“Pride and passion in Canada’s transit heritage”

Ottawa celebrates 150 years of public transit and OC Transpo launches Virtual Museum

Last day of the streetcar, May 1, 1959. Photo: City of Ottawa Archives/RG045.

Last day of the streetcar, May 1, 1959. Photo: City of Ottawa Archives/RG045.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of public transit operation in Ottawa. From streetcars that were once pulled by horses to the modern, air-conditioned, red and white transit fleet that you see all around our nation’s capital, we’ve come a long way!

The Ottawa City Passenger Railway Company was incorporated on August 18, 1866. It took the company several years to gather the required funding and launch the system. The first day of service was July 21, 1870; the company ran a test beginning at 5 am that morning, and by 5 pm that night service commenced. The railway company began operation with 36 horses, six horse-drawn cars and five bobsleds (to allow winter operation) – a big difference from OC Transpo’s current fleet of transit vehicles.

To celebrate this incredible anniversary, OC Transpo has launched an interactive virtual museum online. Explore moments that defined the city’s transit system. Visit octranspo.com for more information.

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