On Saturday, May 28, 2022, between 10am and 5pm, the TTC will open the lower level of Bay Station as part of Toronto’s Doors Open event.
May 28, 2022: Updated with photos from the event.
Bay Station is an inverted version of St. George Station with the Bloor line on the upper level (the currently active station) and the University line on the lower level. Tracks connect to Lower Bay from the junctions north of Museum Station and at the west end of Yonge Station. These are regularly used for equipment moves between the two lines as well as by work trains.
This station has rarely been seen by the train-riding public except for a few construction-related subway diversions. It operated in revenue service for the first six months of the Bloor-Danforth subway during the trial of an integrated service on the Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth lines. When that ended in September 1966, the station took on various uses including storage, training, testing of platform treatments for wayfinding, and movie shoots.
During the event, trains will be parked on the platforms, and there will be displays from the TTC’s centennial book A Century of Moving Toronto.
Access is only by stairway.
Here is a selection of photos from the event.
Lower Bay Station is taller than most because of the alignment of the tunnel which connects to the University line north of Museum by going under the north-to-west track into St. George Station.
Two trains were set up with photos arranged by decade. The display is adapted from the book TTC100 which is available in hardcover or digital version from the TTCShop.
The streetcar system is a lot smaller than it was in 1949 before any of the subway was built. Streetcar trains with Peter Witt cars served Yonge, and trains of PCCs operated on Bloor-Danforth. Many other parallel routes funnelled riders into downtown.
Lower Bay is a bit worse for wear, not having seen revenue service (at least with stopping trains) since 1966. It has been used, among other things, to test various floor treatments for wayfinding.
Once the Yonge Subway opened in 1954, the major interchange was at Bloor-Yonge with a protected unloading and loading platform in the middle of Bloor Street leading directly to the Bloor Station platforms below. This area will see major reconstruction in coming years as Yonge Station and the link with Bloor Station are expanded to provide a separate eastbound platform for Line 2.
Streetcar traffic to the east end was quite intensive with the combined service Bloor and Danforth trains operating close to once a minute between Bedford Loop (now St. George Station) and Coxwell. The view looks northwest on the Prince Edward Viaduct with the trees of Rosedale in the background.
At the east end of Lower Bay, there is a TTC Lego subway train set up which some lucky soul will win in a draw.
Finally, the station name is “BAY Yorkville”. This is a testimonial to the days when Yorkville was a disreputable neighbourhood full of coffee houses, people with long hair, and smokeables you can now find on any street corner. The station’s original name was to be “Yorkville” after the former town, but this was changed. This is not the only original BD station to get a different name when it was built: “Vincent” became “Dundas West”, and “Willowvale” became “Christie”.