Compiled by Jeffrey Kay
Map by John Calnan
Transit service first came to Lansdowne Avenue early in the 20th century. As the city built north and west, service on Lansdowne was hampered by the level crossing between the Canadian Pacific railway tracks, and by the Toronto Railway Company’s unwillingness to extend streetcar service to Toronto’s newly annexed neighbourhoods, so close to the expiration of the franchise in 1921. In 1917, the City of Toronto built a second Lansdowne streetcar line, under the Toronto Civic Railways banner, extending from the north ends of the C.P.R. tracks to connect with the TCR streetcar line at St. Clair.
Once the Toronto Transportation Commission took over operations of the Toronto Railway Company and rolled in the Toronto Civic Railway lines, Lansdowne’s level crossing continued to keep the two Lansdowne streetcar routes (LANSDOWNE NORTH and an extension of the BLOOR car) apart for several years.
August 25, 1925
A new bus service is launched, replacing the LANSDOWNE NORTH streetcar and a portion of the BLOOR streetcar during overnight hours. Previously, the two streetcar services operated at all hours of the day and night, forcing passengers to transfer across the C.P.R. tracks. This bus service runs from a wye at St. Clair Avenue, south on Lansdowne, running beyond Bloor, to wye at Dundas Street.
March 27, 1927
Service cut back from Dundas to wye at College.
7 days a week, “owl” service only.
May 29, 1931
Buses at St. Clair loop through the newly opened Lansdowne loop instead of wying.
October 29, 1931
Service on this night bus extended west from Lansdowne and St. Clair via St. Clair to Old Weston Road, looping at Townsley Loop and returning.
April 17, 1932
Sunday bus service added, replacing the two separate streetcar routes. Sunday buses operate between a wye at St. Clair Avenue via south on Lansdowne to Dundas, looping via west on Dundas, north on St. Helens and east on College.
December 25, 1932
Buses replace streetcars on holidays as well as on Sundays, following the Sunday service route.
April 9, 1933
Sunday and holiday bus service replaced by through streetcar service. Overnight bus service continues.
February 2, 1942
Night buses extended west on St. Clair from Old Weston Road to Keele loop. One bus provides a thirty-minute headway.
June 7, 1942
Streetcars replace night buses, operating from Townsley loop via Old Weston Road, St. Clair, Lansdowne to Dundas, looping via Dundas and College. Service on the first incarnation of the Lansdowne bus ends.
Rubber tire service would return to Lansdowne Avenue shortly, however. Five years later, the LANSDOWNE streetcar was replaced by the LANSDOWNE trolley bus.
Lansdowne Bus Image Archive
TTC Twin 23-R coach #596 sits at Davenport garage, having suffered an accident on November 2, 1937. It is bearing a rarely photographed LANSDOWNE night bus exposure. This TTC photograph was donated from the Pete Coulman collection.