Gray Coach

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gray Coach Lines
Parent Toronto Transit Commission
Founded 1927
Defunct 1991
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Locale Ontario
Service area Southern & Central Ontario
Service type intercity, commuter, local sightseeing
Alliance Greyhound to New York City
Destinations Toronto, Sudbury, North Bay, Barrie, Owen Sound, London, Kitchener, Guelph, Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Buffalo
Stations 5
Depots Lakeshore Garage 1980-1991
Davenport Garage 1927-1980
Toronto Bus Terminal
Operator Toronto Transit Commission

Gray Coach was an inter-city bus line based in Toronto, Ontario, from 1927 to 1991.

Overview and history[edit]

Gray Coach Lines was a suburban bus operator founded in 1927 by the Toronto Transportation Commission. From 1927 to the 1930s, Gray Coach acquired numerous and smaller competitors in the Greater Toronto Area. The operator eventually dominated inter-urban bus service by the end of the 1930s. Gray Coach used inter-urban coaches to link Toronto to outlying areas throughout Southern Ontario, such as Owen Sound, London, Kitchener, Guelph, Niagara Falls, Sudbury, North Bay, Barrie and Hamilton. Gray Coach also offered service to Buffalo, and in a pooling agreement with Greyhound, to New York City. In addition, Gray Coach operated sightseeing tour service in and around Toronto, eventually in association with Gray Line tours. The Gray Coach Lines also provided one-hour Motor Launch Tours of the lagoons off Toronto's harbour and of the waterfront. The main terminal was at the Toronto Bus Terminal on Elizabeth Street, downtown. A secondary terminal for parcel service was operated at the corner of Front St. and Sherbourne St.

Gray Coach was contracted to operate GO Transit bus service when the latter was inaugurated in 1971. Eventually some Gray Coach routes were incorporated to operate under GO Transit, including the routes to Hamilton, Oshawa and Port Perry. The contracting of GO Transit bus services ended in 1985, when GO Transit began to fully operate its bus services independently.

By the 1980s, Gray Coach faced fierce competition in inter-urban service in the Greater Toronto Area. In order to strengthen its position, Gray Coach bid to acquire inter-urban operator Trentway-Wagar Ltd. Facing budgetary pressure, the TTC decided to focus on its basic urban transit service. The TTC agreed to sell Gray Coach Lines in 1990 to British carrier Stagecoach Holdings Ltd. Stagecoach sold it to Greyhound Lines of Canada and Ontario Northland Motor Coach Services in 1993.

Gray Coach's Gray Line franchised tour operations were taken over by Greyhound Lines of Canada.

Roster[edit]

Historic and current buses used by the Gray Coach:

Product list and details
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
AEC/CCC Ranger Coach highway coach 4 1932–1934
Flxible Clippers highway coach 10 1949 acquired by Independent Bus Lines
General Motors Diesel Division Buses SDH-5302 glass-roof sightseeing bus 5 1965 for operation as Gray Line Worldwide franchisee
Motor Coach Industries MC-9 highway coach 51 1979–1984 10 for airport service
Motor Coach Industries MC-5B highway coach 5 1976
Motor Coach Industries 102A3 highway coach 42 1985–1991 4 for airport service
General Motors Highway Parlour Coach PD-4104 highway coach 43 1955–1959
Flyer Industries D901SS suburban bus 9 1981 1999 used for Gray Line tours; 1 later transferred to TTC and all to TTC after 1991; retired approximately 1997-1999
Yellow Coach 743 coach

Livery of early buses were gray with the red crest with the words Gray Coach Lines. The crest disappeared and replaced with the full wording with blue strip. The final buses had a white base with black letters GC. Red strip was found on sightseeing buses.

Stops[edit]

GCL operated at various locations across the city of Toronto:

Facility details
 Terminal/Stop   Location   Notes 
(Metro) Toronto Bus Terminal Dundas Street West and Elizabeth Street Now used by Greyhound Canada, Coach Canada and other bus operators - terminal owned by the TTC
Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 (former) and 2 - Arrival and Departure levels Served by TTC and other private charters at Terminal 1 (new) and 3; formerly served terminal 2
Downtown hotels N/A Now served by Pacific Western Bus Line's Airport Express Aeroport
Islington subway station Islington Avenue and Bloor Street West No longer in use; TTC Airport Rocket Route 192 operating out of Kipling Station
Yorkdale Bus Terminal Yorkdale Shopping Centre Now used by Greyhound, GO Transit and Ontario Northland Motor Coach Services
York Mills subway station York Mills Road and Yonge Street - old bus platforms terminal demolished and now served as GO Transit terminal within York Mills Centre
Jane Loop Jane Street and Bloor Street West Demolished, office building stands on site
North Yonge Terminal Glen Echo Road and Yonge Street abandoned upon opening of York Mills, now a Loblaws supermarket
Finch Bus Terminal Yonge Street and Bishop Avenue Now serving GO Transit, Viva, York Region Transit and Brampton Transit; private charters
Sunnyside Bus Terminal Queen Street West, Roncesvalles Avenue, King Street West, and The Queensway West Toronto (Roncesvalles) Pick-up and drop off location at corner of Roncesvalles Carhouse, now a McDonald's

City routes[edit]

Gray Coach once operated a number of suburban and extra-fare express routes in Toronto.

Beach Coach[1][edit]

Operated from 1947 to 1952 between downtown and the Beaches via Eastern Avenue and Queen Street East.

Hill Coach[2][edit]

The first city coach route started running in 1925, between Forest Hill and downtown via Forest Hill Road, Poplar Plains Road, Dupont Street, St. George Street, University Avenue, Osgoode and Albert Streets. In 1931 it was extended north to Glenview Avenue (later Otter Loop). Service was withdrawn in September 1954 due to opening of the new Yonge subway.

Islington[3][edit]

In April 1929 Gray Coach Lines acquired Maple Leaf Coach Lines. MCL's ISLINGTON route (via Dundas Street from Runnymede Road to Bloor Street in the town of Islington—now Six Points) was combined with the LAMBTON route and transferred to the TTC. It was transferred to Gray Coach circa 1930. As of January 1, 1954 it was included in the new Metropolitan Toronto operation, and Gray Coaches were replaced by “red” city buses.

Kingsway Coach[4][edit]

Inaugurated in November 1945 between Bloor Street & Royal York Road and downtown via (South) Kingsway, Lake Shore Drive, Dowling Avenue and King Street, with an early and late extension to Burnhamthorpe & Holloway Roads via Bloor, Islington and Canning. Withdrawn in April 1946 after only five months of (presumably unsuccessful) operation.

Lambton[5][edit]

From Keele Street to Humber (Lambton Hotel) along Dundas Street. Operated initially by the TTC for York Township, it was transferred to Gray Coach circa 1930. As of January 1, 1954 it was included in the new Metropolitan Toronto operation, and Gray Coaches were replaced by “red” city buses.

Leaside[6][edit]

From May 1, 1953 to January 1, 1954 the LEASIDE bus was operated by Gray Coach Lines.

Rosedale Coach[7][edit]

The ROSEDALE coach ran for just under two years (November 1928 to September 1930) between Summerhill & MacLennan Avenues and downtown via Glen Road, Sherbourne Street, Isabella Street, Jarvis Street and Shuter Street to Yonge Street.

Woodbridge[8][edit]

Gray Coach acquired the WOODBRIDGE route when the TTC bought out Roseland Bus Lines. From Lawrence and Weston via Weston Road, Albion Road, Thistletown, Woodbridge Road, Highway 7, 8th Avenue and Pine Street (Woodbridge Avenue) to Pine Grove Road, Woodbridge, with Sunday trips operating through the Thistletown Hospital (For Disturbed Children) grounds. The route was ransferred to the TTC in December 1955 as Islington Bus (as 44 Islington 1956 to 1963 and now as 37 Islington).

Other Interurban Operators[edit]

A list of independent operators acquired by Gray Coach:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beach Coach Route History
  2. ^ Hill Coach Route History
  3. ^ 44 Islington Route History
  4. ^ Kingsway Coach Route History
  5. ^ Lambton Route History
  6. ^ 56 Leaside Route History
  7. ^ Rosedale Coach Route History
  8. ^ 93 Woodbridge Route History

External links[edit]