There’s A New Subway On The Way (3)

By mid 1964, the University subway had been running for over a year, and the Bloor-Danforth line’s opening was set for early 1966. Extensions to the east and west were already approved, although the Etobicoke segment ended at Montgomery Road on the east side of Mimico Creek. This would later be changed to Islington, and the stations at Prince Edward and at Montgomery were consolidated into a single stop at Royal York.

With most of the line built by cut-and-cover, work was underway in many locations simultaneously, aided by the final added funding contribution from the Metro Toronto government. Unlike more recent projects, where political wrangling and tax saving measures dictated that construction run as slowly as possible, the BD line’s construction was a high priority in its day.

Yorkville became the centre of Toronto’s 60’s culture, complete with an endless stream of tourists driving through to gawk at the hippies through closed windows. The name had such an unsavoury reputation for up-tight pols that in time the station would be renamed “Bay” with “Yorkville” as a subheading. Now it is one of the poshest areas in the city.

A fleet of 164 subway cars was on order. These were the “H-1” trains as they would be known after their manufacturer, Hawker-Siddeley, at what is now the Thunder Bay plant of Bombardier.

One thought on “There’s A New Subway On The Way (3)

  1. At least they had foresight?

    Imagine if they had terminated at Montgomery instead of Islington. Montgomery is not exactly in a great location in terms of connections whereas Islington always was more centrally located. I’ve waddled over to Montgomery from Islington and it’s in an awkward spot not to mention a bit of a distance.

    Bay does make more sense than simply Yorkville. Yorkville is such a large area that naming the station Bay orients people better.

    Even if money wasn’t an issue I’m not sure how much you could speed up construction with the current EA processes. If I’m not mistaken they did not exist to the same extent at the time the Bloor – Danforth line was being constructed making expropriation and construction easier. Things go alot quicker when you don’t have to worry about how much disruption you cause or what you destroy in the process.

    Now you have to worry about environmental sensitivity and so forth which rules out mass expropriation, cut and cover and less safety regulations.

    Don’t forget Steve back then you could get away with more in the name of progress and regulations were not as strict. I doubt you could expropriate hundreds of buildings and dig a cut and cover tunnel now like they did in the 50s and 60s. People would be up in arms … it would never be permitted.

    Was there even an EA like process back then? Given what happened with the Spadina Expressway I doubt it.

    Steve: No there was no EA process, nor a pesky year-long P3 contract no write, tender and negotiate.


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