One side effect of retirement is that I am finally dealing with years of accumulated files. Yes, I admit it, I have more paper than I need (especially now that so much is available in electronic format), and some of those old reports about obscure parts of the system really are not high points of my bedroom reading.
In the course of sorting through things, one always bumps into items that are misfiled, that faded from memory. One of these was an envelope I had kept because of the postmark dated May 4, 1972.
So much has changed. Postage is a lot more than eight cents, and the postal code of “Toronto 7” is positively quaint. The slogan “Ride With Us No Traffic Fuss!” is classic, but the real gem is the trolley coach as the symbol of progressive transit.
Back in 1972, the trolley coaches had a future. Vehicles soon to be displaced from the 97 Yonge route by the opening of the Yonge Subway to York Mills were destined to replace streetcars on St. Clair (even though there were nowhere near enough of them to actually do that). The TTC was still committed to electric operation, and the equipment in these coaches would be recycled into new bus bodies from Flyer. Nobody had heard of Natural Gas Buses.
Today, the TTC resists calls to re-examine trolley coaches on the grounds that pure electric buses without wires are just around the corner. I remain unconvinced, and look forward to a day when a modern trolley coach will appear in TTC literature.