TTC Transfers: 1954/55

Transfers as a physical fare medium are set to disappear from the TTC in 2017 with the completion of the migration to Presto fare cards.

Here are the transfers as they existed in 1954 and 1955, the first year of the “Toronto Transit Commission” by that name. These include many suburban bus routes that were amalgamated into the TTC’s network with the formation of Metropolitan Toronto in 1954.

A few items worth noting:

  • Many of the suburban routes used red ink on white paper as a distinct colour scheme to identify cases where a check for a “zone 1” fare on a city route would be necessary. When coloured paper was abandoned for the older routes, Carlton was already using the “suburban” colour scheme and was missed in the conversion. For many years, it was the only “downtown” route with a red transfer.
  • There are two Yonge transfers. One is for the “Yonge T.C.”, the trolley coach operation from Eglinton to Glen Echo. The other, simply “Yonge” might suggest that the streetcars were still operating in 1955 over a year after the subway opened. This is for the night service.
  • Many route names are recognizable, but the outer ends of the suburban routes are a lot closer to the old city than they are today.
  • The text on the back of the transfer exhorting riders to only make their connections in the proper TTC way has not changed in years (it can be found on transfers from 1921). The use of the word “Conductor” is amusing considering that by 1955 two-man operation had ended. The term even appears on bus transfers.
  • “Up” and “Down” refer to directions of travel and correspond to the “U” and “D” cutoffs along the edge of the transfer. Generally, “Up” is westbound or northbound, but there are exceptions sometimes caused by route changes and amalgamations with segments in the “wrong” direction.

For a look at pre-TTC transfers, please refer to this article.

6 thoughts on “TTC Transfers: 1954/55

  1. Used to be able to pick up the discarded leftover “stubs” (lower half) that the conductor/driver/operator threw out after using up all the transfers (upper half) in a pack. They made good “notepads”, especially from the morning runs.


  2. As usual, a great back-story from you Steve, thank you! This posting led me to re-read your 2014 blog on the earlier transfers and then, by chance, finding a judgement from the Supreme Court on transit and transfers in Toronto from 1895 that may amuse. The case rests on the validity of transfers – in this case issued by a ‘transfer agent’.

    Negligence—Street railway—Wrongful ejectment from car—Exposure to cold—Consequent illness—Damages—Remoteness of cause.

    In an action for damages from being wrongfully ejected from a street car, illness resulting from exposure to cold in consequence of such ejectment is not too remote a cause for damages; and where the evidence was that the person ejected was properly clothed for protection against the severity of the weather, but was in a state of perspiration from an altercation with the conductor when he left the car and so liable to take cold, the jury were justified in finding that an attack of rheumatism and bronchitis which ensued was the natural and probable result of the ejectment, and in awarding damages therefor. Gwynne J. dissenting.

    It is amazing this case reached the Supreme Court but Albert Grinstead won his case – a fact that might set a dangerous precedent for the TTC if all of us who have caught colds waiting for a short-turned car sued and the complexities of the Presto system planned by the TTC will probably increase ‘transfer conflicts’!

    Happy New Year to all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. No comment as such, Steve. I just want to wish you, your family, and all of your readers a Happy and Prosperous 2016!
    Thanks for this labour of love, it’s easily the most informative site for transit issues in the GTA!


  4. From a distance, with the different coloured ink, and the variations in how much the papered yellowed, they are quite attractive.

    It reminds me of how much Toronto needs a nice big transit museum.


  5. Despite what the idiot accountants working at the TTC may want, cash fares and paper transfers will not be going anywhere.


  6. Note the misspelling of “Roncesvalles” as “Rongesvalles” on the LONG BRANCH transfer. On the HARBORD transfer “DOVER DAV” was misprinted as “DOVER DAY”. The best misspelling of all was in the mid-1970s on the MAIN transfer where “Wineva” was misspelled as “Minerva”! There are still a few spelling goofs happening, notably the recent BAYVIEW transfer which showed the “Steeles Loo” as the terminal instead of the “Steeles Loop”.


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