A Don Mills Subway For Toronto

This is a companion article to one of the same name on the Torontoist website in which I argue that Toronto should have a subway line from Front & Spadina to Eglinton & Don Mills.  Formerly known as the “Downtown Relief Line”, this should be called the “Don Mills Subway” and there should be no pretensions about it stopping at Danforth.

Drawing subway lines on maps, especially for the DRL, has been a cottage industry among transit advocates and city watchers for several years, and everyone has their preferences.  I have stayed away from that territory most of the time because the torrent of comments (including a long thread on this side) is more than I care to moderate.

However, the Don Mills line needs advocacy and a good indication of what it might look like to counter the “downtown has enough subways” drivel dished out by Mayor Ford.

My proposed alignment is not intended to be definitive although parts of it are locked down to make specific connections and to take into account physical constraints on the route’s placement.  Other alignments are possible in places, but I don’t want to revisit that discussion in excruciating detail when the basic purpose is to show what a new line could achieve.

Spadina & Front Station:  This station would be part of a proposed Metrolinx/GO western Union Station to be used by services originating in the northwest corridor so that capacity at Union can be released for remaining routes.  An extension west from this location to serve new development at Exhibition Place, for example, would be possible.

Note that I, like Ed Levy in his own proposal, treat the Weston corridor as a separate “DRL West” service to be operated as part of the rail network, not as an extension of the subway which for technical and regulatory reasons is extremely unlikely.  We are far more likely to see the Union Pearson Express trackage repurposed for this than we will see a subway line in the corridor.

Northeast from the intersection, there is an open patch of land between existing buildings that once was the freight lead from Spadina Yard into the freight terminal where Metro Hall and Roy Thomson Hall now stand.  This alignment can provide a path for the subway to travel diagonally northeast to Wellington Street.

Front Street through downtown is no longer available for an east-west subway as was once proposed because of the expansion of Union Station.  Wellington is far enough south to allow a connection to the proposed Union West station at Spadina without requiring (as a map in a Metrolinx report proposed) a diagonal alignment from Queen southwest to Front through the footings of several new towers.

Wellington makes comparatively easy connections with the existing subway at:

St. Andrew Station:  The station is nominally at King, but the structure extends somewhat to the south.  A parking garage sits on top of the subway structure, and a pathway through it could link a station at Wellington into the existing St. Andrew Station.

King Station:  The box making up King Station extends well south of King Street and includes the Melinda Street exit on the west side of Yonge as a reference point.  A station at Wellington would be only a short distance south of King Station.

Continuing east on Wellington, the street merges with Front at Church Street.  This is the middle of a large and growing concentration of residential buildings.  Stops could be placed at:

Jarvis Street (St. Lawrence Market):  This location is a major centre for the community and far enough east of Yonge to serve a distinct set of demands.

Continuing east on Front the alignment from Parliament to the Don River could be via Eastern Avenue or Front, although the latter may be difficult given plans for the West Don Lands already under construction.

Distillery District:  There are two possible locations for this station at either Parliament or Cherry Street.  Cherry has the advantage that it would be a connection point for the north-south streetcar service that will eventually serve the eastern waterfront and port lands developments.  The stumbling block for such a connection is expansion of the underpass at the rail corridor, but that is a question of will, money and the timing of future development.

Continuing east across the Don, the line would be close to the former Lever Brothers site now owned by Great Gulf. A major commercial development will be announced for this property.  An important design issue for the subway would be flood control to prevent the tunnel from being an alternate path for river floods against which Waterfront Toronto has build substantial berms in the West Don Lands.

Broadview & Eastern:  This station would serve the Great Gulf development and improve access to this corner of the waterfront in general.

At this point, older plans for the DRL varied with the first versions following the rail corridor and later ones going straight along Eastern to Pape.  The reason for the Eastern Avenue route was to access property in what is now the Studio District for a yard that would house trains with the same technology as the Scarborough RT.

The rail corridor, formerly owned by CNR, is now GO Transit’s who, one would hope, will be more amenable to a subway tunneled beneath their tracks.  The line would curve northeast with possible stations at Queen & Degrassi and at Gerrard & Carlaw (aka Gerrard Square).  The real question here is whether the line should simply blitz up to the Danforth or provide connections in Riverdale and Leslieville.

Before writers in the east end descend on me as a destroyer of their neighbourhoods, please remember (a) that I am not saying a station must be at these locations and (b) I live not far away and know the potential effects of a subway here quite well.  Indeed that is why I chose the rail corridor rather than a north-south street such as Pape.  People will propose stations wherever the line crosses Queen and Gerrard Streets.

For many years, the TTC has shown the DRL as ending at Pape and Danforth.  Recent reports on a DRL study mentioned the need for a wye junction with the Danforth subway so that trains could reach Greenwood Yard.  Building such a structure would have severe effects on existing buildings at Pape and Danforth.

That is why my proposed alignment continues east (as some of the early TTC schemes did) to the west side of Greenwood Subway Yard.  This would provide a link to the existing network without the need to build a new junction somewhere under the Danforth.  At the yard, the route would turn north mainly under what is now parkland and cross Danforth at Donlands Station where it would connect to the Danforth subway.

Continuing north on Donlands, there could be stations at Mortimer and at O’Connor.  North of O’Connor, the line would cross the Don Valley on a medium height bridge.  The exact nature of the bridge would be a trade-off between cost, the depth of the subway at each portal, and the aesthetics of the valley crossing.

On the north side of the valley, the subway could travel under Thorncliffe Park.  The alignment shown on the map is a placeholder and should not be read as definitive “dig here” instructions.  It must dodge between apartment towers, a school and commercial buildings, but there is still considerable open space where construction would be comparatively easy.

Thorncliffe Park is a major concentration for housing with a lot of underutilized commercial space.  The exact location of a station here would depend on the alignment that proves workable.  In the map, it is at Overlea & Thorncliffe Park East as a placeholder.

It would not be possible for the line to run straight east to Don Mills and then turn north for various reasons including curve radius constraints, the location of a school on the north-west corner of the intersection, and potential conflict with the road bridge on Overlea west of Don Mills.  Instead, the line could turn north through the park lands behind the school and enter Don Mills well north of Overlea.

Flemingdon Park is another major housing concentration, but it is fairly spread out and will require a bus feeder to connect most potential riders to the subway.  In this proposal, I have sited the station at the north branch of Gateway Blvd. (the south branch is directly opposite Overlea at Don Mills) and near enough to the Science Centre that it could also serve as its local stop.

Finally, there would be a station at Don Mills & Eglinton where the line would connect with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.  Future extension could take the subway further north including a possible link to a future GO service on the CPR corridor south of Barber Greene Road.  That is years from happening, but so is this plan.

Whether this is the point to end the subway line and switch simply to buses or a future LRT is beyond anyone’s ability to say this far in advance.  However, models of the Don Mills line showed riding in the 16,000 per peak hour/direction range decades ago putting the line beyond LRT territory.  Moreover, there is no surface right-of-way or arterial road wide enough to host such a line.  With 100% grade separation and strong demand, subway is the appropriate choice.

137 thoughts on “A Don Mills Subway For Toronto

  1. Steve,

    How about building the train yard under the Hydro One transmission line / Flemingdon Park that runs perpendicular to Dons Mills and Gateway Blvd? The area is about 150m x 650x, which you would have plenty of room to store two 6 car train sets (~280m long). Heavy maintenance could still be done at the Greenwood Yards and the storage yard could be underground with a green roof. This would preserve the park on the roof and would shield the railway equipment if the lines were to fall while having current.

    Care would have to be taken not to disrupt the existing transmission towers (I’m counting 6 total) while they are shored up for the yard construction.

    However, the downside I’m not so sure Hydro One / Toronto Hydro would be willing to share the land. Might have to get the province on board to prod them into sharing the land.

    Steve: A yard was proposed in Langstaff under the Ontario Hydro corridor there as part of the Richmond Hill line. Hydro would not allow this, and it is reasonable to assume that the same reaction would greet your proposal. By the way, that corridor in Flemingdon is Ontario Hydro, and so it’s not a case of getting Queen’s Park to “prod” a local agency.


  2. The paradox of “relief”

    The only way to build enough political will to build the downtown relief line is to solve the serious commuter deficiency. But if you provide relief with GO then you don’t need the DRL.

    That being said the whole concept of a DRL in its present form is structured to meet the logical framework of a long dead system. The policy surrounding the subway line formally known as the DRL must be structured to meet the needs of reality. The subway line can not be considered as a standalone policy, but only as an integral part of a strategy to enhance long term prosperity.

    To be very brief the core value behind constructing the don mills subway line is to build a business community of scale that is able to satisfy the capital and labor market needs of a modern economy. The two major policies that will necessitate the don mills subway are NAFTA and CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), both policies require a vibrant business community that will maximize profit, minimize risk, and provide the highest possible quality of life, which can only be brought into existence with a don mills subway.

    Things that need to be considered in conjunction with a don mills subway line

    (1) Competitive Taxation Policy
    (2) Specialized Support
    (3) Downtown Toronto must be first and foremost a centre for business
    (4) GO rail and Bus improvement and fare integration to provide equality of opportunity to the inner and outer suburbs
    (5) “Big Tent” politics must be used to overcome parochialism and the serious socio-economic cleavages in the city
    (6) Aggressively address historic grievances with the inner suburbs, the cost of long term political polarization can be crippling, spending a little bit more up front to eliminate grievances can save a lot of trouble and cost into the future.

    Only a broad based strategy to enhance competitiveness, productivity and equality of opportunity can necessitate the don mills subway line.

    Steve: And here I thought we were just trying to move people around Toronto better! If we have to wait for your shopping list, nothing will be built anywhere, ever.


  3. “Steve:

    And here I thought we were just trying to move people around Toronto better! If we have to wait for your shopping list, nothing will be built anywhere, ever.”

    I am concerned about your response. The methods you are advocating have over a quarter century of failure to their name, over 30 years of poor productivity gains, serious socio-economic polarization, and embarrassing municipal politics caused by troubling political cleavages.

    The only note worthy “transit” construction the current model is likely to build is a Pickering Airport and an extension to the 407.

    To improve society you must have a comprehensive plan that can build and retain political support, the current model does not do this.

    To be frank I hope that I am wrong, but I will let the reader weigh the facts for themselves.

    Steve: Pretentiousness does not equal knowledge in my books, and if you sounded less like an economic evangelist, I might take what you are saying more seriously. Indeed, when you talk about “the methods I am advocating”, I don’t have the faintest idea of what you are talking about.

    There are a lot of problems with how transit has developed in Toronto that have everything to do with political inaction and posturing, and nothing to do with economic theory.

    I agree with you to the point of saying that the current plan is weak, in part because it is a grab-bag of pet projects from all over the GTHA, not a truly integrated network. However, I don’t think that the way you present your argument is likely to win many converts.

    At the end of the day, people just want to be able to get around, and do so in a changing environment of higher costs for vehicles and fuel, higher time costs in long commutes, and a shift in the nature and location of the job market. Any plan that does not present its benefits directly addressing these desires shouldn’t get off the ground, in theory, but as we have seen in Scarborough, on a one-by-one basis, people can be bribed with proposals that can’t hold their own in a wider context.


  4. My personal feeling is that economic competitiveness and social welfare are inextricably linked, and we must structure our policies to reflect that.

    I disagree with your premise that transit is predicated on simply moving people around, perhaps I am an idealist, but transit when coupled with sound policy should be structure to provide a higher quality of life, and allow for a richer human experience. If all you are interested in is moving people around, the don valley corridor study has a lot of cheap effective suggestions to fully satisfy demand.

    I stand by my original comment about the don mills subway having nothing to do with “relief”, and everything to do with economic competitiveness and equality of opportunity. Without a clear concise unified approach that is tailored to reality it is unlikely that the electorate will be willing to pay for the cost of the don mills line.

    Steve: Please address your philosophy to the Scarborough Subway and then tell me about what the electorate is willing to pay for.


  5. Steve, how about connecting the Don Mills line to the improved service on Richmond Hill GO? That improved service might look like:

    1) Electrification of the line with frequent all day service (such as 6 trains / hour during the peak and 3-4 off peak). Some trains could be short-turned at Cummer.
    2) Relocation of the Oriole Station 300 meters further north to connect to Leslie subway station – easy link to North York/Scarborough
    3) A connection in the park with the Crosstown just east of Leslie (adjacent to the Celestica site)
    4) A connection to the Bloor line under the viaduct. Some kind of people mover to Castle Frank will be needed. Is this feasible to have a walkway over the Bayview extension and entering the mountain to pop up under the Bloor line?
    5) The line might terminate at Eastern & River, connect to the DRL, King/Cherry car and a branch of the waterfront East LRT. I am stopping before getting to Union as it might not have capacity for such frequent service – therefore my proposal is relying on the DRL as a distributor.
    6) Other stations can be added north of Major Mackenzie with a yard somewhere in Richmond Hill

    Can this line eliminate the need for the Richmond Hill subway extension, take pressure of Bloor/Yonge, reduce crowding on the Yonge line and provide a faster than subway North-South route across the region?

    Steve: The Richmond Hill line does not cross Eglinton near Leslie, but east of Wynford in the east branch of the Don River valley. The line at Leslie is the CPR line to Agincourt. As for a link at Castle Frank, this is a pipe dream some have advanced because it looks nice on a map. This would be a long, difficult connection at a point where (a) GO riders are already close to Union and (b) the subway is already full. Another problem is that there is no room for a station here especially if you are going to run frequent service that requires two working tracks.

    Stopping at Queen is not going to happen. At this point, you are gerrymandering the network to suit your proposal. If you are going to upgrade the Richmond Hill line to run frequent service, then it cannot simply dump all of its passengers at a transfer station (a) at the inner end of the DRL/DML and also likely a location that otherwise would not have a station.


  6. Alex K. wrote about the Richmond Hill GO service:

    Other stations can be added north of Major Mackenzie with a yard somewhere in Richmond Hill.

    Nice prediction, since this is taking place right now.

    The line has been double-tracked between Elgin and Quaker, and a new station is about to be built on the north side of Stouffville Road. The Richmond Hill siding had its northern connection with the main line moved from north of Crosby Avenue to the south side and is being upgraded from local control to CTC dual control. A small layover yard is being built north of that station, on the south side of Bethesda Road. Plans are in place to add another station at Bloomington Road.


  7. The Downtown Relief Line (DRL) a.k.a Don Mills Subway a.k.a. Line 5 through low density Pape is a complete waste of money when a much more useful Downtown Relief Line could be built through the high density area of Victoria Park and Danforth. A Downtown Relief Line is no doubt needed and needed urgently just not one through the low density neighbourhoods of Pape or Broadview (all they have is one to two storey businesses and one to two storey houses compared with the large number of high rises near Victoria Park and Danforth (just to the all around Victoria Park station)). Victoria Park station with it’s wide platforms can also better handle an increase in ridership due to the Downtown Relief Line than the small Pape station with narrow platforms (Broadview is no better). I suspect that the recent Pape station modernization was due to the Andy Byford’s hopes of building a DRL thorough Pape and I commend him for his foresight and planning ahead but just that the low density Pape is a very wrong choice for the DRL.

    Steve: The Pape Station project started years before Andy Byford was even in Toronto. As for your proposed alignment, it is more of an east-west line than a north-south one, and you have completely missed the point of serving Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Parks, not to mention Don Mills. Don’t forget that enroute to all those high-rises at Vic Park Station, the Danforth subway goes through the same sort of low rise neighbourhood you complain about on Broadview or Pape.


  8. Steve:

    “Please address your philosophy to the Scarborough Subway and then tell me about what the electorate is willing to pay for.”

    What you are referring to is the result of the Faustian deal that amalgamated the city. The situation in Scarborough clearly shows that transit is inextricably linked to politics and economics, the points I raised in my original comment remain apt. The only way to get anything done is with a broad based approach, if the project cannot build broad based support it will die as transit city has.

    Transit planning has less to do with moving people and more to do with defining the future people will live in.


  9. Woa……I came late to this thread and people are drawing alot of lines. If you have already answered some of these questions, my apologies Steve, I just couldn’t catch up on all the comments!

    I’m curious how you see downtown surface routes interacting with this line, in both a physical sense – on street or free body transfers? As well as if you see any modifications to streetcar routings? For instance I’m curious if you would think it worth extending the Dundas car over and up Carlaw to Pape so both it and the 506 could make a connection at the proposed Gerrard Square Station?

    Of course, you strongly state that the designated stations are “placeholders” but I always imagined that a Broadview/Queen Station, while difficult, would be a great transfer point with the existing streetcar routes before heading further south and west through the Distillery district.

    Steve: A Broadview/Queen station is unlikely given the size of the planned development further south on the Lever Bros. site. As for streetcar routings, I think those who see a wholesale dismantling of the streetcar system as a side effect of the DRL are giving away more of their pro-subway bias that thinking clearly about where local demands flow.

    Too many people here have taken out their sets of crayons, and that has badly skewed the discussion away from the benefits and purpose of a “Don Mills” line.


  10. Nick L says:
    November 4, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Steve said: (sighs and just promotes the comment without saying anything)

    “Relax Steve, it was mostly a joke. However, it was a joke based on the State Street Subway in Chicago which has several stations sharing a single long platform.”

    That is not “a single long platform” but rather an underground air raid shelter built to protect residents of Chicago from the dirty Ruskies. What “duck and cover” for other useful information on how to avoided be obliterated.


  11. Steve said:

    As for streetcar routings, I think those who see a wholesale dismantling of the streetcar system as a side effect of the DRL are giving away more of their pro-subway bias that thinking clearly about where local demands flow.

    You know, I’ve never been able to figure out why people would think the downtown streetcar network would be dismantled after the construction of the DRL. I mean, while the Sheppard line reduced the number of buses that travelled between Yonge and Don Mills, it did not eliminate all buses along that segment of Sheppard.

    Steve: The other important point is that the streetcars provide a collector/distributor function to stops all along their routes that does not match the function of the subway. On Sheppard, the demand that was eliminated was mainly the line-haul function from Don Mills over to Yonge.


  12. Steve: This is a compilation from two very long comments from the same person. I almost deleted them, but I have this reputation for fairness and all that. All the same, I wish people would stop turning a planning discussion about the need for an inside-416 Don Mills line into a free-for-all exercise in drawing their own version of the map. We have done this all before in another thread.


    “The Richmond Hill line does not cross Eglinton near Leslie, but east of Wynford in the east branch of the Don River valley.”

    Perhaps a station on the Richmond Hill Line can be added at Eglinton (designed with future electrification and doubling of tracks and protection of green space in mind) to provide a fast and convenient transfer with the LRT on Eglinton Ave East.

    Steve: There is a teensy problem of elevations. The Eglinton line will be at street level, but the RH line will be down in the valley. “Fast and convenient” are not words I would apply to this transfer connection. GO does plan to double track the RH line, but a station is quite another matter in terms of real estate and access.

    Alex K:

    “A connection to the Bloor line under the viaduct. Some kind of people mover to Castle Frank will be needed.”

    That’s a good idea and will help relieve overcrowding at Union and future electrification and doubling of tracks and protection of green space has to kept in mind at all times.

    Steve: This fantasy comes up over and over again (and featured prominently in Swans on the Don. This is an extremely impractical proposal for many reasons including the vertical and horizontal distances involved, the need to add a station in the Don Valley at a point where the river floods quite commonly and where land is at a premium, and finally the fact that there is no room on the subway at Castle Frank for surges of inbound trips off of the RH line every time a train goes by.

    Please note that further proposals of this idea in comments will almost certainly result in my deleting them.

    Another good idea will be to have Stouffville Line trains stop at Danforth Station with an improved connection with the Main subway station. Doing so will help relieve overcrowding at Union as people no longer have to go to Union just to go east on the Lakeshore East line and people coming from the East no longer have to go to Union just to come back on the Stouffville Line to go North (saves travel time also for commuters) and of course people going to Union from Danforth station and those from going to Danforth station from Union also save time as they don’t have to wait for the next train just because the current one won’t stop at Danforth.

    Steve: Danforth Station is not exactly next door to Main Station. The “as the crow flies” distance between them is about 300m to which must be added vertical access. If someone on the Stouffville line wants to get on the Danforth subway, they can already do this at Kennedy Station where, by the way, the subway trains will be less crowded.

    Similarly, a lot of overcrowding can be relieved at Union and commuting time reduced if Milton line trains care to stop on the Bloor station. They are happy to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to relieve GO overcrowding at Union (besides other objectives of the current Union station construction works) but they won’t implement a common sense idea that works yet costs ZERO or almost ZERO.

    Steve: There are plans eventually to make a direct connection from GO Bloor Station into TTC’s Dundas West Station, but there are problems with the owner of the Crossways building through whose parking garage such a link must pass. Meanwhile GO is building a passageway that will dump people on the east side of Dundas across from the subway station where there is no traffic signal. I do not understand the lack of will on GO/Metrolinx’ part, but this project has been around as a proposal for decades.

    Alex K:

    “1) Electrification of the line with frequent all day service (such as 6 trains / hour during the peak and 3-4 off peak). Some trains could be short-turned at Cummer.

    2) Relocation of the Oriole Station 300 meters further north to connect to Leslie subway station – easy link to North York/Scarborough”

    I agree 100% but neither is likely to happen as it is not as sexy as building subways or LRTs.

    (1) has so many long-term cost savings as well as huge environmental benefits with some initial costs of course and (2) will cost almost nothing and improve ridership and hence increase revenues for GO Transit but the executives who run Metrolinx (which owns GO Transit) don’t take GO Trains (except for occasional photo ops) and so don’t give a damn about these things as their high salaries and benefits are guaranteed regardless. If we tie in their salaries with environmental / carbon credits and ridership increases / decreases, then we might see change and both (1) and (2) implemented but currently the situation is hopeless and I don’t see either happening anytime soon.

    Steve: There are bigger fish to fry on the electrification project than the RH line, notably the Lake Shore and Weston corridors. GO and Metrolinx have never been keen on these at a staff level claiming that this would divert capital from more needed improvements. However, now that they’re talking about 10 trains/hour on some lines, electrification is a must (along with re-signalling). I agree that the situation at Oriole Station is laughable, and nobody at Metrolinx has ever given an explanation of why so simple an adjustment is not implemented. However, that said, I suspect that the actual demand for transfer moves between the RH trains and the Sheppard Subway is low, and the future of Toronto’s commuting network does not depend on this.

    How about continuing the Eglinton Crosstown underground all the way until Don Mills and the same line continuing south and becoming the Downtown Relief Line (DRL) i.e. a single line from Black Creek and Eglinton West to Osgoode subway station via Queen subway station and via Don Mills and Eglinton? Needless to say the line will need to be completely grade separated. A Queen alignment for the DRL will be much better with important destinations like the Eaton Centre, Sheraton Hotel, Old City Hall (tourist destination and not just the courts), City Hall, Four Seasons Centre, HBC headquarters and flagship store – important historically and for tourism, Campbell House Museum, Osgoode Hall, and so much more. Queen alignment will also be better for Ryerson students who can just walk to the campus from Yonge and Queen.

    In the absence of an underground LRT station, a south side alignment near Leslie is preferable.

    Steve: The DRL is not going to Osgoode Station. Moreover, there are far more important major demand centres further south than Queen than the ones you list, most of which generate very little peak period demand. Downtown’s focus is shifting south, and Queen is almost the northern outskirts of the business district these days. As for through-routing the two lines, what is this fetish people have for linking routes together (eg Sheppard to Scarborough and to Spadina)? Your proposal makes no sense from a demand flow point of view because the amount of transfer traffic east-to-south and north-to-west at Eglinton is likely to be smaller than the predominate flow of Eglinton westbound to Don Mills southbound (inbound) and its counterpart.

    East of Don Mills on Eglinton Ave East can be a median lane LRT (with its own reserved lanes) to join the Scarborough RT to form a single line using the existing SRT right of way (with repairs and structural reinforcements as necessary). The Bloor Danforth subway can be extended one stop east to the Eglinton GO station (with a fast comfortable convenient transfer between GO trains and the subway) and also one stop west to the Sherway Gardens and Yonge Line can be extended North to the Richmond Hill GO station.

    I would emphasize the long term desirability of an underground Leslie station of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT as well as the need to better integrate Kennedy GO station with Kennedy station of the Bloor Danforth subway as well as better integrate Eglinton LRT with the Kennedy GO station. By better integration, I mean improved transfer. In addition, an improved transfer between the Eglinton LRT as well as the subway is highly desirable. It will also be a good idea to connect Eglinton LRT with the Scarborough RT to form a SINGLE line. By Eglinton LRT, I mean the line east of Don Mills as the western portion I have proposed to become part of the Downtown Relief Line as a separate line.

    Steve: You may remember that (a) Council and many others have, for better or worse, decided to build a subway in Scarborough, but not to Eglinton GO station, (b) the Sherway extension has been considered before but is very expensive for what it serves, and (c) the Richmond Hill extension is already on the books.

    Besides the Downtown Relief Line, moving the Oriole station north to Leslie subway station to provide a direct fast convenient transfer between the subway and GO trains will do much to relieve the overcrowding on the Yonge University Spadina subway line.

    Steve: How? If anything, this will encourage RH line riders to transfer to the subway adding to its problems.

    A bi-directional LRT (both side doors) running on University and Queen’s Park and Queen’s Park Crescent East and Queen’s Park Crescent West and Avenue Rd can also do much to alleviate overcrowding on the Yonge University Spadina subway line. This must be done without destroying any greenery on the median of University or anywhere else and the stops need not be much more than poles.

    Steve: This has now entered the realm of outrageous fantasy, even more incredible than Swan Boats. Please don’t leave any more comments like these.


  13. It never occurred to me to build a spur off Pape under the rail line to the yard. Some interesting food for thought but people would still need to lose their homes if the TTC wanted a full wye.

    Someone above mused about extending the Dundas streetcar east to meet a new station along the DML as a connect the dots exercise (there are bike lanes on Dundas east of Broadview) but a more serious issue is streetcar congestion at Broadview station.

    At Dundas West the TTC is planning on rearranging the loop and changing the existing clockwise loop and flipping it to a counter-clockwise loop. In the new design, queued streetcars will be waiting on the side street instead of Dundas Street.

    Could a DML force a shuffle of the streetcar routes terminating on the east side? I suppose it’s possible. The congestion at the terminal will have to be dealt with especially with the new larger cars.

    The TTC could knock down the terminal at Broadview and reverse the loop (possible) or re-route something to a new underground loop at a Riverdale station (unlikely) or re-lay the old Harbord streetcar track to a new Pape interchange (only possible if the DML is built north to Eglinton but it’s still not gonna happen) or the TTC could change their operations and service management.

    Steve: Supposing that there is a station at Broadview & Eastern beside the Lever site, and streetcar service is extended down Broadview, then the question becomes whether a “Broadview car” should feed into that line rather than running west via King into downtown. Then the problem would be what to do with King East — it could be fed from Cherry, but that would still leave a gap. There are too many possible configurations of services in that part of the world, and the demand patterns will likely change a lot with new developments before we are anywhere near actually building something. I do not think it is worthwhile planning umpteen alternate surface configurations at this time as it diverts attention from the more important issue of a Don Mills line generally.


  14. I am impressed (not) by the amount of downright silly ideas that have started popping up the second Steve spoke about the Don Mills line – connection between the TTC and the Stouffville Go line at Eglinton, a part-time subway on Church, streetcar on University Ave., the Sheppard line turning south at Don Mills, the Eglinton LRT line turning south at Don Mills, and my personal ahem favourite, a train station linked to the Castle Frank subway station.

    Let’s try something, shall we? First, let’s look at what the need is. Simple. The Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park areas need far better transit than what they’re stuck with. The East Don lands and Eastern-Broadview areas will have their own transit need as they grow. Another need (but not as important as the first two) is to offer people on the Bloor-Danforth line an additional route to the core. A transit line linking the areas above to the core is what is needed. Once we agree on that, we can start drawing lines.


  15. I personally love the alignment. I think it would have a huge impact on travel times and route selections. Coupled with an LRT that could serve Don Mills going further north, and perhaps one to Malvern you could also provide a large desireable area of future growth / intensification that was extremely well served. I think part of the issue on Yonge street is the way GO provides service in widely spaced massive units. Perhaps a basic look at where and how this could be transfered or transformed into smaller more frequent service would help. It would also encourage less driving as one of the reasons to drive is flexibility of time.


  16. I’d rather see the alignment run along Coxwell with a station at Toronto East General Hospital (Coxwell & Mortimer). A lot of elderly or infirm patients would benefit from having a station there.


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