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Sunday 4 July 2021

The last bus - final coach leaves the Toronto Coach Terminal

The Toronto Coach Terminal, formerly known as the Gray Coach Terminal, has come to the end of its life as a bus depot after 90 years of operation. Last night at 11:30 pm, Ontario Northland 799 trundled out of the terminal heading for North Bay. Ontario Northland was the last bus line still using the Toronto Coach Terminal, tomorrow the service will be using the new Toronto Union Bus Terminal as its Toronto terminus, joining Canada Coach which made the move on June 8th. TCT's third tenant, Greyhound Lines, suspended its service in May 2020 due to the pandemic and announced on May 13, 2021 that they were permanently ending Canadian operations. The terminal building and bus opened on December 19, 1931 though the lot itself had been used as an open air terminal since 1927. The terminal was built and has always been owned by the TTC, originally through its Gray Coach Lines subsidiary - an intercity bus line that served southern Ontario and replaced the earlier interurban radial (streetcar) service that used to connect Toronto with communities around Lake Ontario and the Niagara Peninnsula and north to Lake Simcoe. The TTC sold off Gray Coach in 1990 but kept the terminal, operating it under a TTC subsidiary - Toronto Coach Terminals Inc. On Thursday, the property's ownership transfers to the City of Toronto which, in 2019, identified the Bay and Elizabeth Street terminal properties as an asset that is underutilized, "with an opportunity to unlock value and address City needs and City building objectives, such as affordable housing, employment uses and community infrastructure.
Northland coach 5332, travelling on route 799, pulls out of the station while a small crowd of bus enthusiasts watch across the street.
Here's the terminal earlier in the day.
A few shots of the coach waiting to leave.
An old fishbowl bus with Hamilton Lakeshore destination sign idles in bus bay 1. This isn't a scheduled bus but was chartered, I believe, by the small group of bus enthusiasts who came to the terminal to watch the last coach roll out. I guess technically *this* may be the last bus to use the terminal.
The terminal building itself has been closed since Coach Canada left on June 8th. When I heard their departure was imminent, I went through the terminal (at least the parts that were still open) and took some pictures. (the lower level and tunnel to the Atrium have beeon closed since 2020, as is the upstairs level).
Greyhound and Coach Canada Toronto Operations Ltd. (GACCTO) have leased the terminal from the Toronto Coach Terminal Inc (a subsidiary of the TTC) since 2012. The lease ends on July 7, 2021 and the next day control of the terminal reverts to the TTC. The next day ownership of the property transfers to the City of Toronto due to a vote by the TCTI board last month. What will the city do with the property?
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