Text by James Bow
Transit Toronto is a fan-run Internet resource dedicated to logging the history of public transportation in the Greater Toronto Area.
What does that mean? Well, this site started in 1997 as the Toronto Subway Page, set up on a lark by Aaron Adel. Although an adjunct to his other personal web pages, he accepted my input on a few new articles, and the site developed from there. Since then, it has been a rush of covering as much of the Toronto Transit Commission as possible. Aaron stepped back from the day-to-day operation of the website in April 2000 (but remains as co-owner), and I took over full operation of the website. I gave it its own URL and have been updating it since. Others joined Aaron and myself, contributing articles, photos, their expertise, and more. We now have a good picture on most facets of the TTC and GO Transit, and are expanding our reach to the transit agencies throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
Why do it?
Because we can. We love what we’re doing. We love Toronto and we love public transit. I personally feel that I am motivated by the fact that my parents were both librarians. From them I have inherited not only a love of books, but also a belief that information should be free. And while that can’t wholly explain why someone would work from 28 years of age to 41 years of age spending so much time building a web site about public transit in Toronto, it seems as good a starting point as any. Transit Toronto should be an Internet resource, independent of any organization or club, existing to serve the railfan community and anybody else with an interest in public transit in Toronto.
Aaron Adel - Founder/Chief Technical Manager
Aaron was born in Toronto and his first love is subways. He started this site up in 1997 when the Internet was still quite under-developed and there were no other Toronto transit resources available. In the beginning, it served as an information guide, strictly for subways. Later on, his interest expanded to include all vehicles that the TTC runs. Aaron is a consultant with a Toronto management consulting firm, and is also a speaker on topics such as job seeking and career change. For more information you may view his personal website.
James Bow - Chief Content Editor
James was born in Toronto but has been living in Kitchener since 1991. He still returns to Toronto whenever possible to ride the subways and the streetcars. He has had the railfan bug all of his life, but also has been involved in Doctor Who fandom and in fan fiction writing and editing. Now he is married and is working on adding a life to his portfolio of things to do. You can see more about him at http://www.bowjamesbow.ca/.
Robert Mackenzie - Senior News Correspondent
Rob is a writer and editor who worked in communications and clear language for the City of Toronto for almost 31 years. His childhood interest in public transit peaked when he worked as a student for the Hamilton Street Railway for three months in 1973 and continues unabated.
Richard White - Transit Alert Correspondent
Seneca College alumnae in the field of International Business. Longstanding volunteer with the Toronto Railway Historical Association and Toronto transit enthusiast. Specialization in Toronto transit history.
Roman Fomin - Senior Photographer
Roman Fomin was born in Russia and has lived in Toronto since 2009. From his early years he has been interested in trolley buses and streetcars which, first and foremost, attracted him as a complex integrated system. Sadly the tram system in Roman’s hometown of Voronezh, one of the biggest in Europe, has been eradicated. Partly it explains the enthusiasm with which Roman has undertaken historical research in the field of public transportation in Toronto with its exuberant past and present. He created a series of historical maps, as well as contributed articles, corrected stories, donated numerous photographs and has diligently worked towards providing current images to match our route history pages.
John Calnan is a talented map maker and is sharing his skills with us for a number of our route histories.
Jelo Gutierrez Cantos has donated a number of photos and articles to Transit Toronto. Born in the Philippines and raised in Scarborough since 1998, he is the one of the newest generation of transit enthusiasts and has started this hobby since 2008 and continues to grow more photos in his collection.
Peter Coulman has, along with Jeffrey Kay gathered a comprehensive history of the development of Toronto’s bus routes, which he has kindly shared with us. For his day job, he produces and arranges music for films, television and the stage. More of a bus fan than a railfan, he has gathered an extensive collection of Toronto bus memorabilia and is interested in sharing his knowledge with the wider community.
Peter Drost has contributed articles to the GO Transit Division of Transit Toronto and is particularly interested in proposals that never came to be.
Daniel Garcia has contributed a number of articles and photographs to the Regional Transit Division of Transit Toronto and was largely responsible for that division’s development.
Rob Hutchinson (also known as Rob Hutch) has been kind enough to donate a number of pictures to Transit Toronto’s streetcar division and he is making his collection of R. Hill photographs available to online rail fans.
Jeffrey Kay grew up in midtown Toronto and from an early age was out exploring the city by transit and on a bicycle. These two modes continue to be his favoured means of travel around this growing, diverse city. Over the years he has accumulated a large library of route and schedule documentation. And now, he is using this to show the evolution of the TTC surface network, one route at a time. In any weather you may find Jeffrey taking photos of the city’s transit system in action.
Christopher Livett has supplied transit maps and has helped with the organization of this site’s archive.
We welcome all opportunities to speak with the media about what we do here at Transit Toronto. All inquiries should be directed to either Aaron Adel or James Bow (see their addresses above).
See a mistake or inconsistency anywhere on the site? We’d love to know about it, so that we may correct it and give the most accurate information to our readers. To send in a correction, simply click the button below…
Would you like to help us?
If you think that no one person can build a website as extensive as Transit Toronto, you would be right. And it hasn’t been just one or two people who have built up this site over the past two years, either. We are indebted to the contributors listed above, and more besides.
But just because others have stepped forward doesn’t mean that we don’t need your help as well. There are many ways you can help Transit Toronto remain on the web and fresh, and how you can earn our everlasting gratitude. You can…
- Submit an Article!: We are always looking for new articles and article ideas. If you have an idea to cover something that hasn’t been covered in Transit Toronto, please send your idea (and article, if you have it) to us. We accept articles in all formats, but they will be modified so that they conform to Transit Toronto’s HTML formatting standard.
- Submit Pictures: Pictures are also a welcome submission to Transit Toronto. We prefer jpegs to gifs, but will accept either. If your picture was not snapped by you, please e-mail us the name of the person who took your photograph, if you know it. A brief description of what the photograph is and where and when it was taken would also be helpful.
Submissions can be sent either Aaron, James or Robert above.
Join the Transit Toronto Mailing List
Transit Toronto operates a mailing list/discussion group via YahooGroups. This mailing list was originally set up for those who are interested in keeping up to date on changes with this website; it has since grown into a larger discussion group of people interested in learning, discovering and sharing information about transit in the Greater Toronto Area. The founder of the Transit Toronto mailing list originally suggested that the list be “a forum for discussions about the Toronto Transit Commission and other southern Ontario transit systems.” However, in practise, a wide range of topics has been discussed, so long as the discussion is in some way linked with issues of transportation, and is congenial and respectful of other members on the list.
To avoid annoyance to other members of the Transit Toronto mailing list, please read the full contents of this guideline before mailing any questions. However, don’t be afraid to discuss old topics if you have something new to add.
Every bit as important as what you discuss is how you discuss it. Flame wars are not helpful to anyone.
Click here to view the most recent messages.
And Now a Word about our Sponsors
We understand that advertising banners and cookies are two of the most annoying things on the internet. Unfortunately, we need the money. It costs us each month to maintain this website on this webhosting service. For this, we get lots of storage space, reliable service, and our own domain name. We will happily carry most of this cost for the sheer joy of creating something that so many transit fans enjoy, but we would still appreciate it if you would visit our sponsors once in a while to help defray our costs, a few cents at a time. Alternately, you can support us directly via our Patreon account.
Special thanks to Tom Box, Mark Brader, John Bromley, Ray Corley, Alan Gryfe and all others who make contributions to Transit Toronto.