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Hill Coach (1925-1954)

Compiled by Pete Coulman
Originally published by Alan Gryfe

The TTC’s “Coach” services were premium express routes established by the Toronto Transportation Commission in 1925. The idea was to offer an express run between the downtown and Toronto’s far flung suburbs. Passengers would pay higher fares for the faster service and the comfortable seats. Typically, “Gray Coach” buses were used. A number of Coach services were established by the TTC between 1925 and 1954, including the BEACH COACH, the ROSEDALE COACH and the MOUNT PLEASANT COACH. The HILL COACH was, by far, the most successful, running the longest of all of the TTC’s coach services.

The coach services died out in the 1950s as the TTC’s subways expanded out into the suburbs, but it is interesting to note that the experiment was repeated, almost route-for-route, in the late 1980s with a number of Premium Express services, which operate to this day.

September 14, 1925

Service begins on the HILL COACH, a premium fare route operating from the intersection of Lonsdale and Oriole Parkway to the downtown via west on Lonsdale, south on Forest Hill, west on Heath, south on Warren, south on Clarendon, south on Poplar Plains, west on Dupont, south on St. George, east on Hoskins, south on Queen’s Park Crescent West, south on University Avenue, east on Osgoode, east on Albert and south on Bay Street, looping counterclockwise via east on Temperance Street, north on Yonge and west on Adelaide. At the north end, buses loop counterclockwise via east on Heath and north on Oriole to Lonsdale. Service operates during rush hours and midday, Monday through Saturday.

HILL ROUTE

Monday to Saturday, 12 hours a day

January 4, 1926

North loop extended to run via Heath, Oriole and Lonsdale to Warren Road.

June 18 to October 3, 1926

Service discontinued for the summer.

November 1, 1926

Evening service added, looping clockwise after 7:00 p.m. through downtown via east on Albert, south on Yonge and west on Adelaide to Bay in order to accommodate theatre traffic.

April 12, 1927

Evening service discontinued after 7:00 p.m. for the summer. (No record found of evening service ever being resumed.)

HILL ROUTE

Y O N G E
(Illegible)

Monday to Saturday, 12 hours a day

December 3, 1931

Route extended north from Lonsdale via north on Oriole Parkway, west on Eglinton Avenue and north on Avenue Road to wye at Glenview. Some morning rush hour coaches continue to turn at Lonsdale.

September 16, 1936

New Twin Coach buses in operation from this date.

October 1, 1936

Rush hour short turn service extended from Lonsdale to the corner of Eglinton and Avenue Road.

November 14, 1936

Service perated through the new Glenview-Avenue Road Loop (later renamed Otter Loop), instead of wying in the intersection.

April 1, 1938

Operated from new Eglinton Garage, rather than Davenport Garage.

HILL ROUTE

AVENUE ROAD
GLENVIEW

Monday to Saturday, 12 hours a day

April 14, 1941

Service altered to run non-stop in both directions between Lonsdale and Queens Park.

October 6, 1941

Coaches rerouted through downtown along Adelaide to University to relieve traffic congestion on Bay Street.

October 14, 1941

Coaches rerouted southbound via Russell Hill Road and Boulton Drive to relive congestion on Poplar Plains Road.

June 6, 1942

Saturday service discontinued after 2:00 p.m. due to stores closing at 1:00 p.m.

July 2, 1942

No midday service due to wartime restrictions. Service now operates rush hours only.

December 1, 1942

Regular coach stops are designated and painted.

December 11, 1944

Normal hours of service resume. Buses operate during rush hours and midday Mondays through Fridays and Saturdays until 2:00 p.m.

March 10, 1947

Morning rush-hour trippers loop counterclockwise via west on Eglinton, south on Avenue Road and east on Collegeview to Oriole Parkway, then south over the regular route. Express service routed from Otter Loop via Avenue Road, Oxton, Oriole Parkway, Lonsdale, Avenue Road and Queens Park to regular route.

May 12, 1947

Short turn afternoon rush-hour service started, looping from University via east on Osgoode and Albert, south on James, west on Queen, north on Bay and west on Albert and Osgoode.

December 16, 1947

A new terminal on Adelaide Street opens. Short turn loop via Queen and James discontinued, and all coaches routed to and from Adelaide Street Terminal via University, Osgoode, Bay, Temperance, Yonge and Adelaide.

September 24 to November 12, 1947

Due to widening of Queens Park Crescent, northbound service diverted to west side of circle. Southbound coaches diverted from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily via St. George and College Streets.

April 2, 1951

Smoking privileges, which had formerly been allowed in last three rows, abolished.

June 14, 1952

Last day of Saturday service.

November 16, 1953

Change of downtown routing to relieve traffic congestion on Bay Street. Coaches now run across Adelaide between University and the Adelaide Street Terminal.

September 10, 1954

Last day of operation. With the YONGE SUBWAY now providing rapid, regular fare service to the downtown, ridership dwindled. However, 36 years later, service would begin on the 142 DOWNTOWN EXPRESS VIA AVENUE ROAD route, a premium express service operating over roughly the same route.


Hill Coach Image Archive