Sheppard West (TTC)

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Sheppard West
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg
Downsview Platform 01.jpg
Location 1035 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario,
Coordinates 43°44′58″N 79°27′43″W / 43.74944°N 79.46194°W / 43.74944; -79.46194Coordinates: 43°44′58″N 79°27′43″W / 43.74944°N 79.46194°W / 43.74944; -79.46194
Platforms centre platform
Tracks 2
Connections BSicon BUS1.svg Viva Orange
Structure type underground
Parking 641 spaces
Disabled access Yes
Architect Adamson Associates Architects
Stevens Group Architects
Opened March 30, 1996
Passengers (2015[1]) 37,670
Preceding station   TTC   Following station
Terminus TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University
toward Finch
toward Vaughan
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University Extension in 2018

Sheppard West (formerly Downsview) is a subway station on Line 1 Yonge–University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The station, which is located at the southeast corner of Sheppard Avenue West-William R. Allen Road intersection, is currently the northern terminus of the western branch of the line. The station opened in 1996 in what was then the City of North York, and the Viva Orange bus rapid transit route of York Region's Viva Rapid Transit commenced service on October 16, 2005. The large commuter parking lot, accessible via Allen Road and Sheppard Avenue, opened in July 2005. On May 7, 2017, the station was renamed from Downsview to Sheppard West. This change was made in preparation for the opening of the Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE), which is scheduled to open by the end of 2017.

When this station opened, it was among the first accessible stations of the Toronto subway.[2] The station also features Wi-Fi service.[3]


The former station name, Downsview, in unique mixed case lettering on the platform.

Sheppard West station was officially renamed from Downsview on May 7, 2017, in anticipation of the opening of the University (originally Spadina) extension to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.[4][5][6] The new name was proposed in 2010 and on September 28, 2012, the renaming was approved.[5][7]

When it was named Downsview, the station was the only one in the subway system to use mixed case lettering for the station's name on the platform walls. However, the Sheppard West name is rendered fully capitalized using the distinctive Toronto Subway typeface. A smaller type appears underneath the new station name, which reads "formerly Downsview", to ease with the transition.

Originally, the first station on the University extension was to be called Sheppard West, but it was located close to the entrance to Downsview Park. On the other hand, Downsview station was better identified as being on Sheppard Avenue, and was further away from the entrance to Downsview Park. Thus, the TTC proposed partially swapping the names of the two stations to avoid confusion, with the new station being designated Downsview Park.[4]

Although the name change became official on May 7, 2017, the change will gradually be phased in and completed prior to opening the Spadina extension in late 2017. The name change cost $800,000, most of which covered the cost to update the subway train announcement system on subway trains. $150,000 was to update signs and maps on trains and within stations.[8]

Architecture and art[edit]

Boney Bus by John McKinnon

The station was designed by Adamson Associates Architects (above grade buildings and mezzanine) and The Stevens Group Architects (below grade).[9] The subway platform lacks pillars and the ceiling is high and curved, evoking an aircraft hangar. High ceilings, skylights and an exceptionally large mezzanine make the station feel open and airy. Natural light reaches all areas of the station including the subway platform.

The station features two pieces of artwork. Sliding Pi is a large scale wall mosaic by Calgary artist Arlene Stamp. It can be viewed when traveling between the bus platform and the mezzanine level. Boney Bus by John McKinnon is located in front of the station and consists of an abstract bus shape made from giant aluminum beams and basalt "wheels".

Subway infrastructure in the vicinity[edit]

The subway platform is located underground east of Allen Road. The line continues south underground for 750 metres to cross to the west side of the road; after exiting at the Clanton Park Portal the line runs on the surface past Wilson Yard, the TTC's newest subway yard, which opened in 1978. At this point, Allen Road becomes an elevated expressway; the subway, using what were originally the yard access tracks, crosses under its southbound lanes and rises to the road's level.

Nearby landmarks[edit]

Nearby landmarks include Downsview Park, which was the site of the World Youth Day Papal Visit in 2002 and the SARSstock concert in 2003. It is the site of an airstrip used as a military base (CFB Toronto), and by an aircraft manufacturer (DeHavilland), separating the station area from the original village of Downsview. William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute lies to the northeast in the Bathurst Manor neighbourhood.

Surface connections[edit]

View down to the fare control mezzanine from ground level and the bus platforms
Bus bays as viewed from Sheppard Avenue

TTC routes serving the station include:

84B to Weston Road
84C to Steeles Avenue via Arrow Road (Rush hour service)
84D to Steeles Avenue via Oakdale Road (Rush hour service)
  • 101 Downsview Park to Downsview Park
  • 104 Faywood to Wilson Station
  • 105A Dufferin North to Rutherford Road (Extra fare required north of Steeles Avenue)
105B to Major Mackenzie Drive (Extra fare required north of Steeles Avenue)
105C to Steeles Avenue
107C to Teston Road via York University (Extra fare required north of Steeles Avenue)
107D to McNaughton Road (Extra fare required north of Steeles Avenue)
  • 108A Downsview to Jane Street & Driftwood Avenue via Grandravine Drive
108B to Jane Street & Driftwood Avenue via Arleta Avenue
  • 117A Alness to Steeles Avenue via Martin Ross Avenue & Alness Street
117B to Steeles Avenue via Flint Road & Alness Street
  • 196A York University Rocket to York University (Express service)
196B to York University (Express Service)
196B to Sheppard–Yonge Station (Express service)
  • 384 Blue Night Sheppard West to Weston Road and Sheppard-Yonge Station

Viva bus rapid transit[edit]

VIVA Orange bus inside the station

Sheppard West Station is served by the Orange line of York Region's Viva bus rapid transit system. Service began on October 16, 2005.

Viva buses stop three times at Sheppard West. Buses offload all of their passengers at a stop outside station entrance before proceeding within the bus terminal to pick up passengers. This is to ensure that Viva riders do not access the TTC without paying a TTC fare, as the bus terminal is inside the station's fare paid zone. After this, they stop a third time, westbound on Sheppard Avenue, to pick up non-TTC-originating passengers.

This Viva station is considered a Viva terminal. Therefore, there are multiRide ticket vending machines available.

Subway extensions[edit]

From its opening in 1996, Sheppard West has been the terminal of the University leg of Line 1 Yonge–University.[10] However, with the scheduled opening of the Line 1 Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre by December 31, 2017, Sheppard West will become a through station.[11]

The original plans for Line 4 Sheppard called for it to terminate at (then) Downsview Station and connect there with Line 1, but during construction in the late 1990s, the extension of Line 4 was halted after the first phase due to funding issues. Plans to extend Line 4 are currently inactive, but some local politicians (such as former Toronto mayor Rob Ford) have tried to revive the Line 4 expansion.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Subway ridership, 2015" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved April 10, 2017. 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. ^ "Milestones". About the TTC. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 1996: Downsview Station, Bloor-Yonge Station, and Union Station become the first accessible subway stations. 
  3. ^ "There's now free WiFi at over 40 TTC subway stations". blogTO. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "TORONTO-YORK SPADINA SUBWAY EXTENSION – STATION NAMES" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. September 30, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Kalinowski, Tess (28 September 2012). "TTC names new subway station for Black Creek Pioneer Village". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Toronto Transit Commission Report - September 30, 2010
  8. ^ Hudes, Sammy (April 5, 2017). "Downsview station to become Sheppard West next month". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 14, 2017. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "2013 TTC Operating Statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  11. ^ Byford, Andy (March 26, 2015). "Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension – Schedule and Budget Change" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2017-04-15. 
  12. ^ Paperny, Anna Mehler (August 23, 2012). "Rob Ford ready to let transit projects hold in favour of Sheppard subway". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ Moore, Oliver (July 13, 2016). "Toronto City Council approves planning for raft of transit projects". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 15, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Downsview (TTC) at Wikimedia Commons