Harvey, David William

BASc, PEng 
0T9 Civil Diploma 
Inducted: 1979 

David William Harvey (1887-1938) was chiefly responsible for the efficient consolidation and modernization of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) from its formation in 1921 until his death.

David began his career by working for a short time on the construction of the main plant at Niagara Falls for the Ontario Power Company. In 1911, he worked as a Resident Engineer with the City of Toronto Works Department. He was in charge of construction and operations for the Toronto Civic Railways until September 1921, when he was appointed Assistant Manager, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC); in 1924, he was appointed General Manager.

The welfare of all those who depended on the TTC was always uppermost in David’s mind, yet he refused to accept any personal publicity for the many successful and varied projects he authored. He invented the layout and control mechanism for the early three-door streetcar trailers and held the patents on them, but, as was his manner, he never attempted to collect any royalties. He also saw the potential of the motorbus, and, through his efforts, Gray Coach Lines Ltd. was formed in 1927.


  • Provided untiring leadership and service in establishing and building the TTC
  • Executive member of the Canadian Electric Railway Association, President (1928-1929)
  • Executive member of the American Transit Association