Toronto subway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Toronto subway and RT)
Jump to: navigation, search
For the font, see Toronto Subway (typeface).
Toronto subway
Locale Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 4 (plus 1 under construction)
Number of stations 69[1] (plus 28 under construction)
Daily ridership 1,006,300 (avg. weekday,
Q3 2015)[2]
Annual ridership 324,738,500 (2014)[3]
Website TTC
Began operation March 30, 1954
Operator(s) Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
Number of vehicles 858 heavy rail and light metro cars, 66 work cars
Train length 4 and 6 car train sets
Headway 2 min 21 s–5 min 30 s (Line 1, 2 and 4), 6 min 45 s (Line 3)[4]
System length 68.3 km (42.4 mi)[1]
27.6 km (17.1 mi) (under construction)[5]
6.2 km (3.9 mi) (approved)[6]
Track gauge 4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) (Line 1, 2 and 4), 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge (Line 3 and 5)
Electrification 600 V DC Third rail (Line 1, 2 and 4), linear induction (Line 3), Overhead 750 V DC (Line 5)

The Toronto subway is a rapid transit system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). It is a mixed system consisting of three heavy rail lines operating predominantly underground and one elevated light metro line, collectively encompassing 69 stations and 68.3 kilometres (42.4 mi) of track.[1] Since 1954, when the TTC opened Canada's first underground rail line then known as the Yonge subway, under Yonge Street between Union Station and Eglinton Avenue with 12 stations, the system expanded to become Canada's largest in terms of number of stations and second-busiest after the Montreal Metro. It accommodated an average of 1,066,100 passenger trips each weekday during the fourth quarter of 2015.[7]


Line Stations Length[1] Technology
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University 32 30.2 kilometres (18.8 mi) Heavy rail
TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg Bloor–Danforth 31 26.2 kilometres (16.3 mi) Heavy rail
TTC - Line 3 - Scarborough RT line.svg Scarborough 6 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) Light metro
TTC - Line 4 - Sheppard line.svg Sheppard 5 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) Heavy rail
Under construction:
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University 6 8.6 kilometres (5.3 mi) Heavy rail
TTC - Line 5.svg Eglinton 25 19 kilometres (12 mi) Light rail

There are 4 rapid transit lines in Toronto plus another under construction.

Line 1 Yonge–University, is the longest and busiest rapid transit line in the system. It opened as the Yonge subway in 1954 with a length of 7.4 kilometres (4.6 mi),[8] and since then grew to a length of 30.2 kilometres (18.8 mi). Today, the line is U-shaped having two northern terminals looping on its southern end via Union Station. An 8.6-kilometre (5.3 mi), six-station extension of Line 1 north to Vaughan is under construction and scheduled to open for December 2017.[5]

Line 2 Bloor–Danforth, opened in 1966, runs parallel to Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue between Kipling Station in Etobicoke and Kennedy Station in Scarborough. There is a plan to extend Line 2 eastwards from Kennedy Station to Scarborough Town Centre.[9]

Line 3 Scarborough (also known as the Scarborough RT where "RT" means rapid transit) is an above-ground medium-capacity (light metro) rail line serving the city's eponymous suburban district. It opened in 1985. The line runs from Kennedy Station to McCowan Station passing Scarborough Town Centre. This is the only rapid transit line in Toronto to use Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS) technology. There is a plan to close and dismantle Line 3 after Line 2 is extended to Scarborough Town Centre.[9]

Line 4 Sheppard opened in 2002 running under Sheppard Avenue East eastwards from Sheppard–Yonge Station on Line 1 to Fairview Mall at Don Mills Station; it is the shortest rapid transit line in Toronto.[10]

Line 5 Eglinton (also known as the Eglinton Crosstown) is a 19-kilometre (12 mi) light rail line under construction scheduled to open in 2021. The line will have 25 stations of which 15 will be underground, while the remaining ten will be at-grade stops accessed at the road's median.[11]

System map[edit]

Subway system map
A map of the Toronto Subway/RT network.
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University
Between Finch and Downsview via Union
TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg Bloor–Danforth
Between Kipling and Kennedy
TTC - Line 3 - Scarborough RT line.svg Scarborough
Between Kennedy and McCowan
TTC - Line 4 - Sheppard line.svg Sheppard
Between Sheppard–Yonge and Don Mills


Timeline of openings[edit]

Here is a list of line, extension and station openings on the Toronto subway system.

Date Opening
March 30, 1954 The Yonge subway opened from Eglinton Station to Union Station. It runs under or near Yonge Street, and is part of today's Line 1 Yonge–University.[12]
February 28, 1963 The "University subway" opened from Union Station to St. George Station. This was an extension of the Yonge subway, and runs under University Avenue.[12]
February 25, 1966 The Bloor–Danforth subway (today Line 2 Bloor–Danforth) opened from Keele Station to Woodbine Station. It runs under or near Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue.[12]
May 10, 1968 Bloor–Danforth subway extensions opened west to Islington Station and east to Warden Station.[12]
March 30, 1973 A Yonge subway extension opened from Eglinton Station to York Mills Station.[12]
March 29, 1974 A further Yonge subway extension opened from York Mills Station to Finch Station.[12]
January 27, 1978 The "Spadina subway" opened from St. George Station to Wilson Station.[12] This extension is the Spadina portion of the Yonge–University subway.
November 21, 1980 Bloor–Danforth subway extensions opened west to Kipling Station and east to Kennedy Station.[12]
March 22, 1985 Scarborough RT line (today Line 3 Scarborough) opened from Kennedy Station to McCowan station.[12]
June 18, 1987 North York Centre Station on the Yonge–University subway opened. It was constructed between two existing stations, Sheppard Station (today's Sheppard–Yonge Station) and Finch station.[12]
March 31, 1996 A "Spadina subway" extension (the Spadina segment of today's Line 1) opened from Wilson Station to Downsview Station (to be renamed as Sheppard West Station in late 2017).[12]
November 22, 2002 The Sheppard subway (today Line 4 Sheppard) opened from Sheppard Station (since renamed as Sheppard–Yonge Station) to Don Mills Station. It runs under Sheppard Avenue.[12]

Line 1 Yonge–University[edit]

Canada's first subway, the Yonge subway, opened in 1954 with a length of 7.4 kilometres (4.6 mi). The line ran under or parallel to Yonge Street between Eglinton Avenue and Union Station. It replaced the Yonge streetcar line, Canada's first streetcar line. In 1963, the line was extended under University Avenue north to Bloor Street to connect with the Bloor-Danforth subway (opened in 1966) at the double-deck St. George Station. In 1974, the line was extended from Eglinton Station north to Finch Station. The Spadina segment of the line was constructed north from St. George Station initially to Wilson Station in 1978, and eventually to Downsview Station in 1996. Part of the Spadina segment runs in the median of an expressway, and crosses over Highway 401 on a bridge. Four decades of extensions gave the line a U-shaped route running from its two northern terminals (Finch and Downsview stations) and looping on its southern end at Union Station. As of 1996, the line was 30.2 kilometres (18.8 mi) long, over four times its original length.

Line 2 Bloor–Danforth[edit]

Opened in 1966, the Bloor–Danforth subway runs east-west under or near Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue. It replaced the Bloor streetcar line (which also served Danforth Avenue). Initially, the subway line ran between Keele Station to Woodbine Station. In 1968, the line was extended west to Islington Station and east to Warden Station, and in 1980, it was further extended west to Kipling Station and east to Kennedy Station.

Line 3 Scarborough[edit]

Opened in 1985, the Scarborough RT (today's Line 3) is a light metro line running from Kennedy Station to McCowan station. The TTC started to construct the line to use Canadian Light Rail Vehicles. However, the provincial government forced the conversion to Intermediate Capacity Transit System technology because the province was funding the project and it owned a company that made the light metro vehicles. This line was never extended, and the current plan is to close and dismantle the line, replacing it with an extension of Line 2 to Scarborough Town Centre.

Line 4 Sheppard[edit]

Opened in 2002, the Sheppard subway runs under Sheppard Avenue from Sheppard–Yonge Station to Don Mills Station. The line was under construction when a change in provincial government threatened to terminate the project. However, Mel Lastman, the last mayor of the former City of North York (today part of Toronto), used his influence to save the project. Despite the construction of many high-rise residential buildings along the line since its opening, ridership remains low resulting in a subsidy of $10 per ride. The line was intended to be extended to Scarborough Town Centre, but because of the low ridership and the cost of tunneling, there is a plan to extend rapid transit eastwards from Don Mills Sation via a surface light rail line (Sheppard East LRT).

Line 5 Eglinton[edit]

See also: Transit City

Metrolinx, a provincial crown agency, is building the 19 km (12 mi) Eglinton Crosstown, a light rail line along Eglinton Avenue. From Mount Dennis in the west to Brentcliffe Road (east of Yonge Street), the line will run almost entirely underground where Eglinton Avenue is generally 4-5 lanes wide. However, from east of Brentcliffe Road to Kennedy Station, the line will operate on the surface in a reserved median in the middle of Eglinton Avenue, where the street is at least 6 lanes wide. Building on the surface instead of tunneling reduces the cost of construction on the eastern end of the line. The average speed of the line is expected to be 28 kilometres per hour (17 mph); as a comparison, the average speed of the heavy-rail Line 2 Bloor–Danforth is 32 kilometres per hour (20 mph). The Crosstown originated from Transit City, a plan sponsored by former Toronto mayor David Miller, to expedite transit improvement by building several light rail lines through the lower density parts of the city. Of the light rail lines proposed, only the Crosstown is under construction as of early 2017.

Major incidents[edit]

On March 27, 1963, there was an electrical short in a subway car's motor. The driver decided to continue operating the train, despite visible smoke in the affected car, until the train reached Union Station. This decision resulted in the destruction of six subway cars and extensive damage to the tunnel and signal lines west of Union Station. Following this incident, safety procedures involving electrical malfunctions and/or fire in subway trains, were revised to improve safety and reduce the likelihood of a similar incident occurring.

On October 15, 1976, arson caused the destruction of four subway cars and damage to Christie Station, resulting in the closure of the Bloor-Danforth line for three days, and the bypassing of Christie Station for some time afterwards for repairs.

On August 11, 1995, the TTC suffered the deadliest subway accident in Canadian history, known as the Russell Hill accident, on the Yonge-University line south of St. Clair West Station. Three women died and 100 other people were injured, a few of them seriously. This led to a major reorganization at the TTC, since contributing to maintaining a "state of good repair" (i.e., an increased emphasis on safety and maintenance of existing TTC capital/services) and less so on expansion.

Operations and procedures[edit]

Short turns[edit]

The heavy-rail subway lines were built in multiple segments with multiple crossovers. These are built to short turn trains in order to accommodate emergency and planned service suspensions. Planned service suspensions generally occur on weekends for planned maintenance activities that are impractical to perform overnight.[13] There is only one regular short turn service which occurs during the morning rush hour on Line 1 Yonge–University when some northbound trains short-turn at St. Clair West Station or, in rarer cases, Glencairn Station.

On Line 3 Scarborough, light metro trains cannot switch directions except at the ends of the line as there are no intermediate crossovers between the two termini. Thus, there can be no short turns on Line 3.

Door operation[edit]

A T1 subway car stationary at Warden

This section pertains to heavy-rail subway trains. Lines 1 and 2 use a two-person crew, one to drive the train and another at the rear of the train to operate the doors. On October 9, 2016, Line 4 Sheppard was converted so that one person both drives the train and operates the doors.[14]

With a two-person crew, an on-board train guard is responsible for opening and closing the subway car doors, and making sure no one is trapped in a door as the train leaves a station. From the subway's inception in 1954 to 1991, the train guard notified patrons that the subway car doors were closing with two short blasts from a whistle.

In 1991, as a result of lawsuits,[citation needed] electronic chimes, using a descending three-note arpeggio (either G-E-C [C major, root position], or between one or two semitones lower (F♯-D♯-B [B major, root position] or F-D-B♭ [B♭ major, root position])) and a flashing pair of orange lights above the doorway, added for the hearing impaired, were tested and gradually introduced system-wide during the 1990s. The Toronto Rocket trains use the same door chimes and flashing orange lights as the older trains do, and also plays the additional voice announcement at the end of the closing door chimes, "Please stand clear of the doors".

Platform markers[edit]

The following lists the platform markers used on heavy-rail subway Lines 1, 2 and 4.[15] However, since October 9, 2016, Line 4 trains have been operated by one person who both drives the train and operates the doors. Thus, the markers mentioned for the guard on Line 4 are now obsolete.[14]

  • Circular Red Disk (all lines)—This marker is typically mounted on the station platform wall to assist the operator to position the train in the station. When the train is stopped with the marker located between the front of the train and the first set of doors, the train is properly spotted (that is, aligned) in the station.
  • Circular Green Disk (Line 2 Bloor–Danforth)—This marker is typically mounted on the station platform wall and applies to H-type and T-1 trains. When the guard's window is aligned with this marker, under normal operating conditions, the guard knows that the train is properly spotted on the platform and it is safe to open the doors.
  • Circular Orange Disk (Line 2 Bloor–Danforth)—This marker is typically mounted on the station platform wall to assist the guard on H-type and T-1 trains to observe the platform (for passenger safety) for the required distance, under normal operating conditions, as the train is moving to exit the station.
  • Green Triangle (Line 1 Yonge–University and Line 4 Sheppard)—This marker is typically mounted on the station platform wall to assist the guard, who is positioned in the trailing car. When the guard's window is aligned with this marker, the train is properly spotted on the platform, and it is safe to open the doors.
  • Orange Triangle (Line 1 Yonge–University and Line 4 Sheppard)—This marker is typically mounted on the station platform wall to assist the guard positioned in the trailing car to observe the platform for the required distance as the train is moving to exit the station.

Service frequency[edit]

During rush hour, up to 50 trains are on the Yonge–University line simultaneously, 40 trains on the Bloor-Danforth line, 6 trains on the Scarborough RT line, and 4 trains on the Sheppard line. During non-rush hour periods, there are approximately 27 trains on the Yonge-University line at any one time.

On weekdays and Saturday, subway service runs from approximately 6:00 am to 1:30 am; Sunday service begins at 8:00 am. Start times on holidays may vary.

Line Off-peak frequency[4] Rush hour frequency[4]
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University 4–5 minutes 2–3 minutes
TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg Bloor–Danforth 4–5 minutes 2–3 minutes
TTC - Line 3 - Scarborough RT line.svg Scarborough 5–6 minutes 4–5 minutes
TTC - Line 4 - Sheppard line.svg Sheppard 5–6 minutes 5–6 minutes

Station announcements[edit]

On January 8, 1995, train operators began to announce each stop over the train's speaker system as a result of pressure from advocacy groups for the visually impaired. However, announcements were sporadic until the TTC began to enforce the policy about 2005. Later, automated announcements were implemented under further pressure from the advocacy groups.[16][17] All Toronto subway trains use an automated system to announce each station. In addition, the TTC's new Toronto Rocket subway trains provide visible and audible automatic stop announcements.[17]

Stations and features[edit]

The Toronto subway has 69 stations divided into four lines. There is one abandoned station, Lower Bay, which was used for only six months in 1966. Most stations are named for the nearest major arterial road crossed by the line in question. A few are named for major landmarks, such as shopping centres or transportation hubs, served by the station. The University Avenue section of the Yonge–University line, in particular, is named entirely for landmarks (public institutions and major churches).

All trains, except for short turns, stop at every station along their route and run the entire length of their line from terminus to terminus.

By December 23, 2016, Presto card readers had been installed at at least one priority subway station entrance across the TTC network.[18]


A growing number of Toronto's subway stations are accessible to wheelchair users in general and riders with accessibility issues. Upgrade plans to stations call for all stations to have barrier free, and elevator access by 2020.


The May 2010 TTC cleanliness audit of subway stations found that none of them meet the transit agency's highest standard for cleanliness and general state of repair. Only 21 stations scored in the 70–80% range in the TTC's cleanliness scale, a range described as "Ordinary Tidiness", while 45 fell in the 60–70% range achieving what the commission describes as "Casual Inattentiveness". The May audit was the third in a series of comprehensive assessments that began in 2009. The commission announced a "Cleaning Blitz" that would add 30 new temporary cleaners for the latter part of 2010 to address major issues and has other action plans that include more full-time cleaners, and new and more effective ways at addressing station cleanliness.[19][20]

Public art[edit]

According to a 1991 CBC report, "aesthetics weren't really a priority" on Toronto's subway system describing stations as "a series of bathrooms without plumbing."[21] Since that time, Toronto's subway system has improved, with over two dozen pieces installed in various subway stations. More art appears as new stations are built and older ones are renovated. The main article (above) has a list of artwork by line and station.

For example, USA Today said of the Sheppard subway line: "Despite the remarkable engineering feats of this metro, known as Sheppard Subway, [it is] the art covering walls, ceilings, and platforms of all five stations that stands out. Each station is 'a total art experience where artists have created imaginative environments, uniquely expressing themes of community, location, and heritage' through panoramic landscapes and ceramic wall murals."[22]

Internet and mobile phone access[edit]

On December 13, 2013, Wi-Fi Internet access was launched at Bloor–Yonge and St. George stations. The ad-supported service (branded as "TConnect") is provided by BAI Canada, who have agreed to pay $25 million to the TTC over a 20-year period for the exclusive rights to provide the service. TTC/BAI Canada plan to offer TConnect at all underground stations.[23] Commuters have to view a video advertisement to gain access to the Internet.[24] It is expected that all of the 69 subway stations will have service by 2017.[25] From early December 2015 to late January 2016, users of TConnect were required to authenticate themselves using a Twitter account, whose Canadian operations sponsored the TCONNECT Wi-Fi network.[26] Users of the network can sign in to allow automatic Wi-Fi connection for 30 days.

BAI Canada also installed infrastructure for mobile phone service in some TConnect-equipped TTC stations with the goal of mobile coverage in all underground subway stations by 2019. As of January 2017, mobile phone service is available in 25 stations and Freedom Mobile is the only provider to use the infrastructure.[27][28]

Rolling stock[edit]

The following table shows the vehicle type by line:[29]

Line Vehicle Number of
per train
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University Toronto Rocket (TR) 6-car trainsets 456[29][note 1] 6[30] 1080[30]
TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg Bloor–Danforth T-series (T1) 370[29] 6[30] 1000[30]
TTC - Line 3 - Scarborough RT line.svg Scarborough S-series 28[29] 4[30] 220[30]
TTC - Line 4 - Sheppard line.svg Sheppard Toronto Rocket (TR) 4-car trainsets 24[29][note 2] 4[31] 720[note 3]
Future line (under construction):
TTC - Line 5.svg Eglinton Flexity Freedom 76[32][note 4] 1-3[33] 163-489[33]
  1. ^ 456 vehicles ordered for 6-car TR trainsets, 444 delivered as of January 2017.
  2. ^ 24 vehicles ordered for 4-car TR trainsets, 16 delivered as of January 2017.
  3. ^ 4-car TR train capacity prorated from the capacity of the 6-car TR train.
  4. ^ Planned fleet size for Line 5.

Heavy rail[edit]

The Toronto Rocket, TTC's newest subway train

Lines 1, 2 and 4 use two types of vehicles: the new Toronto Rocket (TR) trains on Line 1 Yonge–University and Line 4 Sheppard, and the T1 trains on Line 2 Bloor–Danforth.[34] Because of shorter station platforms, Line 4 uses 4-car TR trains.[31]

The TTC's original G-series cars were manufactured by the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company. All subsequent heavy-rail subway cars were manufactured by Bombardier Transportation or one of its predecessors (Montreal Locomotive Works, Hawker Siddeley, and UTDC). All cars starting with the Hawker Siddeley H-series in 1965 have been built in Bombardier's Thunder Bay, Ontario plant. The final H4 subway cars were retired on January 27, 2012.[35] The last H5 subway service run took place on June 14, 2013 and the H6's were retired the following year, with the final run on June 20, 2014.

Light metro[edit]

Line 3 Scarborough uses 28 S-series trains built by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC) in Millhaven, Ontario. These Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS) trains are Mark I models, similar in design to the original trains found on the Vancouver SkyTrain. These are the original vehicles of the Scarborough RT and have been in service since the line's opening in 1985. Because of the trains' age, they have been refurbished for operation until the extension of Line 2 Bloor-Danforth is built.

Light rail[edit]

When it opens, Line 5 Eglinton will use the Flexity Freedom low-floor, light-rail vehicle, a Bombardier product.[33]


Technology Lines
floor type
Heavy rail TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg TTC - Line 4 - Sheppard line.svg High floor 4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) 600 V DC Third rail Bogie-mounted shoe
Light metro TTC - Line 3 - Scarborough RT line.svg High floor 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) 600 V DC Third rail Bogie-mounted shoe
Light rail TTC - Line 5.svg Low floor 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) 750 V DC Overhead wire Roof-mounted pantograph

The characteristics of the heavy rail and light metro lines are similar: Such lines are fully isolated from road traffic and pedestrians; the stations are fully covered, and the trains are boarded through many doors from high platforms within a fare-paid zone set off by a barrier.

In contrast, the surface portions of light rail lines fit into the street environment. Light-rail tracks are laid on the surface within reserved lanes in the middle of the street, and cross street intersections at grade. Surface stations are simple, low-level platforms. However, like heavy rail and light metro, passengers can board light rail trains by multiple doors.[36]


Heavy rail[edit]

A rare platform accessible signal tree as seen at Islington Station

Fixed block signalling has been used throughout the subway system since the opening of Toronto's first subway in 1954.[37][38] Along with automatic signalling, used to prevent rear-end train collision, interlocking signals are used to prevent collisions from conflicting movements on track crossovers.

In 2009, the TTC awarded a contract to upgrade the signalling system of Line 1 Yonge–University to automatic train control. The project will cost $562-million, $424 million of which is funded by Metrolinx. With ATC, the TTC will be able to reduce the headway between trains from 2.5 minutes to 2 minutes during rush hours, and allow a 25 per cent increase in the number of trains operating on Line 1.[37] ATC will be introduced to Line 1 in phases. ATC will be activated on a part of Line 1 in the fall of 2017 with complete conversion in 2019. Work would then begin to convert Line 2 to ATC.[13]

Light metro[edit]

Line 3 Scarborough uses automatic train control (ATC), meaning it could be operated autonomously. However, for safety, each train has an operator on board who monitors the doors.[9]

Light rail[edit]

When completed, Line 5 Eglinton will use automatic train control on the underground section of the line between Laird station and Mount Dennis station. ATC will also be used for the Eglinton Maintenance and Storage Facility (under construction) adjacent to Mount Dennis station.[39]


Heavy rail[edit]

The subway system (lines 1, 2 and 4) is built to the unique gauge of 4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) which is the same gauge used on the Toronto streetcar system. This gauge is 2 38 in (60 mm) wider than the usual 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge. Some early subway proposals involved using streetcars at least partially in tunnels, so using same gauge would be advantageous, but the idea was ultimately dropped in favour of dedicated rapid-transit trains. A number of ex-streetcar vehicles were used as work trains for the subway, taking advantage of the common gauge.[40] Indeed, before the opening of the Yonge subway in 1954, there was a temporary interchange track between the Yonge streetcar line and the Davisville Yard on the north side of the Belt Line bridge.[41] However, according to rail historians John F. Bromley and Jack May, the reason that the Yonge subway was built to the streetcar gauge, was that between 1954 and 1965, subway bogies were maintained at the Hillcrest Complex where the streetcar gauge is used for shop tracks. The Davisville Carhouse was not equipped to perform such heavy maintenance, and the bogies would be loaded onto a specially built track trailer for shipment between Davisville and Hillcrest.[42]

Light metro[edit]

The Scarborough RT (Line 3 Scarborough) uses standard-gauge tracks, as the ICTS design for the line did not allow for interchanging equipment between the subway system and the SRT.[40] Thus, there can be no interchange of rail equipment between lines 2 and 3. When its ICTS vehicles need anything more than basic service (which can be carried out in the RT's own McCowan Yard), they are carried by truck to the Greenwood Subway Yard.[43]

Light rail[edit]

Line 5 Eglinton (Eglinton Crosstown line), Finch West and Sheppard East LRT lines will be constructed to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge. The projects are receiving a large part of their funding from the Ontario provincial transit authority Metrolinx and, to ensure a better price for purchasing vehicles, it wants to have a degree of commonality with other similar projects within Ontario.[44]


The subway and RT have four active yards that provide storage, maintenance and cleaning for the rolling stock.

Facilities Year opened Services
Davisville Subway Yard 1954 services the Yonge–University and Sheppard lines
Greenwood Subway Yard 1966 services the Bloor–Danforth line
Wilson Subway Yard 1977 services the Yonge-University line
McCowan RT Yard 1985 services the Scarborough RT line
Vincent Subway Yard 1966 inactive (closed in 1978)


Mind the gap sign in the Toronto subway

There are several safety systems for use by passengers in emergencies:

  • Emergency Alarms (formerly Passenger Assistance Alarms): Located throughout all subway and RT trains — When the yellow strip is pressed, an audible alarm is activated within the car, a notification is sent to the train crew and the Transit Control Centre, which in turn dispatches a tiered response. An orange light is activated on the outside of the car with the alarm for emergency personnel to see where the problem is.[45]
  • Emergency power cut devices: Marked by a blue light, located at both ends of each subway and RT platform — For use to cut DC traction power in the event a person falls or is observed at track level or any emergency where train movement into the station would be dangerous. These devices cut power in both directions for approximately one station each way.[46]
  • Emergency stopping mechanisms (PGEV — Passenger/Guard Emergency Valve): Located at each end of each subway/RT car (with exception of the Toronto Rocket trains) — Will activate the emergency brakes of the vehicle stopping it in its current location (for use in extreme emergencies I.e. persons trapped in doors as train departs station, doors opening in the tunnel, derailments etc.)[46]
  • Passenger intercoms: Located on subway platforms and near/in elevators in stations - For use to inform station collector of security/life safety issues[45]
  • Automated external defibrillators (AEDs): Located in several subway stations near the collector booth(s) - for use in the event someone suffers cardiac arrest
  • Public telephones: Located in various locations in all stations, and at the Designated Waiting Area's on each subway platform. Emergency calls can be made to 911 toll free.[45] Phones located at the DWA's also include a "Crisis Link" button that connect callers - free of charge - to a 24-hour crisis line in the event that they are contemplating self-harm.

A trial program began in 2008 with Toronto EMS and has been expanded and made permanent, with EMS personnel on hand at several stations during peak hours: Spadina and Yonge & Bloor—morning peak (7am - 10am) and Union and Eglinton—evening peak (2pm - 6pm)[47]


Subway operators begin their training at Hillcrest with a virtual reality mockup of a Toronto Rocket car. The simulator consists of the operator cab with full functions, a door and partial interior of a subway car. The simulator is housed in a simulated subway tunnel. Construction of a new subway training centre is underway at the Wilson Complex, as part of the Toronto Rocket subway car programme.[48]

Future expansion[edit]

A representation of the Toronto rapid transit network, including some of the approved and proposed projects, as it will likely appear in 2023.

Under construction[edit]

The Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) will extend the west branch of Line 1 Yonge–University north to Vaughan, Ontario in the Regional Municipality of York. It was announced by the Government of Ontario in its 2006 budget, and is funded jointly by the federal government, Metrolinx, the City of Toronto, and the Regional Municipality of York.[5][49] Construction work began in 2010 and was scheduled to open in 2015,[49] but the opening was revised to fall 2016[5] and then to December 2017.[50] The extension is approximately 8.6 kilometres (5.3 mi) long and has a revised cost of almost C$3.2 billion.[51] The six stations under construction are Downsview Park, Finch West, York University, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

Line 5 Eglinton is a light rail line under construction along Eglinton Avenue that will operate underground and at-grade between Kennedy and the future Mount Dennis station. It is planned to have 25 stations; 15 of these will be underground while the remaining ten will be at-grade stops accessed at the road's median. Its planned opening is in 2021.


The Finch West LRT is a planned light rail line that will run west from the future Finch West subway station to Humber College in north Etobicoke. It will have 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) of track, 18 surface stations and one underground connection to Line 1 Yonge–University at Finch West station. Work to relocate utilities started in 2016; the expected completion is in 2021.[52]

The Sheppard East LRT is a planned light rail line that will run east from Don Mills subway station to Morningside Avenue in Scarborough. The line would be 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) long with 25 surface stations and one underground connection at Don Mills Station on Line 4 Sheppard. Construction of the Sheppard East LRT was to start upon completion of the Finch West LRT. [52] However, in July 2016, the Toronto Star reported the Sheppard LRT had been deferred indefinitely.[32]

The Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE) is a proposal to replace Line 3 Scarborough with an eastward extension of Line 2 Bloor–Danforth. On October 8, 2013, Toronto City Council conducted a debate on whether to replace Line 3 Scarborough with a light rail line or a subway extension. In 2014, the city council voted to extend Line 2 Bloor–Danforth to Scarborough City Centre, which will eventually lead to the closure of Line 3.[53][54] The SSE will be 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) long and add one new station to Line 2 at Scarborough Town Centre. TTC and city staff will finalize the precise route of the SSE in early 2017.[55]

The Relief Line is a proposed heavy-rail subway line running from Pape Station south to Queen Street East and then west to the vicinity of Toronto City Hall. The proposal includes intermediate stations at Sherbourne Street, Sumach Street, Broadview Avenue, and another near Gerrard Square. As of January 2016, alignment options and possible stations were still being studied, and the project is unfunded. Construction would take about 10 years to complete.[56] As early as 2008, Metrolinx chair Rob MacIsaac expressed the intent of constructing the Relief Line to prevent overcrowding along Line 1.[57] Toronto City Council also expressed support for this plan.[58]

The Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE) is a proposal to extend Line 1 Yonge–University north along Yonge Street from Finch Station, the existing terminus of Line 1, to Richmond Hill. There would be new stations at Drewry/Cummer, Steeles Avenue, Clark Avenue, Royal Orchard Boulevard, Langstaff Road and the existing Richmond Hill Centre Terminal (Highway 7). The province's MoveOntario 2020 plan proposed this extension. The main problem with this proposal is that Line 1 is at capacity, and the TTC says that the Relief Line and SmartTrack must both be in service before opening the YNSE.[59]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d "2013 TTC Operating Statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2015-01-14. 
  2. ^ "Public Transportation Ridership Report - Third Quarter, 2014" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. November 30, 2015. p. 36. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  3. ^ "Public Transportation Ridership Report - Fourth Quarter & End-of-Year 2014, 2014" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 3, 2015. p. 34. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  4. ^ a b c "Service Summary January 6 to March 30, 2013" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. December 13, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  5. ^ a b c d "2011 Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension Overview". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  6. ^ "Scarborough Subway Extension - Initial Business Case" (PDF). City of Toronto. June 2016. p. 1. Retrieved 2017-02-30.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Traffic authorities from all over world see subway opened", Toronto Daily Star, March 30, 1954, p. 3.
  9. ^ a b c James Bow (December 28, 2016). "The Scarborough Rapid Transit Line". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  10. ^ Aaron Adel & James Bow (October 23, 2016). "The Sheppard Subway". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  11. ^ Tess Kalinowski (September 24, 2015). "Eglinton Crosstown to open a year later than expected". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "2013 TTC Operating Statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  13. ^ a b Andy Byford (January 20, 2017). "Necessity of TTC subway closures explained". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 2017-01-23. The new signal system will be introduced in phases from this fall and will be completed by the end of 2019 at which point we will undertake similar work on Line 2. 
  14. ^ a b "TTC switching to single-operator model for Line 4 subway as of Oct. 9". CP24, Chris Fox, September 27, 2016
  15. ^ "Rocket Talk: What Are Those Subway Symbols For? | news". Torontoist. August 26, 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  16. ^ "Ontario Transit Services Expected To Announce All Transit Stops". Ontario Human Rights Commission. October 15, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  17. ^ a b Ku, Christina (June 3, 2007). "Our lady of the stations: Meet the calm-voiced woman behind the TTC's automated subway announcements". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-07-18. 
  18. ^ Wilson, Codi (December 22, 2016). "TTC has now rolled out PRESTO at every subway station". CP24 News. Bell Media. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  19. ^ "No TTC stations meet cleanliness standard". CBC. July 12, 2010. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  20. ^ "Subway Station Appearance Improvement Update" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. July 14, 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  21. ^ "Montreal metro's masterpieces". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. February 17, 1991. Retrieved 2017-02-06. In the early days of Toronto's subway, aesthetics weren't really a priority; in fact, the stations were often described as "a series of bathrooms without plumbing." Art was later added to various stations through the years, and when the TTC designed its new Sheppard Line (which opened in 2002) art became a very important part of the initial planning.  Article updated since February 17, 1991
  22. ^ Sell, Shawn (September 2, 2004). "10 great places to stop for subway art". USA Today. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Wi-fi Now Available At". TCONNECT. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-07. Each of the 65 underground stations will have wireless and Wi-Fi service by 2017. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ Dunn, Trevor (January 6, 2017). "Talk and text underground: limited cellphone coverage now available on TTC subway". CBC News. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  28. ^ "TTC Subway Cell Phone Service in Toronto". Freedom Mobile. Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  29. ^ a b c d e "Service Summary" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. January 8, 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-21. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f "2013 TTC Operating Statistics". Toronto Transit Commission. December 31, 2013. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  31. ^ a b "Sheppard subway line gets new Toronto Rocket trains". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. May 30, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  32. ^ a b Ben Spurr (July 20, 2016). "Metrolinx threatens legal action over late delivery of light rail vehicles". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  33. ^ a b c "Crosstown Infographic". Metrolinx. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  34. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (March 4, 2011). "So what happened to those TTC improvements?". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  35. ^ Tapper, Josh (January 27, 2012). "Long-running subway car takes final journey". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  36. ^ "Stations and Stops". Metrolinx. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  37. ^ a b Kalinowski, Tess (November 20, 2014). "TTC signal solution promises subway relief someday — but for now, it's more delays". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  38. ^ Royson, James (February 8, 2014). "Driverless Toronto needs driverless trains: James". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-11-29. 
  39. ^ Munro, Steve (June 17, 2013). "Metrolinx Announces Design Changes and Public Meetings on Eglinton LRT (Update 8)". Steve Munro. Archived from the original on March 4, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2013. Metrolinx intends to use automatic train control on the underground section of Eglinton, and the yard access will be part of the ATC territory. 
  40. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions About Toronto's Streetcars". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  41. ^ Baldwin Collection (1953). "Yonge St. looking n. from G.T.R. Belt Line bridge s. of Merton St.". Toronto Public Library. Retrieved 2016-09-21. 
  42. ^ John F. Bromley and Jack May (1973). 50 Years of Progressive Transit. Electric Railroaders' Association. pp. 85,107. ISBN 9781550024487. Retrieved 2016-08-31. Chapter 9 - Subway City; Chapter 11 - The Crosstown Subway 
  43. ^ Aaron Adel & James Bow (June 25, 2015). "The Greenwood Subway Yards". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  44. ^ "Transit City measures up to international standard". Toronto Star. January 6, 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-04. 
  45. ^ a b c "Security features". Toronto Transit Commission. 
  46. ^ a b "What to do in an emergency". Toronto Transit Commission. 
  47. ^ "TTC and Toronto EMS place more paramedics in Toronto's subway system". Toronto Transit Commission. March 20, 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  48. ^ "Procurement Authorization - Wilson Carhouse Expansion - Toronto Rocket - Contract C1-34" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. July 10, 2008. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  49. ^ a b Kalinoswski, Tess (June 16, 2007). "A $17,5B transit promise". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  50. ^ "Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension – Schedule and Budget Change" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 2015-03-26. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  51. ^ "Toronto-York Spadina subway extension $400M over budget". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. January 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  52. ^ a b Fox, C. (2015-04-27). "Construction on Finch West LRT to begin in 2016 but Sheppard East LRT on hold". CP24. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  53. ^ "Toronto Transit Commission Report No. ?? - Scarborough_Subway_Extension_Update" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. June 24, 2014. p. 1. Retrieved 2014-10-30. 
  54. ^ "A Scarborough Subway: Do the Numbers Add Up?". The Globe and Mail. July 4, 2014. p. 1. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  55. ^ Ben Spurr (January 11, 2017). "Scarborough subway report delayed . . . again". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  56. ^ Oliver Moore (January 29, 2016). "City proposes Queen Street route for Toronto's downtown relief line". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  57. ^ Hertz, Barry (September 4, 2008). "New subway line still a way's off, Metrolinx head says". National Post. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  58. ^ Vincent, Donovan (January 29, 2009). "City favours relief line over subway". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  59. ^ Ben Spurr, Transportation Reporter (June 2, 2016). "Yonge subway extension to York Region takes step forward". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 


External links[edit]