Conductors and workers standing in front of newly built gas buses

After the Second World War, public transit in the Thunder Bay region began to evolve. The expense of maintaining streetcar fleets and track was too much for smaller cities like Fort William and Port Arthur. Combined with the immediate demand for postwar employment, the introduction of the electric trolley and gas buses proved to be the solution to a number of postwar problems. The switch to bus building allowed companies like Canadian Car and Foundry to remain in business, while at the same time employing hundreds of Thunder Bay residents in need of jobs. From streetcars to buses, the end of WWII brought major changes to the public transportation systems of the Lakehead, and these changes would only continue as the sister cities expanded to eventually amalgamate.



The Electric Trolley

a red trolley going down a street lined with cars







Canadian Car and Foundry

a green circle with a gold maple leaf inside with Brill on the front






Trolley Versus Gas Study

a report on the benefits of electric versus gas powered trolleys









Photographs 1940s-1970s

a trolley picking up a passenger in front of rail cars






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