The TTC has confirmed that the Sheppard East LRT will come west into Don Mills Station rather than terminating at Consumers Road, but the design at Don Mills is still under review.
Just to recap from the previous article on this topic, the preferred design at Don Mills would have seen the LRT at the same level as the subway. The track layout would have given a staggered layout with the LRT pulling into a stub track that was cut into a lengthened subway platform (see illustration in the TTC report). The actual track and platform layout (not shown) would have had a second platform further back for use when the stub track was occupied.
This was an alternative to both of the layout options in the EA document (see pages 6 and 7 of part 2 of the EA Report). The first version shows a connection on the south side of the concourse level at Don Mills Station, while the second is at the same level as the subway.
For the concourse connection, it is important to note the relative position of the existing subway station and structures at its western end. From TTC staff, I have learned that there is a potential conflict between a fan shaft and a future north-south Don Mills LRT tunnel, but that the TTC believes this tunnel can be fitted in. Any junction between the Sheppard and Don Mills LRTs at concourse level must deal with this constraint.
For the subway level connection, the original scheme placed the LRT platform well east of the subway station, and created a long walking transfer for passengers. The revised design with the stub track cut into the subway platform shortens the distance by offsetting the LRT and subway tracks and reducing clearance requirements for buffer zones.
When Queen’s Park announced that the Sheppard East line would be through-routed via Don Mills to Finch, this completely changed the parameters for Don Mills Station. TTC staff are reviewing design options for this scheme, and it will likely place the LRT station at concourse level.
The discussion by Commissioners also included a desire that any designs for this first wave of LRT lines take into account integration with the second set of Transit City lines. At Don Mills, there is the obvious problem of how the station will operate once there is a Don Mills LRT providing through north-south service, and how combined Finch/Sheppard and Don Mills services will fit on the surface between Sheppard and Finch.