image002 OER & OTC


All photos in this section are from the OC Transpo collection, provided courtesy of Michel C. of OC Transpo, except as noted.



The Ottawa Electric Railway Co. first introduced motorbuses in 1924.  However, these early vehicles were difficult to drive and broke down frequently, and were only used on a few outlying routes.  110 was an AEC Ranger with an Ottawa Car Company body from the late 1920s, shown in a publicity photo taken in 1935.




In 1939, the OER made a more focused effort to introduce motorbuses by purchasing three Mack CW buses numbered 120 (top), 121 (middle) and 122 (bottom).  These buses had gasoline engines in the rear, but still had manual transmissions.  The OER continued to purchase motorbuses, including Fords, Macks and CCF-Brills until the City of Ottawa purchased the company in 1948 and renamed it the Ottawa Transportation Commission.  120 was heavily damaged when it struck a support beam for the Elgin Street underpass under the CN railway tracks near the Pretoria Bridge in 1940.


Eastview Bus Service Ltd. provided bus service in what is now the Vanier sector of the City of Ottawa.  68 was a 1942 Reo 56TD, shown in this 1948 photo.  This bus company and all its vehicles were absorbed by the OTC in December 1950.  (Photo from the webmaster’s family collection)


The OER started purchasing buses from Canadian Car & Foundary and Brill in 1945, and these purchases continued well after the OTC was formed.  233 was a 1949 CCF-Brill C-36, shown in an OTC publicity photo from the early 1960s in front of the (then) new St. Laurent garage.


The OTC diversified its fleet with buses from Fageol-Twin Coach in various lots from 1949 through 1951.  314 was a 1949 Twin Coach 44-S, shown in a 1950 publicity photo.


2001 was a 1951 CCF-Brill T-48A, shown at the Cobourg Street Barn just after delivery.  Ten CCF-Brill trolleybuses were added to the OTC fleet in 1951, operating along Bronson Avenue.  In 1959, Ottawa sold its trolleybuses, converting to an all diesel bus fleet.  Buses 2001 to 2005 were sold to Kitchener, where they operated until the trolleybus fleet was scrapped in 1973, while buses 2006 to 2010 were sold to the TTC, where they ran as 9140 to 9144.



261 was a 1953 CCF-Brill CD-44A, which differed from earlier purchases by having a diesel engine and a Spicer torque converter.  This bus is shown in two publicity photos, one having been taken just after delivery (top), and the other taken in the early 1960s at the St. Laurent garage (bottom), still painted in the original paint scheme with the black roof, first seen on the Mack CW buses in 1939.


The OTC received its first delivery from General Motors in June 1955.  417 was a 1955 GM TDH-4512, shown in front of the St. Laurent garage in the early 1960’s.  This bus had been repainted into the two-tone-grey-with-red-stripe livery first seen on the 1957 Brill buses.


The last shipment of CCF-Brill buses was delivered to the OTC in 1957.  These buses were also Ottawa’s first 40’ motorbuses, and the first buses numbered using the year of purchase as part of the fleet number.  5709 was a 1957 CCF-Brill CD-52A, shown in a publicity photo in front of the St. Laurent Garage.


In order to replace its fleet of 96 aging streetcars and 10 trolleybuses, the OTC purchased 107 40’ buses from General Motors.  5901 was the first of these, a 1958 GM TDH-5105, shown in a 1960s publicity shot.  These buses were the first to have been painted in the green paint scheme still seen on 5931.


The OTC—and its successor, OC Transpo—continued to purchase buses from GM, switching to the New Look in 1961, and ordering them every year until 1982.  6331 was one of ten GM TDH-5303 buses delivered in 1963, shown in front of the St. Laurent garage in the early 1960s.