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In Memory of John Bromley

(TTC Flexity LRV #4419 operates under pantograph through the Lakeshore/Bathurst intersection, heading for the Exhibition in 509 HARBOURFRONT service. This photograph was taken by John F. Bromley on October 18, 2017 and is courtesy his Flickr Stream.)

The railfan and transit historian community are saddened to hear of the passing of John F. Bromley. John passed away on Sunday, December 1st, leaving behind his wife, Margaret, of 46 years.

John’s contributions to the logging and remembrance of Toronto’s transportation history is renown. He has faithfully recorded the operations of the TTC and Toronto’s other rail and transit agencies for most of his adult life, accumulating an unparalleled collection of photos and references. He also faithfully delved into Toronto’s archives, helping and with the help of his friends like Ray Corley, uncover key data that might otherwise have been disposed of and forgotten. Transit agencies like the TTC are often hard-pressed to maintain their historical artifacts, and sadly some don’t value their history as much as they should. Much could have gone into the landfill to be forgotten forever without the work of people like John to rescue them.

Although John didn’t suffer fools gladly, myself included, he was generous with his time and happily granted me permission to use his photographs on Transit Toronto, and shared key information that helped me on a number of articles. He has provided a wealth of information to the railfan community through numerous publications, particularly the landmark Fifty Years of Progressive Transit, co-authored with Jack May; still a vital reference to the history of the TTC (and one which, as a reference, anchors many of the articles on this website), even almost 50 years on, and still well sought after.

I offer my condolences to the friends and family John leaves behind, and I honour his memory, his contributions to the railfan community, his genuine warmth, and say may he rest in peace.