North Yonge Railways

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North Yonge Railways
F1266 it21145 Radial reopening, cutting tape - 19300718.jpg
Tape cutting ceremony at the opening of the North Yonge Railways
Locale Toronto
Dates of operation 1930–1948
Predecessor Metropolitan Railway Company and later Toronto and York Radial Railway (Metropolitan Division)
Successor TTC - 59 North Yonge (until 1977) and 97 Yonge
GO Transit 62 Newmarket B and 63 Yonge C (1975-2003)
York Region Transit - 98 Yonge North and 99 Yonge South (2003-present)
Viva Blue BRT (2006-present)
Track gauge 4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) Toronto gauge
Length 13.55 miles (21.81 km) - Toronto to Richmond Hill
Headquarters Toronto

The North Yonge Railways was a radial line operated by the Toronto Transportation Commission's from 1930 to 1948 between Glen Echo (Toronto) and Richmond Hill.


On July 17, 1930, the TTC's Lake Simcoe line (previously known as the Metropolitan line) running from Glen Echo (Toronto) to Sutton was closed[1] being replaced by bus service.[2] However, three months later on October 9, 1930, the portion from Glen Echo to Richmond Hill reopened as the North Yonge Railways.[1] To restart service, the Townships of Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill and North York had acquired their portion of the line and contracted with the Toronto Transportation Commission to run it. The TTC assigned cars 409-416 to service the line operating out of the Eglinton Division carhouse.[3] Service was hourly from Glen Echo to Richmond Hill, every 30 minutes to Steeles Avenue with more frequent service during rush hours.[4]

Service on the North Yonge Railways ended 18 years later on October 9, 1948.[1] The TTC had insufficient funds to replace the worn-out infrastructure such as rails and cars, or to double-track the line which was being considered. An electrical power shortage provided an excuse to temporarily replace the radial cars by buses for six months. At the end of the six months, North York Township advised residents that buses would be less expensive than rail vehicles to service Yonge Street. A plebiscite in September 1949 voted to make the bus replacement permanent.[4]


The service was replaced by the Toronto Transportation Commission's North Yonge bus route in 1948. North Yonge bus was renumbered as 59 North Yonge route (after 1956) which ran from Eglinton Avenue and (later from Sheppard Avenue when 97 Yonge route extended northwards and the Yonge Subway was extended north to Finch) to Richmond Hill. 59 North Yonge route ended in 1977 and take over by 97 Yonge, but with bus service to Steeles Avenue (looping east on Yonge and Steeles Avenue East).

Service north of Steeles Avenue was provided by a number of other operators. In 1975 GO Transit began bus service (initially contracted to Gray Coach) from the TTC 59 North Yonge route with the Newmarket B/Route 62 and Yonge C/Route 63 from York Mills subway station (later from Finch Station) to Richmond Hill GO Station and terminating at Newmarket. In 2003 GO Transit transferred Yonge C bus service to York Regional Transit's bus which runs two local routes 98 Yonge North (Richmond Hill to Newmarket) and 99 Yonge South (Richmond Hill to Finch Station). In 2005 VIVA Blue was added to provide express service from Finch Station to Newmarket. All three York Region routes terminate at the Newmarket Bus Terminal at Eagle Street West and Davis Drive.


Fleet description
 Make/Model   Description   Car numbers   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
Ottawa Car Company R Class radial cars 409–416 8 1930 1948 Built 1924–1925; scrapped or sold off 1949–1950.[3][5]

Series 409–416[edit]

In 1924–1925, the Ottawa Car Company built 19 double-ended, standard-gauge cars for the Hydro-Electric Railways Numbering the cars 401–419, Hydro assigned 11 cars (401–408 & 417–419) to the Sandwich, Windsor and Amherstburg Railway in the Windsor area and the remaining 8 cars (409–416) to the Toronto and York Mimico radial line to Port Credit. At the time of the purchase, Hydro managed both operations under contract on behalf of local municipalities which owned the lines.[3]

The cars had some provision for multiple-unit train control, but that feature was not implemented for the cars in Toronto-area service.[6]

In 1928, cars 409–416 became surplus when the Toronto Transportation Commission replaced the Mimico radial to Brown's Line with the Lake Shore streetcar line. The TTC sent cars 409-416 to the Hillcrest Complex for conversion to single-ended, pay-as-you-enter cars to run on Toronto gauge track. The second control panel was covered over but retained for a possible conversion back to double-ended operation. The cars then served the Bathurst streetcar route operating out of the St. Clair Division (Wychwood Barns).[6]

When radial service was restored on Yonge Street between Glen Echo and Richmond Hill in 1930, cars 409–416 were converted back to double-ended operation for service there.[6] When the North Yonge line closed in 1948, the cars were put into storage, and later scrapped or sold off.[3]

Car 416, the only surviving car of the series, was used as a house in Hillsboro, Ontario until 1972. The Halton County Radial Railway then acquired the car for restoration.[3]


  1. ^ a b c David A. Wyatt. "History of Regional Transit in Toronto, Ontario". University of Manitoba. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
  2. ^ Robert M. Stamp (1989). Riding the Radials, Toronto's Suburban Electric Streetcar Lines. The Boston Mills Press. ISBN 1-55046-008-0. Retrieved 2016-04-16. Chapter 10 - The End of The Line
  3. ^ a b c d e Ontario Electric Railway Historical Association (27 January 2002). "Toronto Transportation Commission 416". TrainWeb. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  4. ^ a b James Bow (25 June 2016). "A History of Interurban Service on Yonge Street". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
  5. ^ Larry Partridge (1983). Mind the Doors, Please! : The Story of Toronto and Its Streetcars. The Boston Mills Press. pp. 40–42: Cars 409–416. ISBN 0-919822-62-2. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  6. ^ a b c John F. Bromley (1979). TTC '28; the electric railway services of the Toronto Transportation Commission in 1928. Upper Canada Railway Society. pp. 27: The Lake Shore Project, pp. 28–29 Radial Shuttles. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
Preceded by
Radial Railways in Toronto
Succeeded by
replaced by Toronto Transportation Commission