A Subway Anniversary & A Few Old Transfers

The Yonge Subway celebrates its 60th birthday this weekend on March 30, 2014.  In honour of the occasion, I have scanned in a few transfers from the era predating the opening.  With the exception of the souvenirs from 1953, these were rescued from oblivion when the TTC was cleaning house of old files at Hillcrest Transportation many years ago.

11 thoughts on “A Subway Anniversary & A Few Old Transfers

  1. Steve, are you in any documentaries of pictures back in the 70s or 80s on streetcars or subways?

    Steve: No.


  2. Marvelous, I’ve never seen some of these before.

    That the first set of transfers put East on the left and West on the right is remarkable.


  3. I presume the lack of Rosedale on the transfer was due to the naming issues I.e. Crescent versus Rosedale?

    Steve: By 1953 they already knew it would be “Rosedale”. It was a mistake.


  4. The Saturday after the subway opened I walked one block to Davisville station, paid my fare and rode the line down to Union, back to Eglinton and then to Davisville. I was seven at the time. My mother was not impressed.

    I always made her ride in the front of the trailer on Yonge so I could watch the tail light on the motor, red or green, and the trolley pole. I guess I have always been a transit fan.


  5. I always wondered if someone, anyone, kept an old transfer for years and years. And then attempt to use them years later when the same date comes up. They didn’t have a year stamped on them, so it could be possible

    As a kid riding on the old PCC streetcars, I would try to get a seat behind the driver. Most of the PCC’s had a garbage container situated to the driver’s left and behind him. If lucky, the driver would throw out the transfer stubs into the garbage and I would pick them out. If not messed up with coffee stains or some other stains. Not possible these days.

    I would use the old transfer stubs, as a plaything or a notepad.

    Steve: That sort of ruse used to be possible, but now that transfers include both the date, the day number in the year, and a varying colour, it is no longer a viable tactic for saving on fares.


  6. Your commentary and wisdom about transit so often surpasses the wisdom of TTC staff, it’s too bad TTC does not work with transit analyst like yourself. I have a copy of the 2006 Pk Period service planning appendix 4 subway loading and delivery numbers. Is there a more up to date numbers available other than 2006. The graph has 4 boxes with the e/w/n/s or each subway. My second question is what does the TTC refer to as Peak Period… 7am to 9 am? 7:30 to 9am? I don’t believe Peak Period is the same as Peak Hour. What would TTC’s term of Peak Period be? I know GO uses Peak Period as 6 to 9 am or a 3 hour period reference. thank for you answer. This would be helpful relative to the upcoming public input on relief etc. thanks

    Steve: Generally speaking, the AM peak period is 6am to 9am, but it varies by route. Many routes do not build up to full service until after 7am and may not build down again until 10am. Similar issues with the PM peak.


  7. What’s with the backwards “J” on the earliest transfers?

    Steve: I don’t know, and leave this question for anyone with knowledge of the early transfer procedures in 1892. This transfer was used only for a short time, and the complexity of issuing them (and a few of those that followed) led quickly to their replacement. These were issued not on the cars, but by “transfer agents” at major intersections between routes. The missing letter indicates which route the passenger is transferring to. [Source: Street Railways of Toronto, 1861-1921, by Louis H. Pursley.]


  8. Apparently the omission of the Rosedale Station on the souvenir subway transfer caused a great deal of concern among local residents. The Rosedale station structure settled badly during its construction and the various sections moved out of alignment causing delays and hassles. This was due to to fact that it is built on fill along an old ravine. The 1953 ‘Rosedale-less’ transfer was thought by some to indicate that the TTC was simply abandoning the prospect of a station there, which was not the case at all.


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