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Bus Trivia Answers Archive

Having run out of good questions to ask, this trivia section is now retired.

Q. Keith Littlewood supplies this question: "which routes, when split by the introduction of subway service in their area, did not receive a "North", "South", "East" or "West" at the end of their name?

A. When the Yonge and Bloor subways were opened and extended, several through routes were cut in half and routed into their connecting stations. The natural tendency was to append a "North", "South", "East" or "West" to one of the split routes' names. In the case of the Bloor-Danforth subway, "South" was used more often than "North", since the line was far enough south in the city to make the northern portion of the through routes significantly longer than the southern stubs. "East" and "West" were used frequently, and sometimes both sides of the split route were so appended.

The exceptions were:

  • 9 Bellamy: split into 9 Bellamy and 131 Neilson with the opening of the Scarborough RT.
  • 21 Brimley: branch broken off into 132 Milner with the opening of the Scarborough RT.
  • 23 Dawes: split into 23 Dawes (operating into Main Street station) and 24 Victoria Park (operating into Victoria Park station) with the opening of the Bloor-Danforth extension to Warden.
  • 29 Dufferin: split into 29 Dufferin, 104 Faywood and 105 Wilson Heights (not Dufferin North -- that came later) with the opening of the Spadina subway.
  • 43 Kennedy: 43C branch broken off into 134 Tapscott with the opening of the Scarborough RT.
  • 50 Kingsway: split into 3 Kingsway, 49 Bloor West and 50 Burnhamthorpe with the extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway to Islington.
  • 52 Lawrence: branches broken off into 109 Ranee with the opening of the Spadina subway.
  • 59G North Yonge: split into 55 Senlac and 98 Willowdale with the opening of the north Yonge extension to York Mills.
  • 62 Mortimer/Main: split at Main Street station with the opening of the Bloor-Danforth extension to Warden.
  • 87 Mall Circle: broken three ways into 87 Mall Circle, 111 East Mall and 112 West Mall with the opening of the Bloor-Danforth extension to Kipling.

The split of 38 HORNER and 15 EVANS from 37 ISLINGTON does not count because this division happened after the Bloor-Danforth extension to Islington. Similarly, the split of the 8 BROADVIEW via Donlands/Jones into 83 JONES and a rerouting of the 56 LEASIDE bus doesn't count because this change happened long after Donlands station opened.

(Update: January 2, 2017) - Calvin Henry-Cotnam writes: "Sheppard East should be in the answer list. The Sheppard East route (85) started operation on May 11, 1968, while route 84 continued to operate as "Sheppard" until the (North Yonge) subway extension opened, when it was renamed "Sheppard West". The two routes also overlapped between Yonge and Don Mills until the (North Yonge) subway extension opened. Thus, while "Sheppard West" got that designation and a cut-back in route length when the subway opened, "Sheppard East" did not and should be on the list, as it already had the 'east' designation prior to the subway."

Q. When the Sheppard subway opens, what will the routes Victoria Park North, 105 Dufferin North, 107 Keele North and 129 McCowan North have in common (other than having the word "North" in their names)?

A. These routes will see most of their route miles operated inside York Region. This was the answer we were going for but, as appears to be the case with "odd-one out" or "all in common" questions, other answers were possible. Mike Vainchtein notes that all four cross CN tracks and the 407. Keith Littlewood noted that all four wrotes were spin-offs of other routes maintaining or regaining the original route name as part of their name. David Pike notes that all four routes make no direct connection with the Bloor-Danforth subway.

Mike Vainchtein was the first to correctly answer this question.

Q. With the departure of 1 Armour Heights, what is now the shortest bus route on the TTC network?

A. 28 Davisville, clocking in with a 2.74 mile long round trip. This is shorter than even 126 Christie (3.81 miles), 74 Mount Pleasant (3.73 miles) and 77 Swansea (3.55 miles).

David Cavlovic was the first to answer this question correctly, although Keith Littlewood was kind enough to supply us with round-trip mile statistics for a number of other routes.

Q. David Cavlovic asks an eerie question: what do the routes 73 Royal York, 74 Mount Pleasant, 98 Willowdale-Senlac, 141 Downtown Express via Mt. Pleasant and 161 Rogers Road have in common? And of these five, which route is the odd man out (hint: it's related to the thing that these five routes have in common).

A. Graveyards. Every one of these routes passes at least one significant graveyard. 74 Mount Pleasant and 141 Downtown Express via Mt. Pleasant passes Mount Pleasant Cemetary, 98 Willowdale-Senlac passes York Cemetary and 161 Rogers Road passes Prospect Cemetary. 73 Royal York is the odd man out of this five because it passes TWO cemetaries: Riverside (at Royal York and Dixon) and Glendale Memorial Gardens (at Albion Road and Highway 27).

Nobody was able to correctly answer this question.

Q. Which of the following bus routes are the odd man out and why: Don Mills, Dufferin, Pharmacy, Cliffside, Malton?

A. A very badly designed question, as it turns out. The answer we were looking for was Malton, which was inaugurated as a TTC route on December 12, 1955 (previously run by Grey Coach Lines). The remaining four were inaugurated (some taken over from Hollinger Bus Lines, others replacing older TTC routes) on July 1, 1954.

Not the only possible answer, as it turns out. One person noted that all routes but Cliffside have branches (although Cliffside had a branch until the Bloor-Danforth subway was extended to Kennedy). Others noted that all routes but Malton had a primarily north-south arrangement (right pick, wrong reason), and that Cliffside was the only one of the five that never crossed a zone boundary. It all goes to show that one has to plan these trivia questions better.

Pete Coulman was the first to correctly answer this question.

Q. What is the oldest bus route, still operating, which came into being by replacing a TTC streetcar route?

A. The answer is 75 Sherbourne, which replaced the Sherbourne streetcar on January 5, 1947. That escaped the notice of a number of people, who picked the 47 Lansdowne trolley bus, which replaced the Lansdowne streetcar on June 19, 1947.

Michael Brooker was the first to correctly answer this question.

Q. What bus route has held the same route number the longest? (Branch letters not included)

A. Several. The current route number system weren't officially introduced onto the TTC linens until the autumn of 1956. By that time, a number of routes were already operating, including several which are still in operation today.

Of these, the oldest route is Rosedale, which started operation in April 26, 1922, as TTC's route number 3. Although this isn't the same number as it currently bears, Rosedale is our winner as it is the oldest TTC bus route to have a route number.

Alan Gryfe was the first to correctly answer this question.

Q. What is the only bus route which connects with all three of Toronto's rapid transit lines?

A. The answer we were looking for was Eglinton East, 34, which connects with the Yonge-University-Spadina subway at Eglinton station and with the Bloor-Danforth subway and the Scarborough RT at Kennedy station.

Keith Littlewood was the first to correctly answer this question

Q. Which route number (e.g. 10, 38, 121, etc)has seen use on the most TTC bus routes? Name those routes.

A. Two routes numbers have been seen on four different operating bus routes. Route 87 has been on the Westmount route (Jul 1, 1954 to Jan 4, 1958), the West Mall (Sep 3, 1963 to Nov 24, 1973), the Mall Circle (Nov 25, 1973 to Feb 4, 1984) and Cosburn (Oct 14, 1984 to date). At the same time, route 99 has appeared on the Yonge Night Bus (Mar 31, 1954 to Mar 29, 1974), Norfinch (Jun 24, 1974 to Dec 31, 1981), Clayson (May 14, 1990 to Feb 16, 1996) and Arrow Road (Feb 19, 1996 to date). The trick is, 99 was also slated for a Downtown Express bus, proposed in the early 1980s, but never actually implemented. Even so, tricolour rollsigns were set up for it, and there are photographs to prove it. So the correct answer is 99.

Michael Brooker was the first to correctly pick route 99, but it was Alan Gryfe who caught the trick part of the question.

Q. Find the odd man out and explain why it is so: Trethewey, Rexdale, Jones, Rosedale

A. And the answer we were looking for was, of course, that Trethewey, Rexdale and Jones are all bus routes that have been assigned (or are currently assigned) the route number 83, whereas Rosedale has been route number 82. Alan Gryfe caught a different association, however, mentioning that Rexdale, Jones and Rosedale all have (or are) operating with a single bus in base service, whereas Trethewey, being longer, always had more than one bus in operation. Another pointed out, however, that Rosedale used to operate at much higher frequencies, and has only been reduced to a single bus in base service relatively recently.

David Cavlovic was the first person to answer this question correctly.

Q. What TTC bus routes have been abandoned in favour of alternate fuel technology?

A. As you can guess, it was far more common from the 1950s onward for buses to act as the replacers of alternate technology, rather than be the replacees. But it has happened. Setting aside temporary bus substitutions (such as the 1976 conversion of the Mt. Pleasant streetcar to trolley bus, with a one year interval wherein diesel buses operated), in 1973, route 6 Bay was converted from diesel to trolley bus operation. Of course, there's also route 77 Spadina, which was converted to LRT in two stages, starting in 1990 with the Harbourfront section and finishing in 1997 when the rest of the line followed. 121 Front-Esplanade will be partially replaced by the 509 Harbourfront Streetcar this month and, finally, the Annette trolley bus replaced a number of smaller bus lines, including the unnumbered Humberside, plus a portion of the Harbord Streetcar in 1947 when it started operating from Jane and Bloor to Christie Loop. The Annette run was supposed to be taken up by streetcars when originally proposed in the late 1920s, but the Great Depression forced the TTC to delay the project. By the time it was resurrected, electric trolley buses were more in vogue than old-fashioned streetcars.

Bill Robb was the closest to answering this question correctly, missing only the Annette trolley bus in his list.

Q. Which TTC bus routes crossed more political boundaries between 1967 and 1997 (when Metropolitan Toronto had six member municipalities?

A. David Cavlovic raised a few points to contest the answer to this trivia question. I had earlier awarded the title to 300 Bloor Blue Night, claiming that the bus ran through the cities of Etobicoke, York, Toronto, East York and Scarborough. David suggests that while the City of York comes very close to Bloor Street, even crossing the Bloor-Danforth subway line at the Humber Bridge, it doesn't actually touch Bloor Street. Scott Haskill disagrees, noting that, with the border projecting west parallel to Bloor Street, as it was located at Jane Street, the entire eastern end of the Bloor Street bridge was actually inside York. This confusing arrangement went so far as to split an entire apartment complex on the east side of the Humber River, with its western wing in York and the rest of the building in Toronto. So it appears that the 300 Bloor Night Bus stands as an answer, with five municipalities crossed.

Other answers include 59 NORTH YONGE which, before York County was organized into York Region, ran through the City of Toronto, the Borough of North York, the Townships of Vaughan and Markham, the Town of Richmond Hill and the Village of Thornhill. Then there was 93 Woodbridge which, after 1967, ran through York, Etobicoke, North York and through Woodbridge, Vaughan Township and Kleinberg. Also six. I can't recall off the top of my head whether the extension down Scarlett Road to Runnymede Loop was lopped off to form the 79 SCARLETT ROAD bus before or after 1967, but this bus contends for the title, if not taking it outright.

This author apologizes for flubbing this question so badly. But at least the answers were interesting.

Q. Which TTC garage closed it's doors in 1995, leaving Danforth Toronto's oldest bus garage

A. This one was easy. Lots of people listed Lansdowne Carhouse as the bus division that closed, leaving the former TCR barn at Danforth and Coxwell as Toronto's oldest bus garage. Danforth and Eglinton will both close in 2002 when the new Comstock Garage opens.

Pete Coulman was the first person to answer this question correctly.

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