Transit Congestion

Congestion on the Yonge subway line was front and centre at my Transit and Transportation Town Hall earlier this year.

I know it it is hard to constantly watch crowded trains pass by from the platform at York Mills, Lawrence and Eglinton. There is always a delay on my commute to City Hall.

At my Transit and Transportation Town Hall, TTC CEO Andy Byford addressed the issue head on and spoke to four key improvements underway to increase capacity and reliability:

  • Replacing all of the trains on the Yonge line with the new “Rocket” trains, which carry nearly 10% more passengers per train;
  • Upgrading to automatic train control, which will allow trains to run closer together, increasing capacity by up to 25% (this work is the cause of subway shutdowns over the weekend);
  • Physical and low cost improvements to Yonge-Bloor station to reduce dwell times by guiding passengers to and from trains; and,
  • The Spadina subway extension is expected to have an effect on the Yonge line, reducing demand by 5-10%.

Relief Line – The Long Term Solution

These are real and significant improvements, but we also need to think long term, and that is why I have been advocating for the Relief Line (also known as the Downtown Relief Line).

Two studies are underway exploring the options related to the Relief Line.

Metrolinx’s Yonge Relief Network Study is taking a big picture network approach and looking at how to use GO as well as suburban and city transit options to improve connectivity in the larger corridor.

Metrolinx recently hosted two public meetings for residents to provide feedback. There will be more public consultation at various stages in the process.

The city and the TTC are conducting a narrower study exploring route and station location options.

For more information on both the Metrolinx and city/TTC studies, please visit

Spadina Subway Extension

Twin tunnelling for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension is complete! In November, the tunnel boring machine known as Torkie finished the tenth and final tunnel drive for the project, breaking through the headwall near Highway 7 and Jane Street.

This project is an 8.6 kilometre extension of the TTC’s Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from Downsview Station to the Vaughn Metropolitan Centre. It will have six new stations, including one at York University.

With tunnel boring complete, the second phase of work can begin on the track, traction power, walkways and signal communication systems inside the tunnels. Station construction is also well underway. By the end of last year, you could see the walls and roof of what will be Sheppard West Station going up!  Construction is expected to be completed in 2016. For more information and the latest updates, click here.

York Mills Escalator Overhaul

Both of the escalators at the south entrance to York Mills station have exceeded their 25-year life and are due for an overhaul. The TTC has advised me that starting January 10, it will begin overhauling these escalators.

This means both of these escalators — between Old York Mills Road, the automatic entrance and the passenger pick-up and drop-off to the south end of the subway platform — will be out of service.

Passengers are encouraged to use the street-level and platform-level stairways at to access the south entrance and exit to the station as well as the escalators and stairways at the north entrance and exit, which are still in service.

The overhaul is expected to finish this fall.

For more information,