“Pride and passion in Canada’s transit heritage”

Directors’ Meeting and AGM Results

As we enjoy the summer sun and warm weather, it’s an ideal time to report on the results of our Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on June 15th, and to provide you with an update on a number of exciting developments as well as plans for the coming year.
If you’ve checked our website recently, you’ll notice that this year’s AGM and directors’ meeting were held at a new and, appropriately, historic venue – Car 13 “Cape Race”, which is on display at the Toronto Railway Museum at Roundhouse Park.   The car dates from 1929 is a former Canadian Pacific Railway business car equipped with a large table and chairs as well as a kitchen – all the comforts of home!  We’re thankful to the Toronto Railway Historical Association for the use of the car.

New Director

At the AGM, six of the 12 directors were re-elected by the members present for a two-year period and this included the addition of one new director, Trevor Parkins-Sciberras.  The remaining six directors continue to serve until the 2020 AGM.  Trevor has been very active with local Toronto heritage groups including the Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (OERHA) and the West Toronto Junction Historical Society.  He has supported and promoted CTHF by starting up our Facebook page and helping to keep our website up-to-date.   Please join me in welcoming Trevor to the board!

Accomplishments over Past Year

This past year has been one of accomplishment and success within CTHF but also a time of sadness and reflection over the recent passing of one of our past directors, Director Emeritus and a major advocate and contributor to the cause of preserving our transit history and heritage, Paul Leger.  As you will have seen in the tribute to him on our website as well as in Bulletin 104, Paul was very active in not only CTHF but also the Bus History Association and we mourn his passing.  We also lost another staunch transit supporter and contributor in the name of David Boston, also of Halifax.  A minister in the Anglican Church, David gave a lot of his time to help promote and support Halifax Transit and will be sadly missed.  Our sympathies to go Paul’s and David’s families.

On the positive side, at the AGM I was pleased to report that we have been able to achieve a number of major accomplishments over the past year including:• Our most significant achievement has been publishing, in partnership with Railfare*DCBooks and with the financial support of New Flyer Industries and Kiepe Electric, Tires and Wires, the story of electric trolley coaches serving 16 Canadian cities.  A monumental task, this book has sold over 500 copies and may go into a 3rd printing.

• Continued excellence in the production and content of the revamped Bulletin, following transition of the Editor’s role from David Onodera to a new editorial team led by Director Adam Zhelka and including a new Editor, Andrew Gold.

• Presence at the CUTA conference in Toronto last November together with the display of ex Calgary Transit New Look, now “TTC 3380”, courtesy of Rapido Trains and Jason Shron.  It looked great alongside the TTC’s own restored New Look, 2252.

  • Distribution to CUTA directors and transit systems of our joint CTHF/CUTA Canada 150 brochure celebrating public transit’s contribution to the growth and prosperity of our country.

• The 2017 edition of the Street Side Guide has continued to be well-received by both industry participants and enthusiasts with sales exceeding 200.

• An additional strategic partnership agreement with Bus History Association.

• Continued work on restoring ex Hamilton Street Railway 517, now located at the SN Diesel shops for work on the transmission.

• Improved member communications through our Facebook page, regular updates to our website as well as e-blasts.

• Continued growth in membership and industry support for CTHF; and

• Donation of historical photos and records to our archives from the estate of the late Louis Swanson, and Tires and Wires author, Tom Schwartzkopf.

Focus for the Next Year

For the forthcoming year, we will be focussing on the following initiatives, in priority order:

• Archives – organizing and documenting all of the items we have.  Our ultimate goal will be to make the resources available electronically to the public.  Director Adam Zhelka and retired Director and Archivist, Ted Wickson, are leading this effort and are reaching out other historical and archival groups for advice on how to proceed.

• Publication of a 2019 edition of the ever popular Street Side Guide.  This should be available by late August and is being led by Director Kevin Nicol using resources from the Canadian Urban Transit Association and our connections in the industry.

  • Planned presence at the CUTA meeting this November in Calgary together with the display of an historical vehicle.

• Consideration of another historical book to be published or supported by CTHF.  Several potential topics and manuscripts have been suggested.  As this unfolds, watch for further announcements.

• Continued efforts to expand and grow CTHF’s membership particularly within the transit industry.  This initiative is being led by Vice President, Gordon Nevison.

• Production of a new, updated membership brochure; and

• Further discussions with potential donors of historical items, photographs and materials to add to our archives.

In addition to the above initiatives, I have a personal initiative and concern about the future of a number of historical vehicles (buses) now stored in various venues.  We need to find a permanent and lasting home where they can be displayed and ultimately viewed by the public.   I will continue working on this.

In closing, I believe we have had another successful year and look forward to the coming year.

Thanks to all of our members and industry supporters for your continued support for the activities and mission of CTHF.   We’ll be in touch with you again later this year with further updates.   In the meantime, have a great summer!

Chris Prentice
Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation

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