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GO Transit

Read these daily “on schedule” posts to find news and other information that affects your daily commute. You’ll learn about public meetings, special events and construction projects that affect transit services today.

Let's GO -- and TTC -- to "the Ex",
August 18 to September 4


A shot of Exhibition loop at the east end of the Exhibition grounds, looking northeast from the Shell Oil Tower in September 1975. This photo originally comes from the Charles Houser collection and was donated by Pete Coulman.

On September 9, 1881, two horses pulling a Toronto Street Railway car full of passengers arrived at Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street, the new end of the line for the TSR’s King route. The passengers stepped off the car and into the history books as they walked down Strachan to the entrance of the local fairgrounds and introduced Torontonians and visitors alike to the idea that traveling by transit was a safe, convenient — and, often, fun — way to get to the exhibition.

Nearly 136 years later, as the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) gets ready for its 138th season at Exhibition Place, transit still plays an important role in the success of the annual fair. This year, the “Ex” starts Friday, August 18 and continues until Labour Day, Monday, September 4.

As usual, the TTC is revising and increasing its services to help fair-going crowds head to the “Ex”.

Since GO Transit now provides regular train service along the 01 Lakeshore West line to and from Exhibition GO Station seven days a week during the fair, it’s not operating extra service, except during the Labour Day holiday weekend.

At most times of the week, GO trains operate along the 01 Lakeshore West line every 30 minutes — or even more frequently — to and from Exhibition. Trains operating along the 12 Niagara Falls line also stop at Exhibition GO Station Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

CNE Map 2017.gif

Since those first passengers in 1881, Toronto’s public transit vehicles — horse cars, streetcars, buses and trains — have been carrying passengers to and from the Canadian National Exhibition — and the various fairs that preceded it. From 1883 until 1885, Toronto’s and Canada’s first electric-powered streetcar carried passengers through the exhibition grounds from the end of the horse car line at Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street — then the main entrance to the fair — to the area of the current Dufferin Gate. (The city as a whole had to wait until August 16, 1892 before an electric streetcar entered regular service along city streets.)

All four of Toronto’s public transit agencies — the Toronto Street Railway, the Toronto Railway Company, the Toronto Transportation Commission and the Toronto Transit Commission — have traditionally dedicated extra human and equipment resources in making sure that everyone gets happily, safely and efficiently to and from the great fairs. And, Canada’s railways and interurban bus companies have also played their parts in the history of the Exhibition, especially the TTC’s former interurban subsidiary company, Gray Coach Lines, the forerunner of today’s GO Transit.

Starting in the 1930s, Gray Coach operated buses directly to a terminal on the Exhibition grounds — immediately west of the Automotive Building (today’s Beanfield Centre — from various cities and towns in Southern Ontario, including Barrie, Brampton, Burlington, Galt (Cambridge), Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kitchener, Niagara Falls, Oakville, Oshawa, Preston (Cambridge) and St. Catharines. For those who lived in other towns, GCL operated special flag buses from the downtown bus terminal on Bay Street to the CNE. (They were “flag” buses, because you could wave at, or “flag”, the driver to stop and pick you up.) Your Gray Coach ticket from elsewhere in Ontario let you ride the flag bus from the downtown terminal for free. The downtown flag buses also served major downtown hotels, including the Royal York and the King Edward.

In the 1960s and 70s, the TTC also got into the flag bus business, operating express buses from suburban points to the same Exhibition bus terminal near the Automotive Building that you could also flag down. In 1961, buses operated from Yonge Street and Finch Avenue, Jane Street and Wilson Avenue, Royal York Road and Anglesey Boulevard, Don Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East and Eglinton Avenue East and Pharmacy Avenue. In 1982, the last year of this service, the buses still operated from Jane and Wilson and Eglinton and Pharmacy, but also ran from Yonge and Steeles Avenue, Bloor Street West and the East Mall, Islington Avenue and Elmhurst Drive and Ellesmere and McCowan Roads.

The Transit Toronto archives contain several informative articles by James Bow describing the history of transit services to the Canadian National Exhibition.

You can read about:

  • the history of transit service to Exhibition Place here (with John F. Bromley).
  • the history of the 509 Harbourfront streetcar route here.
  • the history of the present 511 Bathurst and the former Fort streetcar routes here.
  • the history of the 514 Cherry streetcar route here.
  • the history of Exhibition East and Fleet loops here.
  • the history of the Dufferin streetcar here (with John F. Bromley).

Other relevant history articles on our site:

  • the history of the 7 Bathurst bus route by Jeffrey Kay with Pete Coulman, here.
  • the history of the 29 Dufferin bus route by Jeffrey Kay, here.
  • the history of the 93 Exhibition West express route (1988 - 2002) by Jeffrey Kay, here.
  • the history of the 121 Fort York - Esplanade route here.
  • the history of the 193 Exhibition rocket route by Jeffrey Kay, here.
  • the history of the 310 Bathurst night route by Jeffrey Kay with Pete Coulman, here.
  • the history of the 314 Dufferin - Bathurst overnight route (1987 - 1996) by James Bow, here.
  • the history of the 329 Dufferin overnight route by Jeffrey Kay, here.

TTC upgrading west parking lot at Finch Station, starting August 21

Monday, August 21, TTC contractors start a project to upgrade the west commuter lot at Finch Station. The construction project temporarily reduces the number of parking spaces available to commuters.

To decrease the impact on parking, crews are working on the project in stages. During each stage, the work zone occupies as many as 500 of the 1,600 parking spots. However, the other 1,100 spaces in the west lot and all 1,675 spots in the east commuter lot remain available.

Monday, August 28, crews block the Yonge Street entrance into the lot until early 2018 or until about March 31. Use the Hendon Avenue entrance. The Hendon Avenue entrance access gates will be in the “open” position during construction, so you can quickly enter and exit the lot. A later phase of the project requires crews to close the Hendon Avenue entrance — but not until after the Yonge Street access has reopened.

The Toronto Parking Authority (“Green P”) is installing temporary “pay and display” parking meters during this stage of construction to reduce congestion at the Hendon Avenue exit.

While crews work in the west commuter lot, they are:

  • resurfacing the lot;
  • improving the drainage systems;
  • improving the lighting system by installing light-emitting diode (LED) energy-efficient lights; and
  • increasing the number of accessible parking spaces.

The TTC finished a project to upgrade the east commuter lot earlier this summer.

Construction in the west commuter lot at Finch Station continues until September 30, 2018.

In the news: Monday, August 14, 2017

Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today.

Greater Toronto Area
  • 680 All News Radio report, “Eglinton Crosstown LRT takes major step forward”, here.
  • BlogTO post, “The secret meaning behind TTC route numbers”, here.
  • Canadian Press article, “OPSCA seizes animl seen in online video being hit by owner on TTC train” (from the CTV News Toronto website), here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Toronto police release photo of suspect after bomb threat on subway train”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “How much information should the TTC give passengers about delays?”, here.
  • CBC News Toronto report, “Woman dead after car collides with TTC bus in Scarborough”, here.
  • CityNews Toronto report, “Photo released of man wanted in TTC bomb threat scare”, here.
  • CP24 report, “TTC apologizes for morning subway delays brought about by signal issues”, here.
  • CP24 report, “TTC says centralized track facility will save money, reduce streetcar delays”, here.
  • CP24 report, “Scarborough crash involving TTC bus and vehicle leaves woman, 50, dead”, here.
  • Dude, Where’s My Bus Map? post, “There is no central transit terminal around Hamilton and that is a problem”, here.
  • Dude, Where’s My Bus Map? post, “Private transit services in Ontario: Some thoughts”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “Man wanted by Toronto police after bomb threat halts TTC subway service”, here.
  • Global News Toronto report, “TTC, Toronto mayor apologize following subway delays”, here.
  • Globe and Mail article, “Suicide on the subway”, here.
  • article, “TTC subway delays lead to commuter havoc on Line 1”, here.
  • article, “Eglinton Crosstown LRT track installation underway”, here.
  • Metro Toronto article, “Why Toronto’s subway shut down for 40 minutes during rush hour”, here.
  • Oshawa Express article, “No opening date for new Oshawa GO Station”, here.
  • post, “First track installed at Ontario’s $4.1bn Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Canada”, here.
  • Ride This Crazy Train post, “A picture tells a thousand words”, here.
  • Steve Munro’s post, “510 Spadina Platform Delays”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “Dear Metrolinx: The Problem is Not Your Communications Strategy or Your Branding”, here.
  • Torontoist post, “West Coast Cities Are Putting Toronto to Shame When It Comes to Transit Ridership”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Police seek suspect after bomb threat forces evacuation of Toronto subway”, here.
  • Toronto Star editorial, “Mayor John Tory is right - TTC fares should be frozen”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Mayor sorry for morning commuter chaos on the TTC”, here.
  • Toronto Star article, “Dundas St. East to open two months early”, here/
  • Toronto Star article, “Woman dies in Scarborough collision involving TTC bus”, here.
  • Toronto Sun article, “Worker snafu leads to TTC subway chaos”, here.
  • Urban Toronto post, “‘The First Spike’: Metrolinx Lays Tracks for Crosstown LRT”, here.
  • Urban Toronto post, “Construction Progresses on New Gardiner Expressway Ramp”, here.
  • article, “Mayor says push on to silence Markham train horns by early 2018”, here.
  • article, “Is the cessation of train whistles worth the million-dollar price tag?”, here.
Elsewhere in Southern Ontario
  • AM 900 CHML commentary, “Council’s LRT motion could cost taxpayers millions”, here.
  • AM 900 CHML report, “Small step toward HSR run LRT in Hamilton”, here.
  • Bay Observer commentary, “My Take: The Original LRT - More than a Century Ago”: Bratina, here.
  • Bayshore Broadcasting report, “Simcoe County Council Approves Regional Transit System”, here.
  • Betakit post, “Innisfil saved $73,500 through Uber public transportation partnership”, here.
  • CBC News Hamilton report, “City wants HSR to operate an maintain Hamilton’s new LRT”, here.
  • CP24 report, “More than 5,000 trips taken since Innisfil partnered with Uber to provide public transit”, here.
  • Financial Post article, “Ontario town’s experiment using Uber as public transportation is working, officials say”, here.
  • Hamilton Community News article, “Hamilton council wants HSR to oversee LRT, despite potential risks”, here.
  • Hamilton Spectator article, “Councillors ‘Keep Transit Public’ after HSR rally at City Hall”, here.
  • Hamilton Spectator column, “LRT vote stokes provincial election fears”, here.
  • Kitchener Post column, “Via Rail needs new equipment before it falls apart”, here.
  • article, “City (of Kingston) endorses Via’s proposed high-frequency rail train expansion”, here.
  • Kingston Whig-Standard article, “[Kingston] City council supports Via Rail expansion”, here.
  • Niagara Falls Review article, “Niagara leaders pleased with seasonal GO reception”, here.
  • article, “Uber off to a good start, says Innisfil staff report”, here.
  • article, “Orillia’s troublesome transit terminal deserves attention: Councillor”, here.

Bloor Street West Oshawa construction:
DRT detours start August 14

Starting Monday, August 14, the Region of Durham and the City of Oshawa are closing:

  • Bloor Street West (Regional Road 22) west of Simcoe Street South

during a regional project to build a new trunk water-main under Bloor Street and across Oshawa Creek.

Durham Region Transit is detouring buses operating along these routes, while the street is closed:

  • 401C Simcoe; and
  • 922 Bloor / Townline.

08.09.17 Bloor_Simcoe Closure FINAL.jpg

Construction on this part of Bloor Street West and the DRT detours continue until December 31.

For about one year, Durham Region contractors will be building a new trunk water-main under Bloor Street between Albert Street to Stevenson Road South during this, the second, phase of a project to improve the security of the water-supply system.

According to the Region, improving and expanding the water-supply system helps to “meet the increasing demands for new development in the Region and [is] currently being planned to connect the Whitby and Oshawa water distribution networks.” The entire new water-main extends between Wilson and Stevenson Roads South.

The Region and City previously closed Bloor Street East between Ritson Road South and Albert Street — and DRT detoured buses — overnight from Thursday, August 7 until Friday, August 8, 2015 and from Tuesday, September 9 until Tuesday, October 28, 2015 during the first phase of this project. It also closed Ritson Road South north and south of Bloor East — and DRT detoured buses — from Friday, November 6 until Sunday, November 8, 2015.

During another year, the Region will work on the third phase of the project — installing the new main under Bloor East between Wilson and Ritson Roads South.

Yonge Street rapidway construction
blocks Canyon Hill Avenue, starting August 14

Metrolinx and York Region contractors continue the project to build a rapidway — bus-only lanes in the centre of the roadway — along Yonge Street in Newmarket and Richmond Hill.

Starting Monday, August 14, the Town of Richmond Hill is closing:

  • Canyon Hill Avenue at Yonge Street

as contractors relocate current, and install new, utilities.


The work zone temporarily blocks through traffic from entering, or exiting from, Canyon Hill Avenue at Yonge Street. Crews are installing a temporary sidewalk at the northwest corner of the Yonge and Canyon Hill intersection so pedestrians can cross to the east side.

Crews work from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day, although the road remains closed after work hours. To access the plaza at 11000 Yonge, motorists and pedestrians can enter from or exit onto Canyon Hill or Naughton Drive west Yonge.

Detour signs guide motorists and pedestrians around the work zone. Expect noise.

York Region Transit is detouring buses operating along these routes, while the street is closed:

  • 83 Trench; and
  • 240 Mill Pond GO shuttle.

This phase of rapidway construction at Yonge / Canyon Hill and the YRT detours continue for three weeks, or until September 1.

Falbourne Street Mississauga construction,
MiWay detours start August 14

Starting Monday, August 14, the City of Mississauga is closing:

  • Falbourne Street between Chedworth Way and Matheson Boulevard West,

as crews install new culverts.

The project also requires the City to close curb lanes on Matheson West between Falbourne and Avebury Road.

MiWay is revising service along these routes, while the street is closed:

  • 19B Hurontario - Cantay;
  • 43 Matheson - Argentia; and
  • 70 Keaton.

Construction on Falbourne Street and the MiWay service changes continue until September 24.


TTC upgrading subway infrastructure
between Victoria Park and Warden

The week of Monday, August 14, the TTC starts a long-term project to upgrade the lighting infrastructure in the open-air sections of the Line 2 Bloor - Danforth subway between Victoria Park and Warden stations. Crews start from Victoria Park Station and work eastward along the line towards Warden Station.

Crews only work in the subway right-of-way by:

  • installing new electrical feeds and duct banks;
  • building new light pole bases in the right-of-way by digging with a hydro vacuum and placing new concrete;
  • hoisting new light poles into position;
  • restoring chain link fences and landscaping that the crews may have damaged during this project; and
  • removing older electrical cables and light poles after they’ve finished installing new lighting infrastructure.

Crews mainly access work areas from the Hydro right-of-way beside the subway line.

While crews mostly work daytime hours, they may occasional work overnight for safety reasons and to support daytime activities. Overnight work activities include installing protective fencing to create a safe work area and using hand tools to dig out some areas.

Expect some noise.

The TTC is maintaining regular subway service through the work zones.

Subway lighting-infrastructure construction continues until further notice.

Shoal Point Road Ajax construction:
DRT detour starts August 14

Starting Monday, August 14, the Town of Ajax is closing:

  • Shoal Point Road between Salt Drive and Duckfield Crescent

during an emergency project to resurface the road and replace culverts.

Crews are:

  • removing and replacing asphalt;
  • adjusting catch basins and utility access portals (“manholes”);
  • removing and replacing sections of concrete curb, gutter and sidewalk;
  • marking the pavement with lines; and
  • restoring the top soil and sod.

Durham Region Transit is detouring buses operating along this route, while the street is closed:

Emergency construction on Shoal Point Road and the DRT detour continue until August 31.

No subway service, August 12 and 13:
Sheppard West to St George


The TTC is closing its Line 1 (Yonge - University) subway between Sheppard West and St George stations this Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13.

Line 1 subway trains operate only between Finch and St George stations this weekend.

While this part of the line is closed, TTC crews continue their ongoing work to test and install the new automatic train control system. According to a TTC news release, “When installation is complete in 2019, ATC will result in a more modern and reliable signal system that will allow for a 25 per cent increase in the number of trains operating on Line 1.”

During this particular closure, the TTC also intends perform emergency training on this section of the line and the new section north of Sheppard West Station that opens later this year.

The TTC is operating shuttle buses to partially replace subway service — but only between Sheppard West and Lawrence West stations. Three construction projects delayed shuttle buses when the TTC operated them south of Lawrence West station during last year’s closures.

This TTC video provides more information about ATC and explains the alternate service plan that the TTC is using to move passengers during this closure.

Instead, the TTC is encouraging passengers to ride connecting east-west buses and streetcars to stations on the Yonge arm of Line 1 or north-south buses to Line 2 (Bloor - Danforth) stations. It will double regular service along nine bus and streetcar routes Saturday and Sunday:

  • 7 Bathurst;
  • 14 Glencairn;
  • 26 Dupont;
  • 32 Eglinton West;
  • 52 Lawrence West;
  • 84 Sheppard West;
  • 96 Wilson;
  • 109 Ranee;
  • 127 Davenport;
  • 196 York University rocket; and
  • 512 St Clair.

To improve bus service, the City of Toronto is temporarily banning parking on

  • Bathurst Street between Barton Avenue and Bloor Street West.

Wheel-Trans buses operate to and from Sheppard West, Lawrence West and St George stations, if you use a wheelchair or mobility device or otherwise need accessible service. Ask TTC staff at these stations for Wheel-Trans.

Dupont and Glencairn stations are closed Saturday and Sunday. All other stations are open so you can buy tokens, tickets, passes and other fare media and connect with buses and streetcars.

This is the ninth of 14 weekend closures affecting this part of Line 1 this year, mostly resulting from TTC crews installing and testing ATC. The TTC previously closed the line between Sheppard West (formerly Downsview) and St George:

Upcoming weekend closures for this part of the line:

  • Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 - Sheppard West to Lawrence West - track and switch work;
  • Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17 - Sheppard West to St George - ATC;
  • Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22 - Sheppard West to Wilson - ATC;
  • Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5 - Sheppard West to St George - ATC; and
  • Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3 - Sheppard West to Wilson - ATC.

Learn how to get around during the closure if you’re traveling to or from Yorkdale.

Finch West LRT construction:
TTC detours start August 12

Enbridge has been relocating gas lines on Finch Avenue West between Kipling and Islington Avenues since March. The work prepares for the upcoming Metrolinx project to build a light rail transit line along Finch West.

Starting 7 a.m. Saturday, August 12, the City of Toronto is closing:

  • Finch Avenue West, eastbound lanes, just west of Islington Avenue,

as Enbridge connects the new gas line to its network.

The TTC is detouring buses operating along these routes, while the lanes are closed:

  • 36 Finch West;
  • 336 Finch West overnight; and
  • 337 Islington overnight.

Construction in the eastbound lanes of Finch Avenue West and the TTC detours continue until 11 p.m. August 20.