|Address||731 Sheppard Avenue East,
|Opened||24 November 2002|
Bessarion is a station on the Sheppard line of the subway/RT system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located at 731 Sheppard Avenue East, at Bessarion Road and Burbank Drive, and was opened in 2002. The station is, as of 2008[update], the second least-used in the TTC's subway network (after Ellesmere) and has the shortest maximum ride of any station on the network, at 2.9 kilometres to the furthest Sheppard line station. As there are no commuter parking spaces at the station, most riders embarking at the station arrive by the lone bus route that connects to it, are dropped off, or walk from nearby residences.
Bessarion opened on 24 November 2002, in the first phase of the Sheppard line. The station is one of the stations originally planned for the Sheppard line. Due to budget overruns that came up on several occasions, there were many suggestions to remove it from the original plan. When the question was raised a last time in 1998, it was decided that the station should be built, because it was in a prime redevelopment area and the station was an important selling feature for these proposed housing units.
When the site was excavated, the soil was found to be contaminated with various levels of hydrocarbons (likely from the former Canadian Tire service station on the site). This was removed and decontaminated during the construction of the subway station.
As of the late 2000s, Concord Park Place, a 45-acre (18 ha), master-planned multi-tower condominium and townhouse complex, is under construction on the former Canadian Tire warehouse site that adjoins the station.
Like all stations on the Sheppard line, Bessarion is fully accessible. The main entrance on the south side of Sheppard Avenue is fully accessible, with elevator, escalator, and stair access to the concourse level, where another elevator connects to the subway platform level. The north entrance provides direct access to the concourse level only with stairs.
Architecture and art
The public art in the station, by Toronto artist Sylvie Belanger, is a frieze of hands, feet, and backs of heads, which represent the users of the station. The images of feet appear on the concourse level, while the heads appear on the platform level. The images of hands appear along the stairs between the Sheppard Avenue north side entrance/exit and the concourse.
Subway infrastructure in the vicinity
There are no off-street bus platforms at this station, and connecting service is available at the bus stops on Sheppard Avenue with a valid transfer.
- "Subway ridership, 2012-2013". 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"
- "Looking for Bessarion: TTC’s least-used subway station goes viral". Toronto Star. June 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- City of Toronto (June 1998). "Sheppard Subways Status of Permits and Approvals". Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- City of Toronto (August 2007). "Sheppard East Subway Corridor Secondary Plan". Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- City of Toronto (July 2000). "Sheppard Subway - Bessarion Station Initiation of Civil Lawsuit to Recover Contamination Costs". Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- "Bessarion Station". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- "The Sheppard Subway". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
Media related to Bessarion Station at Wikimedia Commons
- Bessarion Station at the Toronto Transit Commission
- Finding Bessarion, a documentary by John Gape featuring Jeremy Woodcock.