Toronto has always been the hub of commerce and employment in the region, and it takes an ever-evolving transit system to move the working masses in and out of the city.
GO Transit responded to this call in 1967, becoming the country’s first regional transit system, and Metrolinx offers a step back in time in the infancy of the network with a series of compelling photos taken in just the fourth year of GO service.
With 2021 now over, the photos take viewers five decades back to a very different GO Transit system, as commuters experienced in 1971.
Clean station names in lowercase and the iconic GO logo worked well with the first network’s mid-century modern look.
Stations like Whitby and Oshawa showed off this minimalist look, while others, like Newmarket, adopted an earlier postmodern style.
Even the ticket offices looked more stylish in the early days of the network, when directional signage followed the minimalist design principles of the time.
Have you ever wondered what the original GO trains looked like? Check out this old fashioned bell on the front.
The logo may have stuck around for all these years, but GO employees are probably thankful that their uniforms no longer include those wacky driver-style hats. Also, is this passenger buying a ticket a Michael Caine lookalike?
And oh, the cars. In addition to the vintage buses and trains featured in this collection, these retrospective photos also feature views of the suburban parking lots serving train stations, housing decidedly retro automobiles.
And even rarer than vintage cars, nothing speaks of the pre-mobile era like telephone booths. You are more likely to see a Volkswagen Beetle driving down the road than to encounter a phone booth on your travels in today’s times, with the latter approaching extinction.
Whether you are a transit enthusiast, car enthusiast, or history buff, this window into the past is a year-end treat from Metrolinx.