenance staff, both to paint the vehicles festively at the start of the season, and paint it back to their normal colours afterward, but the venture was popular enough that the TTC decided to continue and even expand the program for the next five years.

Pete Coulman has gathered a chronology of these special buses in operation below:


November 28, 1955

Operation begins on single decorated Christmas bus (GM #1196) to operate in suburban areas. On this day, the Christmas bus was put into operation on the ANGLESEY route, run #2.

November 28, 1956

Program begins again, this time with three decorated buses made available for operation both in the suburbs and downtown. The first bus in operation runs along AVENUE ROAD as Run #1.

December 1, 1956

The second of three decorated buses starts operation on CLIFFSIDE as Run #1.

December 6, 1956

The third decorated bus, actually a trolley coach, is put into operation on the ANNETTE route as run #3. It alternates with the WESTON route as run #2.

December 2, 1957

The program begins again with three buses and one trolley coach decorated in Christmas colours.

November 29, 1958

The program begins again with three buses and one trolley coach decorated in Christmas colours.

November 28, 1959

The program begins again with three buses and one trolley coach decorated in Christmas colours.

November 19 to December 31, 1960

Budget cuts force the TTC to not fully paint candidate buses and trolley coaches for the season. Instead, ten buses and two trolley coaches are affixed with festive signs. This would be the last year the TTC maintained this program of decorating vehicles for the season.


Christmas Buses Image Archive

About this Page

This page is an article within the Bus division of Transit Toronto articles.

To see more articles within the Bus division, you may return to the Bus division page.

You can also return to the main page for news and other articles in Transit Toronto.