The TTC is celebrating 90 years of service (Sept 1/2011). Things have come along way from laying the first tracks on Gerrard street (see inset) and the amalgamation of private and municipal street railways comprising the central system of the Toronto Railway Company, the Toronto Civic Railways’ five municipal routes and three routes of the Toronto & York Radial Railway within the city. Adult fares were set at seven cents and tickets were four for 25 cents.
The first subways were brought across the Atlantic from Britain to the port of Montreal for service from Union to Eglinton Station. Today the TTC has the third largest ridership in North America trailing only Mexico City and New York City with populations in excess of 8 million. The newest subway cars built in Thunder Bay by Bombardier hit the Yonge/Univeristy/Spadina line recently which for the first time feature continuous access across the 6 cars and ‘smart’ maps which light up stations as they are served. The TTC also recently launched a GPS based Next Bus system which is discussed here.
What has made the TTC great in Toronto is that it’s a service that is used across socioeconomic groups. On every train in the morning you’ll see businessmen in suits alongside students on their way to school. The system is safe and reliable.
Unfortunately it’s finances have been in terrible shape since provincial fare subsidies were eliminated under the Harris government in mid-90’s causing it to be the largest Anglo-American transit operator without provincial or federal/state funding. It’s in desperate need of funding to expand and maintain it’s infrastructure. Most stations have not been maintained well over the years and are showing their age. Bottlenecks have formed without any relief for commuters traveling to the downtown core.
The TTC is a great amenity that many potential home owners look to find close by when trying to find that dream home. We’ve tried to list all local transit options on our Neighbourhood pages which can be accessed via the Neighbourhood and Building Maps. While the current municipal government is looking at service cuts to deal with a funding defect Spring Realty is holding out hope to see some service improvements or infrastructure maintenance for the 100 year anniversary.