Compiled by Peter Coulman
When the newly formed Toronto Transportation Commission purchased the operations of the Toronto Suburban Railway in old West Toronto, it gained hold of a number of streetcar operations outside of Toronto’s city limits, within the Township of York. The TTC and the Township of York entered into an arrangement whereby the TTC would continue to operate these routes, charging an additional fare whenever passengers crossed the city limits, on the condition that the Township of York would cover any and all operating deficits.
Two lines were affected by this arrangement: the WESTON ROAD line operating from Dundas and Keele via Keele and Weston Road into the village of Weston, and the LAMBTON line, running from Keele and Dundas via Dundas and private right-of-way to a loop in Lambton Park near the Humber River. The TTC would be commissioned to build two more streetcar lines for the Township of York: ROGERS ROAD and OAKWOOD, opening in 1925.
Of the four Township of York lines, LAMBTON was the poorest performer. The line was never double tracked to “city” standards, and ridership was quite low. In 1928, the Township of York polled its ratepayers, telling them that the line’s deficits could result in an increase in taxes, and converting the service to bus operation could save money. Also, the township noted that a bridge was to be built in Lambton Park which would require property the line operated on. Under this pressure, Township of York ratepayers voted 392 to 52 in favour of conversion, and the LAMBTON streetcar ceased operations on August 18, 1928, with buses starting on a new route immediately thereafter.
August 19, 1928
Service begins on the LAMBTON bus route running from Keele Street to Humber (Lambton Hotel). Due to road construction, the bus only operated as far west as Scarlett Road for a few days.
April 11, 1929
The TTC-owned Gray Coach Lines acquires Maple Leaf Coach Lines. As a result of this, Maple Leaf’s ISLINGTON route (running on Dundas from Runnymede to Bloor and Kipling) is combined with the LAMBTON service. Both routes operate using “red” city buses, although these are later transferred to Gray Coach. “ISLINGTON” buses operate from Runnymede and Dundas via Dundas to Bloor and Dundas in the village of Islington. LAMBTON buses continue to operate from Keele and Dundas via Dundas to the Humber River.
June 4, 1929
LAMBTON service extended over a new high-level bridge to Dundas and Lambton Avenue (now known as Prince Edward Drive)
June 8, 1942
Due to wartime restrictions, LAMBTON service cut back to Runnymede loop at the end of the DUNDAS streetcar line instead of continuing on to Keele Street.
January 1, 1946
Service restored to Keele, looping via Dundas, Keele, Annette and Mavety Streets.
November 3, 1947
In the west, service loops counterclockwise via Lambton Avenue (now Prince Edward Drive), Government Road and Earlington Avenue, instead of just wying at Lambton and Dundas.
February 3, 1950
Due to traffic congestion, western loop operated in clockwise instead of counterclockwise.
January 1, 1954
Service incorporated into the Toronto Transit Commission. Grey Coaches replaced by “red” city buses. By this point, service is operating during rush hours only.
Monday to Saturday, rush hours
July 1, 1954
Service incorporated into the ISLINGTON route.