The Subway Turns Sixty  - Subway Milestones - Expansion - Page Banner

That first stretch of subway line ran 4.6 miles between Union Station and Eglinton Station. It was an instant success and was used by more riders than had been anticipated. It would be used by over 360 million riders within the first five years.

When the subway first opened it had a complement of 104 cars produced by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company of England. The cars were 56 feet long (17metres) and were semi-permanently coupled in pairs. The system was designed to carry a maximum of 40,000 people per hour.

Rush hour trains were initially comprised of six cars but, in anticipation of growth, the platforms were all 500 feet long to be capable of handling trains made up of eight cars.

Photo: Eaton's Window Display showing the relationship between the Queen Street store and the subway, 1954
Click to see a larger image (202K)

Eaton's window display showing the relationship between
the Queen Street store and the subway, 1954
Black and white print
T. Eaton Co. Fonds
Reference Code: F 229-308-0-1120
Archives of Ontario, I0016135

1959


With demand for the subway high and with the tremendous post-war growth being experienced throughout the city, it was clear that expansion was necessary. Ground was officially broken on the first stage of the University line on November 16.

1961


Fares increased on May 1, 1961. Prices became 2 tickets for 30 cents or 7 for $1.00. This was the second increase in 12 months and the fourth in ten years.

1962


Photo: Subway Travelling North Between Bloor and Rosedale Stations on Yonge Line, May 1981
Click to see a larger image (249K)

Subway Travelling North Between Bloor and
Rosedale Stations on Yonge Line, May 1981
Colour slide
Ministry of Transportation photographs
Reference Code: RG 14-151
Archives of Ontario, I0016120

In 1962 the first Canadian designed 75-foot-long aluminium subway cars entered service. 36 of these cars had been ordered in 1960. Built by the Montreal Locomotive Works Limited of Montreal, they were the lightest and longest subway cars in the world.

Six of these cars had the same passenger capacity as eight of the cars already in service, yet, due to their lighter weight were significantly more economical to run. The first of these cars went into service on September 30, 1962. The second order of Canadian made cars was for the Bloor-Danforth line and were built by Canadian Car Fort William Division of Hawker Siddely Canada Ltd.

Photo: Davisville TTC Yard, March 1985

Davisville TTC Yard, March 1985
Colour slide
Ministry of Transportation photographs
Reference Code: RG 14-151
Archives of Ontario, I0016128

1963


Photo: John Robarts, Leslie Frost and Keiler Mackay at subway opening, Toronto, 1963
Click to see a larger image (129K)

John Robarts, Donald Summerville, Leslie Frost
and Keiler Mackay at subway opening, Toronto, 1963
Photographer unknown
Reference Code: RG 3-38-2-17
Archives of Ontario, I0005367

On February 28 the University line, a two mile stretch of line running between Union Station and St George Station officially opens. This extension was 2.38 miles (3.83 kilometres) long and completed the first leg of the Bloor-Danforth- University route.

Meanwhile, work on the Bloor-Danforth line had already begun. Original subway plans had included a Queen Street line, but much of the city's growth was taking place further to the north and Bloor street was already becoming clogged with traffic.

1966


Photo: Yonge Bloor Subway Station, November 1984
Click to see a larger image (130K)

Yonge Bloor Subway Station, November 1984
Colour slide
Ministry of Transportation photographs
Reference Code: RG 14-151
Archives of Ontario, I0016131

February 26, 1966, the Bloor-Danforth line opens running between Keele Station and Woodbine Station. This line was eight miles long, added 18 new stations and more than doubled the size of the subway system. With this milestone, the subway replaced the streetcar as the principal means of public transportation in Toronto.

1968


On May 11, 1968 Bloor-Danforth Subway extensions were officially opened. The new track ran west to Islington Station and east to Warden Station.

1973


The Yonge Subway was extended north to York Mills Station.

1974


Three additional stations were added to the Yonge Subway line extending it to Finch Station.

1978


Photo: Yorkdale Subway Station Platform, May 1981

The Spadina Subway opened between St. George Station and Wilson Station. This added 7 stops to the extension of the University line.

Click to see a larger image (138K)
Yorkdale Subway Station Platform, May 1981
Colour slide
Ministry of Transportation photographs
Reference Code: RG 14-151
Archives of Ontario, I0016129

1980


One more station was added to each end of the Bloor-Danforth line. In the west it was extended to Kipling Station and in the east to Kennedy Station.

1985


Photo: Scarborough LRT Scarborough Town Centre, March 1985

On March 22, 1985 the Scarborough RT line opened between Kennedy Station and McCowan Station.

Click to see a larger image (157K)
Scarborough LRT Scarborough
Town Centre, March 1985
Colour slide
Ministry of Transportation photographs
Reference Code: RG 14-151
Archives of Ontario, I0016123
Photo: LRT TTC Scarborough Eglinton Station, September 1985
Click to see a larger image (159K)

LRT TTC Scarborough Eglinton Station, September 1985
Colour slide
Ministry of Transportation photographs
Reference Code: RG 14-151
Archives of Ontario, I0016122

1988


In 1988 the total ridership on the Toronto Transit Commission reached 463.5-million customer-trips.

Photo: Bloor Subway Islington, November 1984
Bloor Subway Islington, November 1984
Colour slide
Ministry of Transportation photographs
Reference Code: RG 14-151
Archives of Ontario, I0016126

1996


The Spadina Subway line was extended one additional stop north to Downsview Station (renamed Sheppard West in 2017). Downsview Station [ Sheppard West]  Bloor-Yonge Station, and Union Station become the first fully-accessible subway stations.

2002


A new subway line opened that runs between the Yonge-Sheppard station and Don Mills Station.