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A Chronological History of Toronto's Independent Bus Lines

See Also

Spring 1920

TORONTO-KING intercity bus service inaugurated by A. Ireland.

June 1921

John Hollinger establishes Hollinger Bus Lines. Its first route is called WOODBINE, operating on Woodbine Avenue from Danforth Avenue to O’Connor.

1925

David R.Murray (later of Roselands Bus Lines) launches a bus service between Weston and Woodbridge. Ridership picks up after May 10, 1926, when the Torontos Suburban Railway abandons streetcar service between the two centres.

Spring 1926

BIRCHCLIFFE service started by C. F. Ramsell from Luttrell and Danforth to Birchcliffe Heights.

June 1926

T.J. Shoniker establishes Danforth Bus Lines Ltd., and launches its own BIRCHCLIFFE service, operating from Luttrell and Danforth via Danforth Avenue to Birchmount. It’s likely that the Ramsell service was discontinued around this point, or bought out by Shocker.

Early 1927

Danforth Bus Lines’ BIRCHCLIFFE route operated eleven hours a day. All-day service follows shortly after this date.

March 1, 1927

A Mr. Hamilton inaugurates a DAWES ROAD service, operating from Danforth Avenue to Peard.

August 1928

Hollinger Bus Lines launches a rush hour service operating from Danforth Avenue via Woodbine and Lumsden to Main Street

December 27, 1930

DAWES ROAD operations acquired by Mr. Sefton’s Del-Ray Coach Lines

January 10, 1931

DAWES ROAD route operating from Luttrell via Danforth Avenue and Dawes to Holland

May 14, 1931

T.J. Shonicker purchases TORONTO-KING intercity service from R. Foster. Service operated as Toronto Coach Lines Ltd., a subsidiary of Danforth Bus Lines.

November 20, 1931

Hollinger Bus Lines establishes a COXWELL-MAIN route, operating from Danforth Avenue via Coxwell, Sammon, Woodbine and Lumsden to Main. A new service is also inaugurated from Danforth Avenue via Broadview, Mortimer and Donlands to O’Connor.

November 23, 1931

Hollinger Bus Lines routes established on November 20, 1931 are stopped for lack of a permit to operate.

December 16, 1931

Hollinger Bus Lines COXWELL-MAIN service resumed.

June 13, 1932

J.J. Health of 13 Bayliss Avenue establishes the West York and District Bus Service. Its first route is called EILEEN and it operates from Vine and Keele via Keele, St. Clair, Runnymede, Henrietta, Castletown, Pritchard, Jane, Florence and Eileen to Scarlett Road.

October 1932

TORONTO-KING buses offer trips from the Eglinton/Dufferin intersection to Downtown Toronto.

February 3, 1933

Hollinger Bus Lines establishes a WOODBINE-DAWES service inaugurated from Danforth Avenue via Woodbine, Lumsden and Main to Danforth. Service also established on a DONLANDS route, operating from Danforth via Donlands, Mortimer, Lismore, Sammon and Coxwell to Danforth

February 25, 1933

Hollinger Bus Lines DONLANDS service routed via Monarch Park instead of Lismore.

September 30, 1934

Shonicker’s Toronto Coach Lines establishes TORONTO-ALLISTON service with buses operated on weekends from Downtown Toronto, serving Dufferin Street north of Eglinton as well as the villages of Concord, Bolton, Palsgrave, Tottenham, Beeton and Alliston

September 29, 1935

Toronto Coach Lines’ TORONTO-BEETON service, operated on weekends, ends service to Alliston.

July 6, 1936

DAWES ROAD service bought by Hollinger and rerouted to operate from Danforth Avenue to Holland Avenue (north of St. Clair). Additional service to Lawrence and Wexford (known as WEXFORD) started during rush hours.

July 13, 1936

Hollinger Bus Lines WOODBINE-DAWES service rerouted to operate from Danforth via Woodbine, Lumsden, Barrington, Secord and Dawes to Danforth, returning via Danforth, Main, Lumsden and Woodbine.

January 4, 1937

As a result of complaints from the Toronto Transportation Commission, the Ontario Department of Highways orders Toronto Coach Lines to suspend buses operating from the Eglinton/Dufferin intersection and Downtown Toronto only. The department orders that inbound passengers on Vaughan Road north of Toronto city limits can only be picked up (and outbound passengers discharged) on through TORONTO-KING and TORONTO-BEETON routes.

April 15, 1937

West York and District launches a school service to Weston Collegiate from the Eileen Avenue area via Scarlett Road.

July 22, 1937

Danforth Bus Lines launches SCARBORO JCT. route operating from Luttrell via Danforth Avenue, Danforth Road and Midland to Lorraine. Rush hour service is extended north on Midland to Eglinton. Morning buses loop via north on Kennedy and south on Midland, while afternoon buses reverse this.

October 24, 1937

Hollinger Bus Lines’ WOODBINE-DAWES and DAWES ROAD services combined on Sundays to operate from Lumsden via Main, Danforth and Dawes to Holland.

December 14, 1937

West York and District launches the WESTMOUNT route, running from Vine and Keele and following the EILEEN route to Scarlett Road and then operating north on Scarlett Road to Lawrence.

March 1, 1938

Danforth Bus Lines purchases Swansea Bus Service from its proprietor Mr. Sefton.

August 25, 1938

Danforth Bus Lines’ BIRCHCLIFFE route revised to operate from Luttrell via Danforth Avenue and Kingston Road to Claremore (Stop 12). Buses return via Claremore, McNab, Highview and Birchmount to Danforth. The grade separation at Danforth and Kingston Road made it impossible for buses to turn off Danforth Avenue onto Kennedy Road.

Also on this day, Danforth Bus Lines’ SCARBORO JCT route is extended to Eglinton Avenue all day.

November 1, 1938

West York and District launches the MALTON-WESTON service, operating via Malton Road (today’s Dixon Road)

December 5, 1938

Hollinger Bus Lines establishes a High School service from Woodbine and O’Connor via O’Connor, Broadview, Mortimer, Pape, Sammon, Donlands and Coburn to Coxwell.

July 10, 1940

Danforth Bus Lines establishes a local bus service from St. Clair and Vaughan via Vaughan Road, Dufferin Street and Wilson, with additional service via Wlson Heights and Sheppard to DeHavilland Airport.

July 11, 1940

Protests from the TTC cause the Ontario Department of Highways to order Danforth Bus Lines to cancel local service on Vaughan Road and Dufferin Street. “Permission to start on July 10, 1940 had been verbal.”

March 1941

Danforth Bus Lines and Hollinger Bus Lines partner to service the General Engineering Company of Ontario (GECO)’s munition’s plant at Eglinton and Warden. buses operate from Danforth Avenue via Dawes Road and Eglinton to Birchmount. In addition to this, Danforth Bus Lines’ SCARBORO JCT route is extended from Kennedy and Eglinton to Warden Avenue to serve the munitions plant.

May 22, 1941

Hollinger Bus Lines changes WOODBINE route to WOODBINE PARK, extending from O’Connor and Woodbine across the Woodbine Bridge to O’Connor and Glenwood.

August 1941

Hollinger Bus Lines establishes a service from Eglinton and Yonge to the GECO plant.

September 1941

DeHavilland charters Danforth Bus Line coaches to serve the airport and plant.

October 1941

Danforth Bus Lines and Hollinger Bus Lines partner to launch a GECO-DANFORTH&COXWELL bus service, operating from the bus terminal at Coxwell and Strathearn via Coxwell, O’Connor and Eglinton to Birchmount.

January 5, 1942

Hollinger Bus Lines establishes a BROADVIEW-COXWELL service, operating 9 hours a day, running from the Strathmore/Coxwell terminal via Coxwell, Mortimer, Nealon, Jackman and Broadview to Mortimer, returning via Mortimer to Coxwell.

April 6, 1942

West York and District launches the MALTON-BLOOR & JANE service operating from Jane via Bloor, Highway 5, Highway 27 and Malton Road.

May 1, 1942

Hollinger Bus Lines launches a service from St. Clair and Yonge to GECO.

June 13, 1942

David R.Murray launches ROSELANDS bus service, operating from Vine and Keele via Keele, Weston Road and Lambton Avenue to Jane Street.

June 21, 1942

Wartime government orders the ROSELANDS service cut back to Northland and Weston instead of Vine and Keele as a gas-saving measure. Also on this day, for the same reason, West York’s EILEEN and WESTMOUNT operations are cut back from Vine and Keele to Maria and Runnymede.

December 20, 1943

Hollinger Bus Lines inaugurates an O’CONNOR route, operating 9 hours a day from Strathmore and Coxwell via Coxwell and O’Connor to Woodbine.

September 4, 1944

Toronto Coach Lines’ TORONTO-BEETON service is routed via Dufferin, Wilson and Weston Road instead of via Dufferin and Highway 7, cutting service to Concord.

November 1, 1944

Wartime restrictions lifted on ROSELANDS route. Service extended south from Northland to Vine and Keele. Also on this day, West York’s EILEEN and WESTMOUNT operations are restored to Vine and Keele.

January 9, 1945

West York and District’s MALTON-BLOOR& JANE service buses are permitted to pick up and drop off passengers on Bloor Street between Kipling and Highway 27.

March 6, 1945

Danforth Bus Lines sells its SWANSEA bus route to West York Coach Lines Ltd., Norman Wilson also lists May 24, 1945 as the date of this sale.

June 1945

Danforth Bus Lines establishes the REGENTS PARK service, operating from the Luttrell terminal via Danforth and Pharmacy to St. Clair. Buses loop via St. Clair, Maybourne and Florens to Pharmacy.

September 1945

Hollinger Bus Lines extends the WOODBINE PARK route from Glenwood and O’Connor via O’Connor to Tiago.

October 25, 1945

West York and District MALTON-WESTON service extended via Weston Road to Dundas and Keele. Service now operates via Airport Road between Highway 27 and Malton

October 29, 1945

Hollinger Bus Lines establishes a MOUNT ALBERT intercity route, operating from the Gray Coach terminal at Edward and Bay via Bay, Wellesley, Parliament, Bloor, Broadview, O’Connor, Dawes, Lansing Road (today’s Sheppard) and Don Mills Road through Cedar Valley and Vivian to Mount Albert.

November 19, 1945

Danforth Bus Lines launches the WILSON-WESTON rush hour route, operating from St. Clair and Vaughan via Vaughan, Dufferin, Wilson and Weston Road to Humber Street in Weston.

November 1945

Danforth Bus Lines launches the STOP 14 route, replacing its BIRCHCLIFFE service. Buses operates from the Luttrell terminal via Danforth Avenue and Kingston Road to Midland (Stop 14), returning via Midland, McNab, Highview, Birchmount and Danforth.

Early 1946

Toronto Coach Lines establishes the TORONTO-CLAREMONT route, operating from the Gray Coach Terminal at Edward and Bay via Bay, Bloor, Danforth Avenue, Danforth Road, Eglinton, Markham Road and Highway 7 to Brougham, and then via side road to Claremont.

Danforth Bus Lines’ STOP 14 non-rush hour service is adjusted to operate from Luttrell via Danforth and Kingston to Midland (Stop 14), returning via Kingston Road, Highview, Birchmount and Danforth. Rush hour service operates both ways via Danforth and Kingston Road. Also at this time, Danforth Bus Lines establishes the BIRCHCLIFFE HEIGHTS rush hour service, operating from the Luttrell terminal via Danforth, Birchmount, Aylesworth and Kennedy to Highview, returning via Highview, Birchmount and Danforth.

Also around this time, West York and District Bus Lines is renamed West York Coach Lines Ltd.,

June 1946

Toronto Coach Lines alters its TORONTO-BOLTON service to serve Caledon East. On weekends, buses operate via the regular route to Bolton from Toronto and then branching to Caledon via Sand Hill and Mono Road.

September 11, 1946

Roselands Bus Lines WOODBRIDGE service extended to Pine Grove on certain trips. At some point during this year, WOODBRIDGE service is extended south in Weston from Humber Street to Lawrence Avenue.

October 21, 1946

West York Coach Lines’ SWANSEA service discontinued.

April 1, 1947

Danforth Bus Lines establishes YONGE BLVD., service starting from Yonge Street to Wilson and Bathurst. Buses operate via Yonge Blvd., and Wilson, looping via Avenue Road, Melrose, Bathurst and Wilson back to Yonge Blvd.

May 5, 1947

Hollinger Bus Lines launches a WOODBINE-BROADVIEW rush hour service starting at Danforth and Broadview via Broadview and Mortimer to Woodbine. BROADVIEW-COXWELL service changed to operate from Danforth via Broadview, Mortimer and Coxwell to Strathmore.

November 10, 1947

Danforth Bus Lines establishes the OTTER LOOP rush hour service, operating from Otter Loop via Avenue Road, Lawrence, Grey, Glengarry, Ledbury, Melrose and Avenue Road to Otter.

November 26, 1947

Danforth Bus Lines establishes the ST. CLAIR & OLD WESTON RD., TO WILSON & JANE service, with buses operating via Old Weston Road, Weston Road and Jane to Wilson, returning via the reverse route.

January 2, 1948

Danforth Bus Lines’ YONGE BLVD. and OTTER LOOP services are amalgamated into a single route.

January 22, 1948

West York Coach Lines’ inaugurates a MALTON-BRAMPTON intercity service

October 1948

Danforth Bus Lines launches a ST. CLAIR & VAUGHAN TO SHEPHERD & BATHURST service, operating via Vaughan and Dufferin.

1949

At some point this year, West York Coach Lines’ MALTON-BRAMPTON service sold to Parkinson Coach Lines in Snelgrove, Ontario.

June 1949

Danforth Bus Lines BIRCHCLIFFE HEIGHTS service is discontinued. All STOP 14 buses now operate between Latrell and Midland, both ways via Danforth and Kingston Road.

August 2, 1949

Danforth Bus Lines’ OTTER LOOP service operated from Otter to Wilson and Bathurst. YONGE BLVD. service changed to operate from Yonge Blvd and Yonge to Lawrence and Bathurst. Evening and Sunday service is operated by an amalgamation of these two services.

Hollinger Bus Lines’ O’CONNOR route extended from Woodbine to Amsterdam via O’CONNOR. It also establishes a WOODBINE-ST. CLAIR route, operating from Woodbine and Strathmore via Woodbine, O’Connor and St. Clair to Dawes (today’s Victoria Park). Also on this day, WOODBINE PARK service to Tiago (known as WOODBINE-TIAGO) is discontinued.

January 3, 1950

Hollinger Bus Lines establishes the PARKVIEW HILL route, operating from the Strathmore Terminal at Coxwell via Coxwell, O’Connor and St. Clair to Woodbine Heights Boulevard.

September 5, 1950

Danforth Bus Lines GECO and SCARBORO JCT services replaced as a new EGLINTON service inaugurated operating from Luttrell terminal via Danforth, Pharmacy, Eglinton and Kingston Road to Scarboro Golf Club Road (Stop 27), returning via the reverse route. On the same date, Danforth Bus Lines inaugurates an EGLINTON & MIDLAND route starting from Luttrell via Danforth Avenue, Danforth Road and looping via Kennedy, Eglinton, Midland and Danforth Road. REGENTS PARK service is unchanged.

Note that Hollinger Bus Lines continues to run its own GECO bus along Dawes Road and Eglinton Avenue to Birchmount.

September 11, 1950

Danforth Bus Lines ST. CLAIR & OLD WESTON RD. TO WILSON & JANE service extended via Wilson to Keele, replacing ST. CLAIR & VAUGHAN TO WESTON service.

April 23, 1951

Danforth Bus Lines ST. CLAIR & OLD WESTON RD. TO WILSON & JANE cut back to Jane from Keele. ST. CLAIR & VAUGHAN TO WESTON service restored, operating via Vaughan, Dufferin and Wilson to Oak Loop.

June 30, 1951

Toronto Coach Lines GUELPH-HANOVER service taken over from Western Ontario Motorways.

August 7, 1951

Danforth Bus Lines launches the BATHURST & ST. CLAIR TO SHEPHERD route, operating from St. Clair & Bathurst via Bathurst to Sheppard Avenue.

1951

At an unknown date this year, Danforth Bus Lines’ REGENTS PARK service is extended on Pharmacy Avenue to Kingswell Crescent. Also this year, Hollinger Bus Lines’ PARKVIEW HILL route is extended to loop via Parkview Hill Crescent, Elswick Road, Hackberry Street and Woodbine Heights Boulevard to St. Clair.

December 1951

Danforth Bus Lines’ BATHURST & ST. CLAIR TO SHEPHERD route extended via Sheppard Avenue to Wilson Heights Boulevard. At the same time, Danforth Bus Lines ST. CLAIR & VAUGHAN TO SHEPHERD route cut back from Sheppard and Bathurst to turn at Sheppard and Wilson Heights Boulevard.

Early 1952

Hollinger Bus Lines launches the INDUSTRIAL LOOP rush hour service. Initially a portion of the O’CONNOR service, this bus loops in the morning via Curity Avenue, Hollinger Road, Bermondsey Road and O’Connor. Afternoon buses reverse this route. Also at this time, Hollinger launches the I.B.M. service, operating express from Coxwell and Strathmore to the IBM plant on Don Mills Road near the Canadian Pacific tracks.

January 1952

Danforth Bus Lines ST. CLAIR & VAUGHAN TO WILSON& WESTON route shortened to a wye at Clayson Road, 500 feet north of Wilson. “(Clayson Rd. is about 500 ft. west of new Barrie Highway)”

At the same time, Danforth Bus Lines’ YONGE-OTTER evening service discontinued.

March 1952

Danforth Bus Lines rush hour short turn service to Wilson Avenue added to the BATHURST & ST. CLAIR TO SHEPHERD route.

June 1, 1952

Hollinger Bus Lines DONLANDS route rerouted via Coxwell and Mortimer instead of via Sammon and Monarch Park.

July 5, 1952

Danforth Bus Lines YONGE BLVD. and OTTER CRES. routes abandoned.

August 1952

Hollinger Bus Lines officially renames its GECO route to EGLINTON.

September 1952

Danforth Bus Lines’ EGLINTON route revised to loop via Eglinton Avenue, Kingston Road and Markham Road to Eglinton.

May 1, 1953

Service on a new REXDALE service provided by the WESTMOUNT bus with some trips operating via Scarlett Road into Weston, and then operating via west on today’s Lawrence Avenue, north on Scarlett, west on Dixon and north on Islington to Rexdale. Some KEELE-MALTON buses also served REXDALE.

June 30, 1954

Last day of operation. All bus services acquired by the Toronto Transit Commission.