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GO-ing or TTC-ing to the "Ex"? Here's how!
August 21 to September 7



On September 9, 1881, two horses pulling a Toronto Street Railway car full of passengers arrived at Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street, the new end of the line for the TSR’s King route. The passengers stepped off of the car and into the history books as they walked down Strachan to the entrance of the local fairgrounds, and introduced Torontonians and visitors alike to the idea that traveling by transit was a safe, convenient — and, often, fun — way to get to the exhibition.

Nearly 128 years later, as the Canadian National Exhibition prepares to launch its 130th season at Exhibition Place, transit still plays an important role in the success of the annual fair. This year, the “Ex” starts one week from today, on Friday, August 21 and continues until Labour Day, Monday, September 7.

GO Transit and the TTC are revising their services to help fair-going crowds head to the “Ex”.


Service to the CNE affects these routes:

GO Transit 01 Lakeshore West, 07 Niagara Falls, 09 Lakeshore East.

TTC 29 Dufferin, 193 Exhibition Rocket, 316 Ossington (overnight), 329 Dufferin (overnight), 509 Harbourfront, 511 Bathurst.


GO Transit
09 Lakeshore East
01 Lakeshore West

From Friday, August 21 until Labour Day, Monday, September 7, GO increases service on both lines, with more trains stopping at the Exhibition Station. (GO interlines the trains on both routes.)

Most eastbound GO trains operating along the 01 Lakeshore West line stop at Exhibition GO Station at most times of the week, except during Monday-to-Friday morning rush hours. Most westbound 01 Lakeshore West trains stop at Exhibition at most times of the week, except during Monday-to-Friday afternoon rush hours.

Even more trains stop at Exhibition GO station while the CNE is going on. From Mondays to Fridays during the “Ex”, the eastbound trains leaving Aldershot GO Station at 6:07 a.m. and Burlington GO Station at 8:44 a.m. stop at Exhibition GO Station at 7 and 9:20 a.m. From Mondays to Fridays during the “Ex”, the westbound trains that leave Oshawa Station at 5:47 and 8:25 a.m., Union Station at 4:13 p.m. and Pickering Station at 6:25 p.m. stop at Exhibition Station at 6:59 and 9:16 a.m., 4:19 p.m. and 7:08 p.m. (After the “Ex” is over, these trains skip Exhibition Station and the train leaving Pickering at 6:25 p.m. ends its trip at Union Station at 7:02 p.m.)

On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, all trains stop at Exhibition GO Station.

07 Niagara Falls

Starting Saturday, August 22 and every Saturday, Sunday and holiday until Labour Day, Monday, September 7, most GO trains operating between Niagara Falls VIA Station and Union Station also stop at Exhibition GO Station.

The eastbound trains leaving Niagara Falls at 8:50 a.m., 12:20 and 7:20 p.m. stop at Exhibition at 10:43 a.m., 2:13 and 9:13 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The westbound trains leaving Union at 4:15 and 8:05 p.m. stop at Exhibition at 4:20 and 8:10 p.m. and continue to Niagara Falls, arriving at 6:14 and 10:04 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

TTC
511 Bathurst

From Friday, August 21 until Labour Day, Monday, September 7, the TTC increases the frequency of service. (It may also operate express buses along the route between Bathurst Station and the Exhibition East Loop during busy times.) It is assigning extra staff and setting up crash gates at the loop to handle crowds during busy hours at the CNE. Passengers pay their fares when they enter the loop and can board streetcars by both doors.

29 Dufferin

From Friday, August 15 until Monday, September 1, the TTC increases the frequency of service. All buses on the 29 Dufferin route will end their trips at the Dufferin Gate Loop. It has cancelled the 29B and 29D branches that usually run into Exhibition Place to serve the Princes’ Gates and Ontario Place until the CNE is over.

The TTC is assigning extra staff and setting up crash gates at Dufferin Gate Loop to handle crowds during busy hours at the CNE. Passengers pay their fares when they enter the loop and can board buses by both doors.

329 Dufferin overnight

From early Saturday, August 22 until about 5 a.m. on Labour Day, Monday, September 7, southbound buses operate along their regular route to Dufferin Street and Springhurst Avenue, then proceed:

westward along Springhurst;
southward along Fort Rouille Street; and then
eastward into Dufferin Gate Loop,
ending their trips.

Northbound buses start their trips at Dufferin Gate Loop, and proceed along their regular route northward along Dufferin .

(The TTC interlines buses operating on the 329 Dufferin and 316 Ossington overnight routes.)

193 Exhibition Rocket

From Friday, August 21 until Labour Day, Monday, September 7, southbound buses proceed non-stop from Dundas West Station:

south- and eastward along Dundas Street West;
southward along Dufferin Street;
eastward along Peel Avenue;
southward along Gladstone Avenue;
westward along Queen Street West;
southward along Dufferin;
westward along Springhurst Avenue; and then
southward along Fort Rouille Street into Dufferin Gate Loop.

Northbound buses proceed non-stop from Dufferin Gate Loop:

northward along Dufferin Street;
eastward along Queen Street West;
northward along Gladstone Avenue;
eastward along Peel Avenue;
northward along Dufferin; and then
west- and northward Dundas Street West to Dundas West Station.

The TTC is assigning extra staff and setting up crash gates at Dufferin Gate Loop to handle crowds during busy hours at the CNE. Passengers pay their fares when they enter the loop and can board buses by both doors.

509 Harbourfront

From Friday, August 21 until Labour Day, Monday, September 7, the TTC increases the frequency of service. It is assigning extra staff and setting up crash gates at Exhibition (East) Loop to handle crowds during busy hours at the CNE. Passengers pay their fares when they enter the loop and can board streetcars by both doors.

316 Ossington overnight

From early Saturday, August 22 until about 5 a.m. on Labour Day, Monday, September 7, southbound buses operate along their regular route to Shaw Street and King Street West, then detour:

westward along King West;
southward along Dufferin Street,
westward along Springhurst Avenue;
southward along Fort Rouille Street; and then
eastward into Dufferin Gate Loop,
ending their trips.

Northbound buses start their trips at Dufferin Gate Loop, then proceed:

northward along Dufferin;
eastward along King Street West;
southward along Strachan Avenue;
westward through Exhibition (East) Loop and then returning eastward to Strachan Avenue,
resuming their regular route northward along Strachan.

(The TTC interlines buses operating on the 316 Ossington and 329 Dufferin overnight routes.)


Since 1881, Toronto’s public transit vehicles — horse cars, streetcars, buses and trains — have been carrying passengers to and from the Canadian National Exhibition — and the various fairs that preceded it. From 1883 until 1885, Toronto’s and Canada’s first electric-powered streetcar carried passengers through the exhibition grounds from the end of the horse car line at Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street — then the main entrance to the fair — to the area of the current Dufferin Gate. The city as a whole had to wait until until August 16, 1892 before an electric streetcar entered regular service along city streets.

All four of Toronto’s public transit agencies — the Toronto Street Railway, the Toronto Railway Company, the Toronto Transportation Commission and the Toronto Transit Commission — have traditionally dedicated extra human and equipment resources in making sure that everyone gets happily, safely and efficiently to and from the great fairs. And, Canada’s railways and interurban bus companies have also played their parts in the history of the Exhibition, especially the TTC’s former interurban subsidiary company, Gray Coach Lines, the forerunner of today’s GO Transit.

The Transit Toronto archives contain several informative articles by James Bow describing the history of transit services to the Canadian National Exhibition.

You can read about:

  • the history of streetcars to the Exhibition here.
  • the history of the present 511 Bathurst and the former Fort streetcar routes here.
  • the history of the 509 Harbourfront streetcar route here.
  • the history of Exhibition East and Fleet loops here.
  • the “last stand” of the 521 King — Exhibition streetcar route (and, in passing, the history of the 522 Dundas — Exhibition car route, too) here.

Transit agencies interline one or more routes sharing a common terminal refers to reduce costs by sharing resources — drivers and vehicles — for two or more routes with a common terminal. In this case, a southbound bus operating on the 329 Dufferin overnight route will proceed to its temporary terminal at Dufferin Gate Loop, then continue as a northbound bus operating on the 316 Ossington overnight route.