The Toronto Transit Commission marked a significant milestone on Wednesday as officials commemorated the service’s 100th anniversary.
It was on Sept. 1, 1921, when the publicly-owned Toronto Transportation Commission began operations. The corporation was created by merging a mix of private and public companies: the Toronto Railway Company, the Toronto Civic Railway and parts of the municipality-owned Toronto and York Radial Railway, a move that also brought together nine different fare systems.
During a celebration event on Wednesday, TTC chair and councillor Jaye Robinson said in 1921, adult fares at the time of operation were seven cents and tickets were four for 25 cents. Since the service launched 100 years ago, she said it’s estimated more than 32 billion passengers have been transported.
“Toronto has grown substantially over the last century from a population of 522,000 to a city of almost three million people, and the TTC has evolved and adapted along the way,” Robinson said.
Mayor John Tory called the TTC an integral asset for the city, noting how it operated through significant events such as the COVID-19 pandemic to help essential workers move around.
“The operators and people who did the maintenance and all the rest, they kept the whole system running during that period of time. The TTC never wavered and proved themselves to be a reliable partner for the City of Toronto,” he said.
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As part of the transit agency’s commemoration of the occasion, banners were installed in front of Union Station and on parts of Yonge Street and Queen’s Park.
Twelve subway stations will also have photo exhibits and the City of Toronto’s archives website will have a virtual photography exhibit.
The CN Tower was lit red on Wednesday to mark the TTC’s anniversary.
For those who want to get up close to transit vehicles from decades ago, they can visit the Halton County Radial Railway museum where many of the vehicles are on display and are occasionally used for passenger rides.