“Pride and passion in Canada’s transit heritage” | Visit our Facebook page!

TTC Exhibit at the CNE – 1978

In 1978 the Canadian National Exhibition, also known as the Ex, turned 100 years old!

That same year the Toronto Transit Commission had also released its new streetcar, the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle. GO Transit was also unveiling its new bi-level train coaches to replace the older single-deck cars. To celebrate these new vehicles and the C.N.E.’s centennial, the 3 organizations put on a large display of buses, streetcars, and trains. Below you’ll find many great images of this exhibit:

A newspaper ad for the TTC’s exhibit at the CNE. Click the image to enlarge it!

The TTC’s first bus, double-decker #1, was brought back from its current home in Ottawa for the exhibit. The bus was built by the “5th Avenue Coach Company” in 1921 for the then new Toronto Transportation Commission. Its open upper deck proved to be unpopular in Canadian weather, so it was quickly phased out by single-deck buses. It was preserved as a historic relic, and donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. It is currently hidden from view in their storage facility.

Another view of TTC bus #1 with brand new CLRV streetcar #4000 behind it. Thanks Kevin Nicol for the photo.

Rear view of TTC bus #1, with the staircase leading up to the upper deck. Photo by Kevin Nicol

TTC’s then new Canadian Light Rail Vehicle #4000, designed by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation Ltd. The 1st 6 of these streetcars were built and tested in Switzerland, before being shipped to Toronto. Photo by Kevin Nicol.

TTC A7-class all-electric PCC #4456. This class of streetcars was built in 1949 and retired in 1992. The coupler under the front was used for multiple-unit operation. This photo was taken by Alan Gryfe before bus #1 was parked next to it.

Toronto’s new streetcar, CLRV #4000. Photo from the Mornings Sun Books collection.

Go Transit bi-level train car #2056 on display for the public to explore.

A replica of Canada’s 1st electric railway built by Transit Historian Mike Filey in the 1970s.

Another shot of the full replica of the “Industrial Exhibition Electrical Railway” from 1885. Originally built by J. J. Wright and Charles Van Depoele, the inventors of the trolley pole. Behind the replica the train from the South Simcoe Railway can be seen. Below you’ll find 2 photos of the original railway. Click to enlarge them!


TTC Peter Witt streetcar #2894 loaded onto a truck for the CNE exhibit. This car is now at the Halton County Radial Railway where it operates seasonally. It was built in 1923 and retired in 1963. Photo from the Morning Sun Books collection.

TTC Peter Witt streetcar #2894 on display, with Ex-TRCo Class BB streetcar #1326 behind it. Photo from Dave Reigate collection.

Ex-Toronto Railway Company wooden streetcar #1326 on display. It was originally built in 1910 as a convertible car, and was bought by the TTC in 1921. It was the last wooden streetcar to be retired by the TTC in 1951, and the first to be purchased for the Halton County Radial Railway museum. It was trucked from its current home to Toronto for this display. Photo from Dave Reigate’s collection.

Rear view of Ex-TRCo streetcar #1326. Photo by Kevin Nicol.

Toronto Railway Company electric streetcar #306 on display. It was originally built in 1892 without a windshield or headlight, and with a different color scheme. It was rebuilt in 1899 with a fully enclosed front vestibule, and retired in 1921. It was kept as a relic by the TTC and donated to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in 1968. It is currently hidden from view in their storage facility.

Another view of TRCo streetcar #306. It has a “people-catcher” fender on the front, which was folded up during the exhibit. Photo from Kevin Nicol.

Rear view of streetcar #306. Note the much darker color scheme then the newer #1326, which was repainted by the TTC in 1921.

A brand new “Orion 1” bus for the newly formed Mississauga Transit was also on display at the CNE.

A sign can be seen which says “Canadian National Exhibition: 100 years young.”

A birds-eye-view of the CNE in 1978 during the centennial celebrations. The TTC relics are just out of view, in the upper left corner near the Dufferin Gates.

This article was written by Transit Historian Trevor from Transit Bricks.