|Address||1240 Bay Street
|Opened||25 February 1966|
|Closed||4 September 1966(Lower Bay)|
Early plans of the Bloor line, and even some published maps, named this station ‘Yorkville’; the platform signs read ‘BAY’ in large type, with a smaller ‘YORKVILLE’ underneath.
Below the main platform for Bay Station is an abandoned platform, which was used for only six months in 1966 when the TTC experimentally ran trains whose routes included portions of both the Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth lines. This abandoned platform is sometimes referred to as Lower Bay by the general public or Bay Lower by the TTC.
The platform was in service from February to September 1966 as part of an "interlining" experiment, in which the TTC ran trains along three routes, with one matching the subsequent Bloor-Danforth line, and the other two combining parts of the Bloor-Danforth line with the Yonge-University line. The experiment was deemed a failure, largely because delays anywhere quickly cascaded to affect the entire system. Also, as the stations had not been laid out effectively for cross-platform interchange, trains travelling west from St. George and east from Bay alternated between the two levels, leading passengers to wait on the stairs in-between the levels, since they were unable to tell which platform would receive the next train.
With every station served by at least two routes (Bloor-Yonge Station was served by all three routes, with the Yonge-University-Danforth route passing through it twice, once on each level), passengers could travel between any two stations without changing trains; though for some station combinations, such as travel between a station north of Bloor and one on the Bloor-Danforth route, transferring at Bloor-Yonge Station resulted in a more direct path. The TTC found that when the extra time waiting for a train from the correct route was considered, the time savings were not significant.
Interlining was discontinued because of the confusion and delays, although it has been argued[by whom?] that it was politically motivated and that the experiment was sabotaged by the TTC, perhaps even designed to fail from the start. Much of the infrastructure for interlining is still present on the system, and most older stations still have signs informing passengers of each train’s next destination, although they no longer change. While St. George and Bloor-Yonge Stations remained operating upper and lower platforms for the two crossing subway lines, Bay Station would be served by only the Bloor-Danforth line. Lower Bay was closed to the public.
Lower Bay and the tracks leading to it still exist and are now used to train new operators, to move trains between the two current lines, for platform-surface experiments, and to allow filming in the subway without disrupting public service. The station has been modified several times to make it look like a "common" North American subway station, and the TTC once had an elaborate pre-built set for converting it to a New York subway station. The set was used for the filming of the movie Don't Say a Word. The TTC asked the production company if they could donate the set. The set remained up for about three weeks as a selling point for other movies but was then torn down due to safety concerns. Other notable movies shot at Lower Bay include Johnny Mnemonic, Bulletproof Monk, Mimic, End of the Line, The Recruit and Total Recall. The station was also featured in the music video "Never Again," which was performed by the band The Midway State, a band local to Toronto. The short film, The Last Stop, directed by Tyler Cowan also featured the Lower Bay station as its primary location. The band Great Lake Swimmers also recorded "The Great Exhale", a song from their 2012 album New Wild Everywhere, in the Lower Bay station.
Proposed re-activation of Lower Bay
In 2014, Dr. Josef Kates, an award winning engineer, proposed reactivating Lower Bay during rush hour by having northbound University trains bypass St. George subway station and instead short turn at Bay. Kates argues this would relieve both St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations by allowing some downtown-bound passengers transferring from the Bloor-Danforth line to transfer at Bay instead of Yonge or St. George.
The station itself is not open to public access. During structural repairs to the tunnel roof between Bay and St. George stations, trains were bypassed to Museum station via the interlining tracks on Saturdays and Sundays from February 24 to March 11, 2007. As a result, riders could see Lower Bay through the train windows as they rode between Bloor-Yonge and Museum stations. During the May 2010 Victoria Day long weekend, the station was again used to facilitate track repairs, and once again the public got a rare opportunity to ride through the station.
The TTC announced on May 9, 2011, that due to track switch replacement on the Bloor-Danforth line between St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations, a similar subway diversion procedure would be implemented, with all eastbound and westbound trains on the Bloor-Danforth turning back at Museum Station during the weekend of May 14-15th, 2011 giving passengers another rare glimpse of Lower Bay subway station., Passengers exited the train at Museum Station, crossed the centre platform, and boarded the northbound, eastbound, or westbound train to continue their subway trip. University-Spadina subway passengers travelling eastbound on the Bloor-Danforth line changed trains at Museum Station. During the subway diversion, the lower level of St George station was closed and all trains served the upper level. Upper Bay station was also closed. Regular Bloor-Danforth subway service resumed on May 16, 2011.
The TTC opened Lower Bay to the public for Doors Open Toronto on May 26, 2007 and again on May 25, 2013. According to TTC Chair Adam Giambrone's introduction leaflet, this event was the first time since 1966 that the station's platform was open to the public. There were large line-ups, as a limited number of people were allowed on the platform at any one time. Two trains were parked on the tracks, a video screen displayed movies or commercials shot in Bay Lower, and movie posters were hung around the platform. The station was opened again for the event on May 24, 2008, September 29, 2010, and was open to the public as part of a Nuit Blanche event which took place on October 2, 2010.
A paper transfer is required to connect between the subway and buses which use curbside stops on both sides of Bay Street outside the station.
- 6 Bay northbound to Dupont Street and southbound to Queens Quay & Lower Sherbourne
- 6B northbound to Davenport Road/Yonge Street and southbound to Queens Quay & Lower Sherbourne
- "Subway ridership, 2011-2012". Toronto Transit Commission. "This table shows the typical number of customer-trips made on each subway on an average weekday and the typical number of customers travelling to and from each station platform on an average weekday. Five stations serve two subways, and so are listed twice, once for each subway"
- Toronto Transit Commission, TTC Lost Articles
- "Big Ideas: Bring back Bay Lower Station to relieve Yonge-University line". Toronto Star. March 31, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- "Media Advisory: TTC Adjusts Subway Service During Weekend Construction" (Press release). Toronto Transit Commission. 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- "TTC Construction Completed Ahead of Schedule No Weekend Subway Diversion" (Press release). Toronto Transit Commission. 2007-03-15. Retrieved 2007-05-27.
- Kalinowski, Tess (2010-05-21). "Glimpse of TTC’s ‘ghost’ station on view this weekend". The Toronto Star.
- Bloor-Danforth Subway - Split Service - May 14-15 TTC press release, published, May 2011
- "Doors Open TTC Bay Lower". Living in Toronto. City of Toronto. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
Media related to Bay Station at Wikimedia Commons
- Bay Station at the Toronto Transit Commission
- The Truth Behind the Interlining Trial, at Transit Toronto
- Toronto's Lost Subway Stations
- YouTube Video: TTC Bloor-Danforth subway diversion via Lower Bay Station
- Citytv: TTC Diversion Gives Riders Chance To See Station Hidden For 40 Years (from archive.org, copy archived Dec 6, 2008)
- Subway Secrets in Cygnals Zine (Issue 8)
- TTC service revisions allow for Lower Bay station viewing
- Lower Bay New York Makeover
- Nuit Blanche sound installation in Lower bay station on september 29 2007