MoveOntario 2020 : TTC Section

The thread on MoveOntario is getting rather long, and in the interest of sorting out the various topics, I am setting up separate posts where they can accumulate.

Any comments about the TTC’s part in this that show up in other threads will be moved here.

8 thoughts on “MoveOntario 2020 : TTC Section

  1. I’m curious to see what the new vision will be for the Union to Pearson rail link. I could see stops at Queen or King, Dundas West, The Junction (for interchange with the new GO Crosstown) and Eglinton West.

    What are your thoughts?

    Steve: At this point, I don’t know anything about this beyond it being a GO Transit operation. The problem with frequent stops is that they would be more suited to an electrified operation, but only the Lakeshore corridor is planned for that.


  2. I am not sure if this point has been raised before, but: I think it’s way too EARLY for senior governments to be funding the Transit City project. Not because the capacity isn’t needed (it is), but because the TTC has demonstrated that it cannot competently design and operate its existing light rail services.

    Funding Transit City now runs the grave risk that the same kind of car-friendly design compromises (e.g., stops AFTER traffic lights — a design flaw from Spadina, repeated on St. Clair) and operational incompetence (e.g., the existing Queen line, as has been pointed out on this site) will be entrenched on a city-wide basis.

    Why is everyone assuming that the Transit City project will suddenly make the TTC into a world-class LRT operator? Given the TTC’s record, this seems like lunacy. I have a real, and I think legitimate, fear that the Transit City investment will end up being wasted on a sub-standard, emasculated system that will serve nobody well. The investment dollars should only be given AFTER the TTC cleans up its streetcar operations.


  3. It’s nice to see someone swiping at the Transit City as it’s getting a lot of kudos and weight beyond what it deserves, though it’s relatively exemplary. The two beefs I have with it are the WWLRT vs looking at more GO or a Front St. alignment into the core (which puts transit as a service vs. a kickstart to future development) and also the lower end of Jane, which should likely be put onto the Weston rail corridor and kept on that to link up to Union Station via Front.
    Lots of reading here though, thanks all


  4. Steve, pardon my ignorance if this has already been asked before, but will the new Transit City lines get signal priority? I don’t want the same thing that’s happened with the St. Clair ROW where it does not get signal priority.

    Steve: They are supposed to get signal priority. I keep hearing claims that there is priority on St. Clair, but have never actually seen an intersection where it appeared to do anything.


  5. Andrew:

    Good call. One thing Transit City seems to neglect in its entirety is the existing streetcar lines that need improvement.

    Another thing that leaves one to wonder – what if this generated ridership overloads the system south of Bloor-Danforth, since there is no expansion BETWEEN Bloor and Lakeshore. This is a grave concern IMO, since there are already capacity worries with the Bloor-Union stretch under the current demand and its near-future projections.

    Steve: Options for extension south of Danforth are under consideration during the early review of this line.


  6. I have the same concerns that Andrew does: “the TTC has demonstrated that it cannot competently design and operate its existing light rail services”

    Having tried a number of LRT systems (I’ve been documenting them at, I keep getting a nagging feeling that the TTC will stick with their old ways and not implement LRT in a way that has made it so popular in many other places.


  7. Steve wrote: One important bit of news I have learned from visitors to Madrid is that the “miracle” of their fast construction lies partly in that it doesn’t ever stop. They are always building something, somewhere.

    Boy, is that ever true. I was just in Madrid for the past two weeks, and witnessed this first-hand. In fact, the small Metro map I had (similar to the TTC ride guide) was dated March 2007, and was already outdated!

    But as Steve indicated, there is always a large-scale project in progress. In addition to the massive subway expansion, they are also burying many kilometres of highway routes that lead into and circle the city. It’s truly astounding in scope.

    Having said all that, we must bear in mind that they have 5 million people crammed into a space that is actually smaller than the 416. There is no room for a 16-lane crosstown highway like the 401, so they almost have no choice but to bury some of their routes. Madrid’s very high population density also means that subway construction is an absolute necessity. There really is no alternative. The GTA, which also has 5 million residents, is easily three times larger than the city of Madrid, so we will never see that kind of massive construction. Transit City is a perfect fit for Toronto, and I’m ecstatic to read about MoveOntario. My fingers are crossed…


  8. Now I’m not unsymathetic about the need for LRT or the sky-high cost of subway or even the fact that the Shepperd subway was a mistake but since the ungodly thing does exist for better or for worse it does seem to me that an even bigger mistake is going to be made in leaving it with the status of being the “Subway to Nowhere”. No, I’m not thrilled with the expense of subway construction and yes , it may well have been a mistake to build the thing leaving it as the short stub that it presently is simply is NOT going to help the situation. In sum, it was a mistake to build but it will be an even bigger mistake never to extend it at all.

    Steve: Considering that the estimated cost of the connection from Don Mills Station to STC would pay for somewhere between a sixth and a quarter of the entire Transit City network (depending on whose numbers you believe), I think we can leave this project for the very distant future.

    Maybe, someday, when the political memories are not quite so fresh, we will figure out a way to recycle the tunnel and stations for LRT. I agree that it should be one line, but not as a full blown subway. Indeed, it would probably be cheaper to keep some of the LRT line on the surface until, say, you get past the Don River at Leslie and dive into a portal at Bessarion Station. This also reduces the cost of operating expensive stations where we will need new escalators and elevators in 20 years or so.


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