busy on the Ossington route May 30, 1966
The Toronto Transportation Commission introduced the 'trackless trolley' to Canada in 1922 with the purchase of four coaches built by Preston Car & Coach. The Mount Pleasant route went into operation on June 19, 1922 on a route along Merton Street and Mount Pleasant Road to Eglington Avenue. It was the desire of the TTC to open up new areas for future streetcar service. On September 1, 1925 the trolley coach operation was discontinued due to the laying of a double track streetcar line on Mount Pleasant Road, the trolleys being placed in dead storage. At least one escaped being scrapped. The body of number 23 exists today at the Halton County Radial Railway where it currently awaits restoration.
It was not until 1947 that the trolley coach was re-introduced in Toronto. Following WWII a decision was made to equip two heavy west end cross-town streetcar lines with trolley coaches. The Lansdowne line commenced operation on June 19 and the Annette route on October 6. A third trolley coach route was also created by combining a streetcar and two gas bus routes. This became the Ossington route with service beginning December 8. On September 13, 1948 the Weston rail line, which the TTC inherited from the Old York Township Railways, became the fourth trolley coach route. This route was extended in 1949 and again in 1959.
With the impending opening of the Yonge Street subway, the newly formed Toronto Transit Commission converted the Nortown bus line to trolley coaches effective March 7, 1954. On March 27, the section of the Yonge streetcar line north of Eglington Avenue was converted to trolley coach operation. This line, plus the Nortown route, fed into the subway at the Eglington station being the northern terminus of the subway. Other routes to operate with trolley coaches included Junction, Bay and Mt. Pleasant.
The trolley coach era ended in Toronto in January 1992 when all were removed from service.