Yonge Subway Headway Study 1988 (Part 8)

This is the last part of the study including chapters 5 to 8, most of which are quite short.

  • St. George Station
  • Terminal Options
  • Line Stations
  • Evaluation

Most of Chapters 5 to 8 has the feeling of a quick completion to an otherwise detailed study.

Chapter 5 covers St. George Station in two paragraphs. Just as with the discussion of Bloor-Yonge, it completely ignores the problems created for the Bloor-Danforth subway of delivering many more riders per hour on the Spadina-University line.

Additional side platforms are proposed along with protection of the property needed to build them, but I don’t think such protection was ever implemented.

Chapter 6 discusses four terminal options as options for a 90-second headway.

Exhibit 6.1.1 shows a generic double pocket track configuration.

Exhibit 6.1.2 shows this scheme applied to Finch Station. The layout includes provision for a northerly extension.

Exhibit 6.1.3 shows this scheme applied to Wilson Station.

Exhibit 6.2.1 and Exhibit 6.2.2 show bi-level versions of Finch and Wilson Stations. Both of these are quite expensive, and double-deck construction is required at these locations because there is no room for new side platforms.

Exhibit 6.3.1 shows possible extensions of the subway to Sheppard West and Steeles. This would allow turnbacks to be split between two terminals. Downsview Station, of course, has already been built, and the northern extension of the Yonge line is part of the Metrolinx short term plan.

Exhibit 6.4.1 shows various alternative alignments for a loop configuration. These schemes are no longer viable both because the lines have gone so much further north and because the terminals are further apart. However, the idea was responsible for the “subway only” view of extensions because a loop, by definition, requires a consistent technology.

Note that the Spadina line would have continued north on Dufferin rather than swinging northwest through York University.

Chapter 7 reviews busy line stations and the problem of clearing passengers from platforms.  One major problem it ignores is the limited capacity at some locations when escalators are closed for maintenance.  The status of these stations today is:

  • College:  A second entrance at the south end of the station is proposed as part of a new development northwest of Yonge and Gerrard.
  • Dundas:  There are no plans for a second entrance at this time, although one should be added to meet fire code.
  • Queen:  This station already has two entrances and more capacity is unlikely to be provided.
  • King:  This station has two entrances (plus the Melinda exit southbound).  The north end can be very congested when the escalator is not working even though there are alternative ways out of the station.
  • Union:  A second platform project is now in progress.

The stations between College and King are constrained by building foundations and wider exits can be provided only as part of redevelopment projects.

Chapter 8 is called “Evaluation”, but all it actually does is to list the infrastructure and vehicle costs for the preferred options.

This brings us to the end of the Improved Headway Study.  Although this took up a long series of posts, I wanted to put the whole document up with comments so that readers could see how current plans are coloured by decades-old studies, even when these studies have a clear bias in favour of certain options and studiously ignore the larger context of alternatives.

5 thoughts on “Yonge Subway Headway Study 1988 (Part 8)

  1. Thanks for posting this. The posting of the problems of the Park/Yonge alternate alignment study certainly puts the kibosh on any of those ideas. Oh, well.

    And as I recall, one of the advantages of closing the loop via Dufferin and the Hydro Corridor was specifically that anybody boarding the Yonge line from the east as far south as York Mills could conceivably go “over the top” to access the underused Spadina line, accessing stops in the west of the downtown without substantial penalty, evening out the crowds slightly on the Yonge line. Of course, the extension to York University eliminates this advantage to any closure of the loop, now.

    We’re essentially screwed. Bring on the Downtown Relief (LRT or subway) Line.


  2. Dundas is not the only station with only one entrance, posing a serious fire safety hazard. Another one is Museum. There is also a vast amount of traffic going to the University which experiences a 10-15 minute delay by being forced to detour all the way to the extreme north to use the existing entrance.

    I graduated from U of T (Trinity College) in 1986. At that time I calculated that the time saved by a south entrance would pay for the construction costs in less than three months. I presume that the same situation prevails today.

    Steve: There are plans to build a second exit at the south end of the station where there is now a ventillation shaft. For some reason, probably funding, this didn’t happen at the same time as the redecoration project even though both were proposed at the same time.

    Fire code requires two separate paths to the surface, and other University line stations probably do not meet this definition because both sets of stairs/escalator pass through a common mezzanine. However, the code does not force a retrofit unless there is some change that changes the existing passenger demand on the station. Many stations on the BD line share this problem.


  3. I actually sent an email to the president of Ryerson asking him to consider encouraging the TTC to build a north end exit from Dundas station as part of his campus redevelopment plans.

    It would be nice to have an alternative for those us that don’t want to get caught up in the Eaton Centre congestion.

    Steve: Yes, I agree. This is a chance to punch into Dundas Station while construction is going on.


  4. Is it even possible to build second entrances on the tunneled University Stations, without compromising the integrity of the tunnels?

    Steve: The problem is less the tunnels, than the exact location of the stations. Some of them lend themselves to second exits more easily than others. For example, the north end of Osgood Station is a few hundred feet north of Queen Street, and the tunnel is under the middle of the road. Depending on whether a “full service” entrance were built, or merely an “exit only” path, the amount of real estate required under University and on the sidewalks would vary.

    At Queen’s Park or St. Patrick, probably the only available place to connect in would be the walled-up cross passages. Again these may not be ideally located relative to surface features. At Museum, there is a proposal for an exist into the north end of Queen’s Park, but the current design is “exit only”.


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