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The Toronto Coach Terminal, main building and departure bays

The Toronto Coach Terminal was the main intercity bus terminal in Toronto, Ontario. Located at 610 Bay Street, it is in the city's downtown. When it was closed in 2021, it was used by Coach Canada, Greyhound Canada, and Ontario Northland. It is walking distance from Dundas subway station and is served along Bay Street by the 19 Bay TTC bus and along Dundas Street by the 505 Dundas streetcar. The terminal is connected to the city's PATH network with a tunnel under Bay Street to the Atrium on Bay.

Contents

Description

 
Panoramic view of the waiting area.

From the main entrance on Bay Street, passengers enter the ticket hall. The space, which used to also serve as the waiting area, has been expanded past the columns with a larger ticket counter on the south side and a restaurant on the north side. The area past the staircase, which used to be bus platforms, was converted to a large waiting area with a glass and steel wall separating passengers from the buses.

An annex terminal was built in 1968 at 130 Elizabeth Street, west of the main building. It featured five bus platforms along both its north and south sides. It became a hub for early GO Bus passengers, however GO gradually moved all of their operations to the Union Station GO Bus Terminal by 2003. The Elizabeth terminal became used strictly for arrivals. Until early 2010, its waiting area remained open to the public.

History

 
The terminal's art deco interior.

The Toronto Coach Terminal opened on December 19, 1931 as the Gray Coach Terminal and was built on the land occupied by an open-air terminal. The TTC, who owned Gray Coach Lines held ownership of the terminal until July 2012. Coach companies paid the TTC platform fees and a commission on in-person platform sales.

However as online ticket purchases become more popular, the TTC worried about incurring a loss over the terminal. The TTC elected to contract out the operations of the terminal to Coach Canada and Greyhound Canada. TTC terminal staff either retired or transferred to other parts of the TTC. Under TTC operation, their staff sold tickets to passengers. Passengers now purchase tickets at separate Coach Canada and Greyhound counters from the coach companies' own staff.[1]

Replacement

According to the TTC, there have been studies since the 1970s regarding a new intercity bus terminal.[2] In 2007, Metrolinx identified 90 Harbour Street as potential land for a new bus terminal. The site of the former Ontario provincial Police headquarters, is located near Toronto Union Station. By 2008, Metrolinx began exploring concepts for a mixed-use office and bus terminal at that location.[3] This was abandoned and developer Menkes planned to build an office and condo complex on the site. Metrolinx turned to the parking lot at 45 Bay Street across from the Air Canada centre as a potential site as well as other sites.[4]

In 2014, Metrolinx announced that a new bus terminal, replacing the Union Station GO Bus Terminal, would be built on the other side of the rail corridor at 81 Bay Street. Incorporated into the new CIBC Square south tower, the terminal would have an indoor waiting area with an enclosed walkway to Union Station. It would be twice as big as the current terminal with 14 bus bays. Construction of CIBC Square began in 2017. It was expected to be completed by September 2020.

The new Union Station Bus Terminal opened on December 5, 2020.[5] GO Transit and TOK Coachlines, who used the previous Union Station Bus Terminal, were the initial carriers to use the new terminal. Greyhound Canada announced that they would cease operations in Canada in May 2021, and Coach Canada moved to Union Station in June 8, 2021. This left Ontario Northland as the only carrier still using the Toronto Coach Terminal. On July 3, 2021 Ontario Northland’s 23:30 departure to North Bay was the last bus to use the Toronto Coach Terminal as Ontario Northland began servicing Union Station the following day.

References

  1. Kalinowski ,Tess (10 August 2012). TTC contracts out intercity coach terminal. Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved on 08 September 2012.
  2. TORONTO COACH TERMINAL - PROPERTY (Report). Toronto Transit Commission. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-08
  3. CEO Monthly Report. Metrolinx. 25 January 2008. Retrieved on 2012-01-08
  4. Allen, Kate (7 January 2012). Landmark bus depot loses its lustre. Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved on 2012-01-09
  5. [1]