Bessarion (TTC)

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TTC - Line 4 - Sheppard line.svg
Bessarion TTC 16020292290.jpg
Location 731 Sheppard Avenue East,
Toronto, Ontario
Coordinates 43°46′09″N 79°22′35″W / 43.76917°N 79.37639°W / 43.76917; -79.37639Coordinates: 43°46′09″N 79°22′35″W / 43.76917°N 79.37639°W / 43.76917; -79.37639
Platforms centre platform
Tracks 2
Connections BSicon BUS1.svg TTC buses
Structure type underground
Disabled access Yes
Opened 24 November 2002
Passengers (2013[1]) 2,530
Preceding station   TTC   Following station
TTC - Line 4 - Sheppard line.svg Sheppard
toward Don Mills

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, 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,[2] 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, and was one of the stations originally planned for the Sheppard line.[3] Due to budget overruns that came up on several occasions, there were many suggestions to remove it from the original plan for a cost savings of $34 million. 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 pushed by Councillor David Shiner.[4][2]

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.[5]

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.[4]

Station description[edit]

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.[6]

The subway continues underground in a bored tunnel in both directions; east into Leslie and west to Bayview.

Architecture and art[edit]

The public art in the station,[7] titled Passing by Toronto artist Sylvie Belanger,[8] 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.[9]

Surface connections[edit]

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.[6]

Nearby landmarks[edit]

Nearby landmarks include the Bessarion Parkette, a Canadian Tire and the Canadian Tire Park, and a Mark's. Mountain Equipment Co-op's new North York store will open a short distance from the station in 2015.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Subway ridership, 2013" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 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. 
  2. ^ a b Eric Andrew-Gee (June 27, 2013). "Looking for Bessarion: TTC’s least-used subway station goes viral". Toronto Star. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  3. ^ City of Toronto (June 1998). "Sheppard Subways Status of Permits and Approvals". Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b City of Toronto (August 2007). "Sheppard East Subway Corridor Secondary Plan" (PDF). Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  5. ^ City of Toronto (July 2000). "Sheppard Subway - Bessarion Station Initiation of Civil Lawsuit to Recover Contamination Costs" (PDF). Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Bessarion Station". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Sylvie Belanger: cv". Artists. Robert Birch Gallery. Retrieved February 2015. PUBLIC COMMISSION: Bessarion Station, Toronto Subway, Can. 
  8. ^ Donovan Vincent (19 August 2011). "TTC art: What works, what doesn’t". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 2015. photographic works in the Bessarion station, titled "Passing," by artist Sylvie Belanger 
  9. ^ "The Sheppard Subway". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Bessarion Station at Wikimedia Commons