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City Cabs History

A Kitchener taxi company with heritage!

City Cabs is a Kitchener Taxi company with a long and rich history – serving Kitchener-Waterloo since 1944!

Ross Lishman started City Cab in response to the need for a Kitchener taxi service.  The first City Cab office was located at 159 King Street East, Kitchener, next to Fox Theater.  The original telephone number was 2-1600.

Casper Dautner became the manager and co-owner of City Cab in 1947. Shortly after wards, City Cab became the first Kitchener taxi company to implement radio dispatching. Before that, there were restrictions on the use of the radio because of the Second World War.

kitchener taxi CityCabs 300x198 City Cabs History
City Cabs vehicles, 10 in all, were photographed beside Rockway Gardens in Kitchener in 1950. Photo courtesy of Waterloo Region Museum

In 1950, due to illness Dautner had to retire from business. He sold his busy Kitchener taxi company to Clarence Wagner.

Soon after the company known as City Cab became increasingly referred to as “City Cabs.” The company grew and a second phone line was added to handle the incoming calls.  The new phone number was 2-4404.

Ross Lishman then had 5 cabs and Clare Wagner had 4 plus a spare cab (#11), which was used to fill in for cabs being repaired. For years cab 11 was a spare cab and not counted as a part of the fleet. Three cabs were individually owned.

Beginning in the 1950′s, City cabs drivers wore uniforms and hats.  The hats were distinguished by a badge that made it easy for customers to identify their driver when they entered a crowded building to find their fare.

Today City Cabs is a leading Kitchener taxi service with 76 vehicles and 3 handicap vans.

As Kitchener grew, so did City Cabs!

•As a side note, Ross Lishman was also known as the president and partner of Lishman Coach Lines Ltd. Ross and his brother Nelles owned Lishman Coach Lines from 1949 until 1974 when it merged with two other companies and became United Trails Inc.

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