Thunder Bay

Final call for Greyhound from Thunder Bay, Ont.

It's the end of the road for Greyhound service in northwestern Ontario, after coach 1272 pulled out of the Thunder Bay, Ont. station for the final time on Tuesday morning.

Eastbound coach 1272 marks final departure

The bus service between London and Sarnia is expected to start in April. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

It's the end of the road for Greyhound service in northwestern Ontario, after coach 1272 pulled out of the Thunder Bay, Ont. station for the final time on Tuesday morning.

The company announced it would cease operations west of Sudbury, Ont effective October 31. The service out of Thunder Bay ended a day early, with the final eastbound bus leaving at 9:40 a.m. on October 30, and the final westbound bus the day before.

"Can I have your attention please. This is your final, final, last, final, ever, final call of Greyhound travelling east, ever," said one driver as coach 1272 completed boarding.

A dozen or so communities, all of which will never see Greyhound service again, were rattled off over the PA system.

"Final call for the last bus, ever, out of Thunder Bay."

Ed Choquette, a retired Greyhound driver, said it was the end of an era as he boarded the last bus, to take a final ride.
Retired Greyhound driver Erv Choquette points out where he wants to be let off of the last bus to depart Thunder Bay, Ont. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

"There's some sadness. There is. I've got a lot of good memories, met a lot of nice people in the region and people from across Canada," said Choquette.

"Yeah, it's a sad day."

Choquette said when he worked for the company, there were over 30 drivers based in the city, plus drivers in Longlac and Hearst. There were six arrivals and departures daily.

In recent years, Greyhound has cut its service to only two departures daily, with a driving staff of six or seven based in Thunder Bay.
Last Greyhound through Thunder Bay 1:29

Choquette took his drivers cap aboard for the final run. He said the cap is a keepsake, as many drivers never asked for one when they were fitted for their custom-tailored suits.

The trademark grey suits were made to last, he said.

"I had twenty good years, and I have to say, I enjoyed going to work every day. I loved going to work."

Choquette was the last person to buy a ticket for the bus at the ticket counter, waiting until the last moment to pay to ensure he bought the final ride.

Greyhound's terminal in Thunder Bay was purchased by Marostica Motors, with a re-zoning application in the works for the property on Fort William Road.
The Thunder Bay, Ont., Greyhound terminal has been purchased by Marostica Motors. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Marostica was at a gathering at the terminal on Tuesday morning, where current drivers, dressed in their custom suits, along with retirees got together one last time to reminisce, and pour over old pictures and newspaper clippings.

Choquette said he looked forward to the private gathering, but told the Edmonton-based driver as he got off the bus to remember, "that there is life after Greyhound."

About the Author

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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