4 Annette (1947-2001)

Compiled by Peter Coulman; Text by James Bow
With additional information by L.H. Pursley, TTC Archives and Mike Vainchtein

Annette began operations on October 6, 1947 as a new route operating from Jane Loop at the end of the Bloor streetcar line, up Jane and along Annette and Dupont to Christie Loop at the end of the DUPONT streetcar line. It was a trolley bus operation from the start, enhancing transit service in West Toronto. When it opened, it replaced a JANE bus (operating from Jane Loop via Jane, Annette, Runnymede and St. Clair to Keele Loop), portions of the Runnymede bus (operating from Bloor and Runnymede via Runnymede and Annette to loop at Dundas and Keele — the RUNNYMEDE bus was realigned to run straight up Runnymede and St. Clair to Keele Loop) and the Lappin and Hallam Avenue portions of the Harbord Streetcar. As a result, it created a frequent cross-town route between the St. Clair and Bloor streetcar lines. operating through an area that needed transit service, but couldn’t generate the traffic necessary to extend the Dupont streetcar west.

The service was originally conceived as a streetcar service. During the late 1920s, the TTC planned to extend the existing Dupont and Church streetcars west from Christie and Dupont, via Dupont, Dovercourt, Hallam and Lappin to Lansdowne Avenue. There, the route was to follow an extended Lappin to Dundas, and from there along Humberside, Keele, Annette and Jane. The onset of the Great Depression killed this proposal, along with a number of streetcar extension proposals. The Annette trolley bus was a resurrection of this proposal in trolley bus form.

The route was very stable. The biggest change occurred on February 28, 1963, when the University subway opened, and the Dupont streetcar was abandoned. At that time, the Annette route was extended eastward from Christie Loop (now abandoned and redeveloped), along Dupont, Davenport and Bedford to St. George station. At the other end, the 4 ANNETTE was routed into Jane station when the Bloor-Danforth subway was extended in 1968. When the Spadina subway opened in 1978, transfers became available at Dupont station, but no off-street facility was provided.

The Annette trolley bus had few branches. 4A and 4B were signed (between St. George station and Royce Loop and Jane and Royce Loop respectively) but were not used in regular service. Instead, Royce Loop was the destination when the cars left service and headed for Lansdowne Garage. Short turn loops were also available at Runnymede, Keele and Ossington, but weren’t used as scheduled short-turns.

Annette was never a major route, requiring 7 buses to provide 10 minute headways when the end came on January 14, 1992. It received a reprieve in 1993 when the decision was made to use the borrowed Edmonton trolley buses for the remainder of their lease, on the 6 BAY route. As the buses were stored at Lansdowne Garage, the Dupont wires had to be used anyway, so the remaining trolley buses plied the 4 Annette route to keep the trolley wires in operational condition. Since conversion to diesel buses, Annette has seen few changes, other than being redesignated 26 DUPONT in 2001 to free up the route number 4 for the Sheppard subway.


A Chronological History of 4 Annette

October 6, 1947

Service begins on a new trolley coach route operating from Jane loop at the corner of Bloor and Jane streets (at the west end of the BLOOR STREETCAR to Christie loop at the corner of Dupont and Christie streets (at the northwest end of the DUPONT STREETCAR. Service operates via north on Jane, east on Annette, east on Royce, east on Van Horne and east on Dupont to Christie and return. When inaugurated, the route served extensive residential areas around Annette, as well as significant commercial and industrial areas around Royce, Van Horne and Dupont. Service operated out of Lansdowne Carhouse.

Proposals to service this area surfaced as early as the late 1920s, with suggestions that the TTC extend the DUPONT streetcar west from Christie loop to Dovercourt, then following established tracks via Dovercourt, Hallam, Dufferin, Lappin to Lansdowne, and then via new track via Lappin, Humberside, Keele and Annette to Jane. The Great Depression and the Second World War delayed construction of this service. With shortages continuing after the war, and the TTC hard at work maintaining the streetcar system it had, the new trolley bus technology was seen as an cheap and effective means of providing new transit service, without digging up the roads.

The new ANNETTE route replaces the first version of the JANE bus.

A N N E T T E

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

January 19, 1948

Van Horne and Royce renamed Dupont Street. No change in route.

February 1949

Overhead installed at new Beresford Loop, allowing trolley coaches to be short turned via south on Beresford, east on Lincoln and north on Runnymede. RUNNYMEDE window cards were used.

October 1, 1950 to June 13, 1952

Due to the construction of an underpass beneath the Canadian National Railway tracks on Dupont, west of Lansdowne, the service in both directions was diverted via temporary wires strung via Lansdowne, Lappin, Antler and Perth.

August 20, 1952

Rerouted in both directions over a new stretch of Dupont Street eliminating a jog at the Dupont/Ossington intersection.

October 16, 1952

Rerouted in both directions over a new stretch of Annette eliminating a jog at the Annette/Keele intersection.

November 22, 1953

Operation begins around the rebuilt Jane loop.

September 1956

Assigned route number 4.

ANNETTE

4

J   A   N   E
C H R I S T I E

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

ANNETTE

4A

J   A   N   E
L A N S D O W N E

Garage run-ins only

ANNETTE

4B

R U N N Y M E D E
C H R I S T I E

Occasional short turns

ANNETTE

4C

R U N N Y M E D E
L A N S D O W N E

Garage run-ins only

February 28, 1963

Coincident with the opening of the UNIVERSITY SUBWAY at noon, and the abandoning of the DUPONT STREETCAR, service is extended east from Christie loop via Dupont, Davenport and Bedford to loop via Prince Arthur and St. George station, using the southern loading platform. The first trolley coach to St. George station left Jane loop at 11:15 a.m. to reach St. George at 11:49 a.m.

Once this change is made, Christie loop is declared off limits to TTC vehicles and quickly abandoned and redeveloped.

ANNETTE

4

J   A   N   E
ST GEORGE STATION

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

ANNETTE

4A

J   A   N   E
L A N S D O W N E

Garage run-ins only

ANNETTE

4B

L A N S D O W N E
ST GEORGE STATION

Garage run-ins only

May 11, 1968

Coincident with the extension of the BLOOR-DANFORTH SUBWAY to Islington, trolley buses leave Jane loop for a new loop into the new Jane subway station. Trolley buses loop via east on the bus roadway, south on Armadale, west on Bloor and north on Jane.

Note that the destination signs were not altered for this change, and continue to read “JANE” until the abandonment of trolley bus service.

January 14, 1992

Last day of trolley coach operation. Diesel buses take over the following day. A brief reprieve occurs later that year until early in 1993 when the TTC finds it can not let go of certain leased trolley coaches early and decides to run these on the 4 ANNETTE and 6 BAY routes.

February 18, 1996

As part of system-wide service cuts resulting from the elimination of provincial subsidy, Sunday late-evening service eliminated.

January 6, 2001

Last day of operation as 4 ANNETTE. The next day, service is renamed and renumbered 26 DUPONT, “to better describe the area the route serves” and also to vacate the route number for use by the SHEPPARD subway after it opened in November 2002.


4 Annette Image Archive


References

  • Bromley, John F., and Jack May Fifty Years of Progressive Transit, Electric Railroaders’ Association, New York (New York), 1978.
  • Corley, Ray F., Trolley Coach CC&F and Flyer Coaches, The Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto (Ontario), January 1987.
  • Filey, Mike, The TTC Story: The First Seventy-Five Years, Dundurn Press, Toronto (Ontario) 1996.