63 Ossington

63 Ossington Map

Compiled by Jeffrey Kay
Text by James Bow

The Ossington trolley bus could be called the streetcar killer. More streetcar routes have fallen to the extensions of this trolley coach route than any other in Toronto. Established on December 8, 1947, it ran from Crawford Loop at Shaw and King Streets, via Shaw, Queen and Ossington, looping via Davenport, Oakwood, St. Clair and the residential Mount Royal Avenue. It replaced the DOVERCOURT streetcar route and brought about changes to the Harbord car.

Then, on January 2, 1960, it happened again. This time, the OAKWOOD streetcar fell to an extension which brought Ossington north of St. Clair and west along Eglinton to Gilbert Loop (near Caledonia road, where an interchange with suburban buses existed — Gilbert Loop is now a parkette).

On June 28, 1964, the Eglinton Avenue section of this line was cut back to Oakwood, as through operation commenced between Gilbert Loop and Eglinton Station with the Eglinton West bus. Finally, on July 21, 1974, the ROGERS ROAD streetcar fell to the 63F branch of Ossington. Although it was no longer TTC policy to abandon streetcar routes, this change applied only within the City of Toronto. The Borough of York wanted Rogers Road service extended west from Bicknell Loop to Humber Boulevard and Jane, and the TTC did not want to extend the streetcar tracks. Conversion to trolley buses allowed the TTC to conserve its PCCs while the commission embarked on its streetcar rebuilding program, and it also promised York that the conversion would mean an extension of the service. This, however, did not happen.

On January 28, 1978, a short extension was opened, taking the northern terminus of the line into Eglinton West station on the Spadina subway. As all this was happening, the short-turn loop via St. Clair and Mount Royal was taken down, and replaced with a converted Oakwood loop. Scheduled service on the 63A rush hour branch to St. Clair from King was added on January 4, 1983.

There were several branches to Ossington; as well as plain 63 (Eglinton West to King), the line had 63A (St. Clair to King), 63B (Eglinton West to Dupont), 63C (Dupont to King), 63D (Eglinton West to Ossington Stn), 63E (Ossington Stn to King), 63F (Bicknell to King via Rogers Road) and 63G (Bicknell to Ossington Stn). This does not begin to cover the permutations which existed for this route. Of all of these signs, only 63, 63A and 63F were seen regularly. 63 and 63F both operated at frequent intervals, seven days a week and at least 18 hours a day (63 also operated night service), while 63A provided additional rush-hour service.

63 Ossington was, after 6 Bay, the trolley bus route that saw the most traffic. A total of 25 vehicles were required to provide 2-3 minute service when abandonment came on January 10, 1992. Two years after abandonment, the TTC restructured the route considerably, breaking off the Rogers Road branch into its own route (161 Rogers Road) and operating it to Ossington Station via Dovercourt. Also, the long-promised extension of Rogers Road service to Jane Street was finally provided, eliminating the short 48 Humber Blvd shuttle service. Ossington’s southern loop has been moved off Adelaide and Crawford and now runs via Wellington and Strachan. Buses are occasionally routed south on Strachan to Exhibition Loop.

Until 2002, a few hundred metres of streetcar track on Rogers Road from Bicknell Loop to Old Weston Road, sat in plain view in the middle of the road. This remnant of the Rogers Road streetcar almost outlasted the remnants of the more recent trolley bus service. Bicknell Loop is now surplus and will soon disappear. Avon Loop, once a branch for the Weston trolley bus, was renovated to allow Rogers Road and Symington buses to loop there and connect with Weston Road buses.


A Chronological History of the 63 Ossington Route

December 8, 1947

At 8 p.m., service begins on a new trolley coach route replacing portions of the DOVERCOURT streetcar and providing new service on Ossington Avenue north of College Street. Buses operate from an on street loop at King and Shaw (via east on Adelaide, south on Crawford, west on King) via north on Shaw, west on Queen, north on Ossington and west on Davenport, looping via north on Oakwood, east on St. Clair and south on Alberta and Mount Royal to Davenport. Service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

OSSINGTON

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

Autumn 1956

Assigned route number 63.

OSSINGTON

63

ST. CLAIR
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

January 3, 1960

Service extended north of St. Clair, replacing the OAKWOOD streetcar route. From Ossington and Davenport, buses operate in both directions via west on Davenport, north on Oakwood and west on Eglinton, looping through Gilbert loop. Additional short turn service from King Street to St. Clair, using the original on-street loop. By April 1964, this was formalized as a branch listed on trolley coach roll signs.

OSSINGTON

63

GILBERT
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

OSSINGTON

63A

ST. CLAIR
K  I  N  G

Monday to Friday, rush hours only

June 28, 1964

With the extension of through buses along 32 EGLINTON WEST, trolley coach service along Eglinton is discontinued. Coaches now turn back at Eglinton, looping on-street from Ossington via west on Lanark, north on Glenholme and east on Eglinton. As a planned conversion of the 32 EGLINTON WEST bus to trolley coach operation fell through due to opposition in Forest Hill, the trolley coach wires on Eglinton west of Glenholme were removed soon after.

OSSINGTON

63

EGLINTON
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

OSSINGTON

63A

ST. CLAIR
K  I  N  G

Monday to Friday, rush hours only

March 21, 1965

St. Clair short turn service discontinued.

February 26, 1966

Coincident with the opening of the BLOOR-DANFORTH SUBWAY, service extended to serve Ossington station. Southbound buses loop through the station by running west on Northumberland, south on Concord and east through the stations, before heading south on Ossington. Northbound coaches operate in the reverse direction. Overnight service continues to operate north-south on Ossington Avenue, avoiding the station.

Also, peak period short turn service is re-introduced between St. Clair and King, using the on-street loop of St. Clair, Alberta and Mount Royal.

May 23, 1966

Short turn service between St. Clair and King discontinued again.

Early 1970s

By the early 1970s, there were six branches on the Ossington route officially recognized by trolley coach roll signs, even though only the 63 Eglinton-King branch was the only one scheduled to operate. The other signs were used for unscheduled short turns, or run-ins to Lansdowne Garage via Dupont Street.

OSSINGTON

63

EGLINTON
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

OSSINGTON

63A

ST. CLAIR
K  I  N  G

Occasional Short Turns

OSSINGTON

63B

EGLINTON
DUPONT

Garage run-ins

OSSINGTON

63C

DUPONT
K  I  N  G

Garage run-ins

OSSINGTON

63D

B L O O R
EGLINTON

Occasional short turns

OSSINGTON

63E

B L O O R
K  I  N  G

Occasional short turns

July 21, 1974

A new branch begins operation on Rogers Road, replacing the ROGERS ROAD streetcar. Coaches run from King Street over the regular route to Oakwood and Rogers, then run west on Rogers Road to Bicknell loop, just east of Weston Road. The planned extension of service west of Bicknell loop to Jane does not occur, and service would be provided by the 48 HUMBER BLVD for years to come.

OSSINGTON

63

EGLINTON
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

O S S I N G T O N
VIA ROGERS RD.

63F

B I C K N E L L
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

O S S I N G T O N
VIA ROGERS RD.

63G

B I C K N E L L
B   L   O   O   R

Occasional short turns

January 28, 1978

Coincident with the opening of the SPADINA SUBWAY, service is extended from Oakwood and Eglinton via east on Eglinton to the newly opened Eglinton West station. Overhead wires on Lanark, Glenholme and Eglinton Avenue west of Oakwood removed.

Coincident with the change, all rollsigns operated, so that “EGLINTON” is replaced by “EGLINTON WEST STN” on all exposures.

OSSINGTON

63

EGLINTON WEST STN
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

O S S I N G T O N
VIA ROGERS RD.

63F

B I C K N E L L
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

January 4, 1983

Peak period service between King and St. Clair is re-introduced, this time using Oakwood loop. Buses travel up Oakwood and loop via east on St. Clair, north on Robina and west through Oakwood loop.

At some point between 1974 and 1983, overhead wires were removed on Alberta and Mount Royal.

OSSINGTON

63

EGLINTON WEST STN
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

OSSINGTON

63A

ST. CLAIR
K  I  N  G

Monday to Friday, rush hours only

O S S I N G T O N
VIA ROGERS RD.

63F

B I C K N E L L
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

February 9, 1987

As part of an expansion and re-branding of the TTC’s night services, overnight trips on the 63 OSSINGTON route are redesignated as 316 OSSINGTON BLUE NIGHT.

January 5, 1992

Trolley coaches are removed from service and replaced by diesel buses.

February 13, 1994

As part of a major re-organization of bus services made possible by the abandonment of trolley bus service, service on the Rogers Road branch replaced by a new 161 ROGERS ROAD bus.

June 19, 1994

Service extended south of King to Ontario Place for the summer. Buses on the new 63B branch operate from King and Crawford via south on Crawford, east on Douro, south on Strachan and west on Remembrance Drive to the east gate of Ontario Place. Buses return via east on Lake Shore Boulevard, north on Strachan and west on King to Shaw. On some buses, new mylar signs had a 63C “Exhibition” exposure for use during the Canadian National Exhibition.

OSSINGTON

63

EGLINTON WEST STN
K  I  N  G

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

OSSINGTON

63A

S T   C L A I R
K  I  N  G

Monday to Friday, rush hours only

OSSINGTON

63B

EGLINTON WEST STN
ONTARIO PLACE

Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Except during the C.N.E.

OSSINGTON

63C

EGLINTON WEST STN
EXHIBITION

Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Only during the C.N.E.

July 24, 1994

Service to Ontario Place is improved by running all midday service south of King to Ontario Place.

August 19, 1994-September 5, 1994

As a result of the Canadian National Exhibition, service is cut back from Ontario Place to loop at a temporary loop near the intersection of Strachan and Fleet.

September 4, 1994

A new southern on-street loop is established on the south side of King Street to serve a new commercial development southwest of the King/Strachan intersection. Buses now run south on Shaw beyond King, then east on Duoro, north on Crawford, east on Canniff, south on Strachan, west on Duoro, returning north on Shaw. The extended service to the Exhibition and Ontario Place is discontinued for the season.

June 18, 1995

As a result of the replacement and reconstruction of the Exhibition streetcar loop, bus service is extended south on Strachan to Ontario Place, to provide additional service while 511 BATHURST streetcars are cut back to Fleet loop. Buses on the Ontario Place extension run south on Shaw beyond King, east on Duoro, north on Crawford, east on Canniff, south on Strachan, west on Remembrance Drive to the east gate of Ontario Place, returning east on Lake Shore Boulevard, north on Strachan, west on Duoro and returning north on Shaw. Additional peak period buses operate between St. Clair and King only. This change was mimicked by the 316 OSSINGTON BLUE NIGHT bus as well.

NORTHBOUND

 

SOUTHBOUND

63A

O S S I N G T O N

 

63

O S S I N G T O N

TO ST. CLAIR

TO KING

Monday to Fridays, rush hours only

63B

O S S I N G T O N

 

63B

O S S I N G T O N

TO EGLINTON WEST STN

TO ONTARIO PLACE

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

September 5, 1995

With the end of the CNE and continuing construction of a new Exhibition streetcar loop, the routing of 63B buses is expanding at Exhibition Place. Daytime 63B buses now operate south on south on Strachan, west on Remembrance Drive to the east gate of Ontario Place, then continue north and west on internal Ontario Place roadways, across Lake Shore Blvd., north on Ontario Drive, east on Princes’ Blvd., through Princes’ Gate and north on Strachan. The overnight 316 buses continue to operate east on Lake Shore Blvd, from Ontario Place to Strachan. During the morning peak one bus is added to shuttle over the busy part of the route between St. Clair and Ossington Station. (This shuttle service was no longer operating in February 1996, but the exact end date is not known.) During the Saturday daytime alternate southbound buses turn back at King.

NORTHBOUND

 

SOUTHBOUND

63

O S S I N G T O N

 

63

O S S I N G T O N

TO EGLINTON WEST STN

TO KING

Saturdays, daytime

63A

O S S I N G T O N

 

 

 

TO ST. CLAIR

 

Monday to Fridays, rush hours only

 

 

 

63B

O S S I N G T O N

 

TO ONTARIO PLACE

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

 

 

 

63S

O S S I N G T O N

 

TO OSSINGTON STN

Monday to Friday, rush hours only

May 5, 1996

Saturday service to Ontario Place improved with all buses operating between Eglinton West station and Ontario Place, essentially eliminating the 63 branch.

NORTHBOUND

 

SOUTHBOUND

63A

O S S I N G T O N

 

63A

O S S I N G T O N

TO ST. CLAIR

TO KING

Monday to Fridays, rush hours only

63B

O S S I N G T O N

 

63B

O S S I N G T O N

TO EGLINTON WEST STN

TO ONTARIO PLACE

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

June 16, 1996

Coincident with the opening of the new Exhibition streetcar loop for 511 BATHURST streetcars, all Ossington service is cut back to King Street, looping via the arrangement described in September 1994.

July 28, 1996-September 2, 1996

Service extended south from King to the new Exhibition loop between 1 p.m. and 11 p.m., every day. Buses on the new 63C branch operate south on Strachan and west on Manitoba into the new streetcar loop.

NORTHBOUND

 

SOUTHBOUND

63

O S S I N G T O N

 

63

O S S I N G T O N

TO EGLINTON WEST STN

TO KING

7 days a week, except afternoons and early evenings

63A

O S S I N G T O N

 

 

 

TO ST. CLAIR

 

Monday to Fridays, rush hours only

 

 

 

63C

O S S I N G T O N

 

TO EXHIBITION

7 days a week, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

February 13, 2000

As a result of noise complaints from area residents, buses taken off Northumberland Street after 11 p.m. Northbound buses operate via north on Ossington, west through Ossington station, south on Concord, east on Bloor and north on Ossington. Southbound buses operate via south on Ossington, west on Bloor, north on Concord, east through Ossington station, and south on Ossington.

June 23, 2002

The south end looping at King is now simplified. Buses now turn via south on Shaw, east on King, south on Strachan, west on Canniff and north on Shaw.

May 7, 2006

Accessible service is introduced, using low floor Orion VII buses on all runs, every day of the week.

May 26, 2008

Bike rack service installed.

November 23, 2008

Service extended at all times south from King Street to East Liberty Street, serving the growing Liberty Street community. Buses operate south on Shaw Street, east on King, south on Strachan, west on East Liberty, north on Atlantic Avenue, east on King Street and north on Shaw Street. Service removed on Douro and Lower Shaw.

NORTHBOUND

 

SOUTHBOUND

63

O S S I N G T O N

 

63

O S S I N G T O N

TO EGLINTON WEST STN

TO LIBERTY VILLAGE

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

63A

O S S I N G T O N

 

 

 

TO ST. CLAIR

 

Monday to Fridays, rush hours only

February 16, 2014

Effective on this day, a “walking transfer” is allowed for passengers riding buses operating along the 63 OSSINGTON route to buses and streetcars operating along the 29 DUFFERIN, 509 HARBOURFRONT and 511 BATHURST routes.

Passengers with paper transfer tickets who exit from 63 OSSINGTON buses at Liberty Street and Atlantic Avenue may walk along Liberty and Dufferin Streets to Dufferin Gate Loop, where they may board northbound buses operating along the 29 DUFFERIN route without paying another fare.

They can also walk south along Atlantic Avenue, to Exhibition GO Station and then to Exhibition Loop, where they can board buses or streetcars operating along the 509 HARBOURFRONT and 511 BATHURST routes.

June 22, 2014

As part of a system-wide reorganization of route branch designations, the rush hour short turn service to St. Clair is redesignated 63B, in anticipation of redesigning the main branch operations to Eglinton West station 63A. All southbound buses will continue to show 63 OSSINGTON - TO LIBERTY VILLAGE.

NORTHBOUND

 

SOUTHBOUND

63

O S S I N G T O N

 

63

O S S I N G T O N

TO EGLINTON WEST STN

TO LIBERTY VILLAGE

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

63B

O S S I N G T O N

 

 

 

TO ST. CLAIR

 

Monday to Fridays, rush hours only


63 Ossington Image Archive

About this Page

This page contains a chronological history of the 63 Ossington bus route.

62 Mortimer was the previous history in this collection.

64 Main is the next history in this collection.

To see a list of all available bus route histories, return to this page or this page for an overview of all available TTC bus related articles, or the main page for news and other articles in Transit Toronto.