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Old Time Trains


Toronto and Surrounding Area

by R.L.Kennedy

Independent Bus Lines was not a bus company at all, but rather it was simply a term used to identify a group of privately owned bus lines that were taken over by the Toronto Transit Commission (T.T.C.), after the formation of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (Metro), on January 1, 1954.

These bus lines operated in the townships, towns and villages adjoining Toronto, as well as on inter-city runs. The former were referred to as being Suburban service and the latter as Interurbans. They operated in Toronto only to reach convenient transfer points or destinations, and were restricted in the handling of local passengers in Toronto.

City of Toronto
Town of Leaside
Town of Mimico
Town of New Toronto
Town of Weston
Village of Forest Hill
Village of Long Branch
Village of Swansea
Township of East York
Township of Etobicoke
Township of North York
Township of Scarborough
Township of York

The take over of these independent bus lines actually became effective on July 1st 1954. It was forced upon them by the government and included not only city services but, also the inter-city and charter operations as well. The formation of Metropolitan Toronto itself was forced upon the municipalities by the Province of Ontario. This created another level of government because the various municipalities still existed, although they were relieved of the responsibility for the police, major roads, water, sewage and public transporation along with other matters.

Many of the component municipalities were themselves made up of numerous amalgamations over many decades. All of this was brought about by a growing population spreading out farther and farther from the early settlements of people.

It was the final acquisition of privately owned public transportation companies that began with the formation of the T.T.C. in 1921. The take-over came about for the same reason it did in 1921, to provide the public with a better transportation system. Elimination of the transferring between vehicles of different companies and separate fares required was a major benefit.

In 1921 the Toronto Transportation Commission was formed to take over all of the exisiting private and publicly owned transportation systems, and to create an integrated and modernized system for an ever expanding population.

Danforth Bus Lines served Scarborough, North York Bus Lines North York, and York. Toronto Coach Lines served places to the northwest and east of Toronto. All three were under common ownership.

Hollinger Bus Lines served East York and Scarborough, as well as a single interurban route to Mount Albert.
It was the largest of the independents with some of the best equipment and a near-new garage.

Roseland Bus Lines was the smallest of the independents, it served a part of York with a single route and operated an interurban route between Weston and Woodbridge, It was owned by David R.Murray, and apparently was not even incorporated as a business back in those simplier years!

West York Coach Lines served York, Etobicoke and Malton connecting them to the Junction in West Toronto as well as Toronto at Bloor and Jane. They briefly served Swansea before shutting down the newly acquired route.

The independent bus lines were licensed to provide school bus services along with charter highway service.

A group of derelict buses includes Hollinger (left) and Danforth Ford Transit along with a Roseland Reo
following TTC takeover. Sherbourne Street garage. October 24, 1954 Collection of Pete Coulman

Sherbourne Street garage. August 1954 Collection of Pete Coulman

NOTE: If you have any photographs (especially colour), or additional information
about any of the independent bus lines, please contact us.


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