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81 Thorncliffe Park

Compiled by Pete Coulman


At it’s meeting of October 27th, 1964, the Commission considered a report concerning bus service to Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. Having already eliminated the idea of service to Flemingdon Park as premature, the Commission examined again the possibility of providing service, day-time only, not in Rush Hours, between the Thorncliffe Park area and the Yonge Subway.

To operate a service between 9:00am and 4:00pm with a 20-minute headway would require 2 buses and would incur an additional cost of about $17,000 per year based on a five-day per week operation. To extend the same service to Saturdays from 9:00am to 6:00pm would cost an additional $4,300 per year. The two routings examined were from the Thorncliffe Park area to St Clair Station via Overlea, Millwood, Sutherland, Bayview, Moore and St. Clair, or the alternate of Davisville station via Overlea, Millwood, Bayview and Davisville to the subway. The route to Davisville station was preferred as it serves the Leaside district better and satisfies the Town of Leaside’s request to pass the Recreation Centre.

TTC Planning staff were strongly opposed to any kind of service, even on a trial basis. They felt such a service would lead to requests for rush hour service, which would result in prohibitive cost and would be physically impossible at Davisville station and extremely difficult at St Clair Station because of space limitations during rush hours. Planning staff also felt that a Yonge Street Subway connection should not be encouraged at this time since future plans called for the existing Thorncliffe service (BROADVIEW 8B) to operate from the future Bloor-Danforth Subway at Pape Station.

Planning staff’s recommendation was to operate a ‘shuttle’ service between Thornclife Park and Don Mills and Eglinton (via east on Overlea and north on Don Mills to a “as yet to be built” off-street loop on the north-east corner at Eglinton), utilizing two buses at an estimated cost of $45,900 per year, and to hire the necessary two additional operators to maintain Transportation Department strength.

On the motion of Commissioner Brand, the Commission did not accept this report and they instructed that a 12-hour per day, 5-day a week service be operated from the Thorncliffe Park area to St Clair Station (or an on-street loop at Daviscville Station for a three month trial commencing with the November 29th board period, effective Monday November 30th, 1964.

81 Thorncliffe Park map, November 30, 1964

November 30, 1964

New route inaugurated, running from St Clair Station via east on Pleasant Blvd, north on Avoca, east on St Clair Avenue East, north on Welland, east on Moore and Southvale, south on Millwood and east on Overlea Blvd looping along Thorncliffe Park Drive clockwise in the morning and counter-clockwise in the afternoons. Service provided Monday to Friday, 12 hours a day, every fifteen minutes during rush hours and every twenty minutes during the day. Buses operate out of Eglinton garage.




Monday to Friday, rush hours and midday

June 25, 1965

Last day of operation. Service merged with 88 SOUTH LEASIDE, effective Monday, June 28.

An analysis of riding counts on the 81 THORNCLIFFE PARK and 88 SOUTH LEASIDE services, which operated over a common routing for a considerable distance (St. Clair Stn to Moore-Bayview) indicated that a reduction in total rush-hour service arriving at the subway station was warranted. It was recommended that the 81 THORNCLIFFE PARK and 88 SOUTH LEASIDE routes be merged into one (utilizing the 88 SOUTH LEASIDE name as that was the older of the two) which will also result in a savings of two buses. Co-incident with this merger, the existing Broadview “Thorncliffe” service would have service reduced in rush hour, saving one bus.

81 Thorncliffe Park map, February 26, 1966

February 26, 1966

Coincident with the opening of the BLOOR-DANFORTH SUBWAY, route name and number resurrected for a new service operating from Pape station on the Bloor-Danforth line to Thorncliffe Park via north on Pape, the Leaside Viaduct and Millwood, then east on Overlea Boulevard, looping around Thorncliffe Park Drive as before. Operated out of Eglinton garage, service operated seven days a week, eighteen hours a day, replacing a portion of the 88 SOUTH LEASIDE bus and the 8B BROADVIEW branch.



P A P E   S T N

7 days a week, 18 hours a day

September 16, 1968

Service temporarily discontinued due to the Leaside viaduct being closed for repairs. Service to Thorncliffe Park provided by a temporary LEASIDE-THORNCLIFFE bus running from Eglinton station on the YONGE SUBWAY via east on Eglinton, south on Laird, southeast on Millwood and east on Overlea to Thorncliffe Park.

February 8, 1969

With the re-opening of the Leaside Viaduct to traffic, service restored on the 81 THORNCLIFFE PARK route.

January 4, 1993

Operation transferred to Danforth garage.

November 22, 1998

Accessible service introduced in this route utilizing lift-equipped RTS buses on all trips, seven days a week.

March 31, 2002

Danforth Garage closes and service moved to the newly opened Eglinton (Comstock) Garage on Comstock Road.

November 23, 2008

Service transferred from Eglinton (Comstock) Garage to Birchmount Garage coinciding with the opening of Mount Dennis Garage.

July 20, 2010

Service operates at six minute intervals during rush hours, ten minute intervals during the midday, ten-to-twelve minute intervals during the evening, eight minute intervals during Saturdays and ten minute intervals during Sundays.











7 days a week, 18 hours a day

November 18, 2018

Service revised to simplify service on Thorncliffe Park Drive, and to improve reliability. Service will operate counter-clockwise throughout all operating periods. The route’s northern terminus is also adjusted from 65 Thorncliffe Park Drive to Thorncliffe Park Drive and Overlea Drive, in order to allow local customers to make connections with other bus routes. Running time is also revised in the afternoon peak period to improve reliability, increasing headways from 7 minutes to 8 minutes.

March 28, 2021

With the opening of McNicoll Garage, all base service is transferred from Birchmount Garage to Eglinton (Comstock) Garage.

81 Thorncliffe Park Image Archive

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