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47 Lansdowne

047 Lansdowne Map

Compiled by Jeffrey Kay; Text by James Bow
Map by John Calnan

See also

After the Mount Pleasant experiment of 1922-25, Toronto’s next trolley bus route was LANSDOWNE. Operating on Lansdowne Avenue from Earlscourt loop at St. Clair Avenue to an on-street loop at Queen Street, it replaced a residential LANSDOWNE streetcar route operating from St. Clair Avenue to an on-street loop at Dundas. This route included a steep hill north of Davenport Avenue, which used to give streetcars some difficulty, but which the rubber-tired vehicles handled easily.

This route also passed Lansdowne Garage, which came to be where most of Toronto’s trolley buses were stored. Royce Loop, originally a streetcar loop at Dupont and Lansdowne, was also taken over by the trolley buses, and saw extensive use for short-turns, and to allow trolley buses to wait clear of traffic before entering service at the right time. A 47A LANSDOWNE branch was signed for this loop, but was not part of regular service. This property became surplus to the TTC’s needs in the mid-1990s and was sold off for redevelopment. Earlscourt Loop remains, still seeing some use by the St. Clair streetcar.

The end for trolley buses came on January 3, 1992. In the last days, eight trolley coaches were required to handle five minute intervals on this line, and night service was offered. Few changes had been seen on this line since 1947; there were no provisions made for off-street transfers between this route and the Bloor subway when it opened in 1966. When the trolley buses disappeared altogether, Lansdowne Garage was closed down. Once converted to diesel buses, 47 LANSDOWNE changed dramatically, merging into the 18 CALEDONIA bus as part of a major route restructuring in 1994, which wasn’t possible before 1992 without stringing miles of new wire. The TTC has also considered an extension south, on Jameson and Springhurst Avenues to Dufferin loop, something else that wasn’t possible before 1992 without stringing new wires. The southward extension was not considered viable without operation on Springhurst Avenue, however, and the City of Toronto has vetoed bus operation on Springhurst.


A Chronological History of 47 Lansdowne

June 19, 1947

Toronto’s first modern trolley coach route begins operations at 8 p.m., running on Lansdowne between Lansdowne loop at St. Clair via south on Lansdowne to Queen Street. At Queen, buses loop via west on Queen, north on MacDonnell and east on Seaforth. Service replaces the LANSDOWNE streetcar, and extends service to Lansdowne Avenue between Dundas and Queen.

LANSDOWNE

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

March 19, 1948

The loop at Lansdowne and St. Clair is officially referred to as ‘Earlscourt loop’

Autumn 1956

Route assigned number 47.

LANSDOWNE

47

ST. CLAIR
Q U E E N

7 days a week, 24 hours a day

LANSDOWNE

47A

DUPONT
Q U E E N

Occasional short turns.

Note: during the trolley coach era, the roll sign included an exposure for a 47A branch (Dupont-Queen). There is no specific reference to regularly scheduled operation of this short turn service, and it may only have been used on trips running into and out of Lansdowne garage.

February 26, 1966

Service opens on the BLOOR-DANFORTH SUBWAY. Although Lansdowne trolley buses serve Lansdowne station, no special facilities are built beyond station entrances. Although routes like 41 KEELE are extended to serve the station, looping on-street, Lansdowne trolley buses continue through operation between St. Clair and Queen, with no looping facilities available around the station.

February 9, 1987

Overnight service is redesignated 315 LANSDOWNE BLUE NIGHT as part of the TTC’s significant expansion of night services throughout Metropolitan Toronto.

LANSDOWNE

47

ST. CLAIR
Q U E E N

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

LANSDOWNE

315

ST. CLAIR
Q U E E N

7 days a week, “owl” service

January 5, 1992

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

February 16, 1992

Overnight service on 315 LANSDOWNE BLUE NIGHT is discontinued.

February 13, 1994

As part of a general reorganization of routes in western Toronto, made possible by the abandonment of trolley bus service, alternate buses are extended north of St. Clair to Yorkdale station on the YONGE-UNIVERSITY-SPADINA SUBWAY, replacing service on the 18 CALEDONIA route.

Service on the 47B branch of the Lansdowne route operate from Queen and Lansdowne via north on Lansdowne, west on St. Clair, north on Caledonia and east on Bridgeland, looping via Yorkdale Road and Dufferin. Alternate rush hour buses on the Caledonia extension, branch 47C, operate both ways via Orfus Road between Caledonia and Dufferin.

47

L A N S D O W N E

 

47

L A N S D O W N E

TO ST. CLAIR

TO QUEEN

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

47B

L A N S D O W N E

 

47B

L A N S D O W N E

TO YORKDALE STN.
VIA CALEDONIA
AND BRIDGELAND

TO QUEEN
VIA BRIDGELAND
AND CALEDONIA

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

47C

L A N S D O W N E

 

47C

L A N S D O W N E

TO YORKDALE STN.
VIA CALEDONIA
AND ORFUS

TO QUEEN
VIA ORFUS
AND CALEDONIA

Monday to Friday, rush hours only

July 10, 1995

With the Yorkdale GO Bus Terminal no longer available to TTC buses, 47B and 47C branches now stop southbound on Yorkdale Road just before the intersection at the subway station.

October 18, 1998

Designated as an accessible route using lift-equipped buses.

March 21, 1999

Designated as an accessible route using low-floor buses.

July 20, 2010

At the time of this writing, service operates at frequencies of ten minutes or better on the 47 branch between St. Clair and Queen. Additional service operates throughout the day on 47B from Queen to Yorkdale station via Lansdowne, Caledonia and Bridgeport, at fifteen minute frequencies during midday, and frequencies of twenty minutes or better through most of the weekend. Rush hour service continues on the Orfus branch at intervals of 22 minutes.

June 22, 2014

As part of a system-wide reorganization of route branch designations, buses on the regular 47 LANSDOWNE branch are redesignated 47A.

NORTHBOUND

 

SOUTHBOUND

47A

L A N S D O W N E

 

47A

L A N S D O W N E

TO ST. CLAIR

TO QUEEN

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

47B

L A N S D O W N E

 

47B

L A N S D O W N E

TO YORKDALE STN.
VIA CALEDONIA
AND BRIDGELAND

TO QUEEN
VIA BRIDGELAND
AND CALEDONIA

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

47C

L A N S D O W N E

 

47C

L A N S D O W N E

TO YORKDALE STN.
VIA CALEDONIA
AND ORFUS

TO QUEEN
VIA ORFUS
AND CALEDONIA

Monday to Friday, rush hours only


47 Lansdowne Image Archive


References

  • Filey, Mike, The TTC Story: The First Seventy-Five Years, Dundurn Press, Toronto (Ontario) 1996.
  • Hood, J. William, The Toronto Civic Railways: An Illustrated History, The Upper Canada Railway Society, Toronto (Ontario), 1986.