Line 1 Yonge–University
|Line 1 Yonge–University|
Eastbound Platform at Union station
(6 more under construction)
|Daily ridership||731,880 (avg. weekday)|
|Opened||March 30, 1954|
|Owner||Toronto Transit Commission|
|Operator(s)||Toronto Transit Commission|
|Depot(s)||Wilson Subway Yard,
Davisville Subway Yard
|Rolling stock||Toronto Rocket|
|Line length||30.2 km (18.8 mi)
8.6 km (5.3 mi) under construction
|Track gauge||4 ft 10 7⁄8 in (1,495 mm)|
|Electrification||Third rail, 600 V DC|
Line 1 Yonge–University is the oldest and busiest subway line in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is operated by the Toronto Transit Commission, has 32 stations and is 30.2 km (18.8 mi) in length. It opened as the Yonge subway in 1954 as Canada's first underground passenger rail line. Various extensions were completed between 1963 and 1996. Averaging nearly 732,000 riders per weekday, the Yonge–University line is the second busiest rapid transit line in North America, after the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway.[note 1]
The Yonge portion of the line runs under Yonge Street from its eastern terminus at Finch Avenue to Union Station, connecting with Line 4 Sheppard at Sheppard–Yonge and Line 2 Bloor–Danforth at Bloor–Yonge. It continues along University Avenue to St. George and Spadina, which both connect to Line 2. It runs for two stations along Spadina Avenue before continuing along the Cedarvale and Nordheimer ravines to Allen Road. Its northwestern terminus, Downsview, is located at the intersection between Sheppard Avenue and Allen Road.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension
- 4 Future expansion: Yonge North
- 5 Stations
- 6 Service
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The line's name has been changed as it was extended. Following its opening in 1954, it was called "the subway" (Yonge subway is its retronym). In 1963, it was extended along University Avenue to St. George station and renamed the "Yonge–University Line". Briefly in 1966, the Yonge–University subway ran in two branches: one west along Bloor to Keele (Yonge–University–Bloor), the other east along Bloor and Danforth to Woodbine (Yonge–University–Danforth) via Bay Lower station.
In 1978, the "Spadina" section was opened and the line became the "Yonge–University–Spadina Line" (YUS). Although only two stations are on Spadina Road, a larger portion of the line was planned to follow the Spadina Expressway. The built portion part of the expressway was renamed William R. Allen Road. The subway also had an additional internal route number; route 602.
Unofficially, subway lines were already numbered, but in October 2013, the TTC announced plans to publicly display line numbers to help riders to navigate the system. The Yonge–University line would be numbered as Line 1.
This process began in March 2014, when new numerical signs referring to subway routes as Line 1 for the Yonge–University line and Line 2 for the Bloor–Danforth line were phased in on signs and maps at Bloor–Yonge and St. George stations. The line numbers have been rolled out on rapid transit maps at all subway stations in the system. Similarly, the reconfigured announcements on the line's new Toronto Rocket subway trains between 2015-2016 also adopted the new numerical system for the interchange station announcements, such as "Change for Line 2" and "Change for Line 4" respectively replacing "This station connects with the Bloor–Danforth subway" and "This station connects with the Sheppard subway". Its official name is 1 Yonge–University Subway. In 2015, the Spadina part was dropped from the name to become just Yonge–University again.
On March 30, 1954, after five years of work, the first subway in Canada opened to the public. The scheme was first proposed by Toronto Transportation Commission in 1942 to relieve congestion which was delaying their bus and tram services. The original Yonge Street subway line went from Union subway station near the namesake railway station north to Eglinton Station. Premier Leslie Frost and Mayor Allan A. Lamport, among other important people, rode the first train that morning, going north from the yards at Davisville Station, and then from Eglinton south along the entire line. The line was then opened to the public, and that day at 2:30 pm, the last streetcar to travel Yonge Street made its final trip.
Nine years later, the University segment of the line opened, continuing the line from Union north to St. George Station.
On June 23, 1969, the University subway service from St. George to Union stations was discontinued entirely after 9:45 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays and all day on Sundays and Holidays. The 5B Avenue Road buses runs in place between Eglinton and Front Street whenever the University Subway did not operate, with side-jaunts to St. George station to capture passengers from the Bloor Subway. This arrangement remained in place until January 28, 1978 when the Spadina Subway opens north to Wilson Station.
On March 31, 1973, the line was extended north to York Mills Station, and the next year to Finch Station as part of the North Yonge Extension project, bringing the subway to North York. Stations were also planned for Glencairn (between Eglinton and Lawrence, though another Glencairn Station would be built later on the Spadina section), Glen Echo (between Lawrence and York Mills) and Empress (between Sheppard and Finch, later opened as North York Centre Station). In 1978, the Spadina segment of the line was opened, going from the north terminus of the University line to Wilson Station.
In 1987, the North York Centre station was added between Sheppard and Finch Stations.
On August 11, 1995 at 6:02 pm, the Russell Hill subway accident occurred as a southbound subway train heading toward Dupont Station crashed under Russell Hill Drive, killing three passengers. This accident prompted the Toronto Transit Commission to review its practices and put resources into safety.
In 1996, the Spadina expansion was opened, adding one new station, Downsview.
Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension
The Toronto–York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) is an extension of the western portion of Line 1 from Downsview Station northwest via York University to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre at Jane Street and Highway 7 in the city of Vaughan. Six new stations are planned along the 8.6 km (5.3 mi) route, with 6.2 km (3.9 mi) in the City of Toronto and 2.4 km (1.5 mi) in York Region. Service on the extension is estimated to begin in December 2017.
Approximately 2,900 new parking spaces will be built at three stations along the extension, in order to encourage commuters to use the subway system. Pioneer Village Station will have the most at 1,900 spaces, while Highway 407 Station will have 600 spaces, and Finch West Station will have 400 parking spaces. The subway right of way extends to Portage Parkway for potential future expansion.
A Spadina extension into Vaughan had been suggested as early as 1988, when Lorna Jackson campaigned during the Vaughan municipal elections to extend the subway system to the proposed Highway 407 corridor.
Greg Sorbara, former deputy premier of Ontario and finance minister, was a key promoter of the TYSSE to the York University and into York Region, which was his riding. In his memoirs, he said that "it would not only be great for the people in the region, but also for my political prospects." Former Toronto mayor David Miller was initially not enthusiastic about the extension, about whom Sorbara said: "He should have been thrilled at the prospect of the province providing $670 million for more subway infrastructure, regardless of where it went."
In 2003, a temporary busway was planned between Downsview Station and the campus, but was opposed by the university, which felt it would lessen government willingness to extend the subway. After numerous delays, construction on the York University Busway started on July 25, 2008, with a short section of the busway opened on September 6, 2009 and the remainder opened on November 20, 2009.
The estimated cost of was $2.09 billion in 2006 dollars, which will have escalated to $2.63 billion considering costs at the year of occurrence. The Province of Ontario has deposited $870 million into the Move Ontario Trust. The federal government has committed $697 million, but only released $75 million at the start of its fall 2006 election campaign. The City of Toronto and the Regional Municipality of York have committed to fund one-third of total project costs, with Toronto will contributing $526 million and York Region contributing $352 million.
The TTC purchased two tunnel boring machines in late 2010 from LOVAT Inc. (since then a part of Caterpillar Inc.) for $58.4 million to dig tunnels on this extension, and two more boring machines were delivered in early 2011. Tunnel boring for the extension began on June 17, 2011 and was completed on November 8, 2013.
By 2015, the project had encountered several problems such as frequently changing station design plans, project management problems resulting in the dismissal of two TTC managers, poor performance by some contractors, death of a worker at the York University station site and harsh winter weather.
After the extension was found to be over-budget in March 2015, the Toronto City Council approved an additional $150 million in funding, with $90 million from Toronto and $60 million from York Region. The TTC subsequently signed a contract with Bechtel, worth up to $80 million, to assume management of the extension. This bypassed the tendering process usually used to hire contractors.
During construction, costs grew from the original $2.6 billion to about $3.2 billion by January 2016.
The extension north of Steeles Avenue has been criticized in the press for several reasons. The TTC had intended to extend the subway as far as York University, with a vast bus terminal complex at the future Pioneer Village Station. However, provincial funding hinged on the line crossing the municipal border. The area around the future Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station is occupied by big-box stores and highways, and lacks the dense development that surrounds most other subway stations. In addition, the 407 Transitway station is being built within vacant land, across the street from Beechwood Cemetery.
Vaughan plans to use the subway extension to spur the development of a transit-oriented city centre at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station.  Vaughan Councillor Alan Shefman stated the new city centre will eventually create the density to justify a subway. However, the Sheppard subway shows that while a subway may spur development, that development may not translate into a high subway ridership, although the short length of the Sheppard subway line is believed to be a major factor in the low ridership that it sees. As Royson James pointed out in the Toronto Star, commuter destinations may be scattered throughout the Greater Toronto Area where public transit is inconvenient to use.
Although a station is planned for the 407 Transitway, most GO Transit buses will terminate at Black Creek Pioneer Village Station, so that commuters do not have to pay an additional TTC fare to reach York University. The TTC[when?] announced that it will incorporate a system in which GO Transit users do not have to pay an extra fare to use the subway to arrive at York University Station from the 407 Transitway.
In 2008, the TTC, York Region and the City of Toronto signed a memo of understanding to allocate TYSSE costs and revenues for the portion of the line in Vaughan. According to this MOU:
- The TTC will be responsible for the full operating costs of the Spadina Subway extension from Downsview to the Vaughan Corporate Centre and receive all revenue from the Project (passenger revenue, commuter parking, advertising, retail leasing), with the exception of the operating costs and revenues for bus terminals and passenger pickup and drop off facilities located within York Region, which shall be maintained and operated by York Region.
According to a TTC forecast reported by transit advocate Steve Munro in early 2015, the TTC's annual operating costs for the entire TYSSE will be $33.7 million or $14.2 million net of revenue. This would produce a 58% cost recovery compared to 70% for the TTC system as a whole. These costs, including those for the portion in Vaughan, will be covered by the TTC and the City of Toronto.
Future expansion: Yonge North
|Yonge Subway Extension|
The Yonge North Subway Extension is a proposal to extend the Yonge Street portion of Line 1 north of Finch Station to Richmond Hill in York Region. Six new stops would be added at Cummer/Drewry, Steeles, Clark, Royal Orchard, Langstaff/Longbridge and the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal of Viva bus rapid transit. This $4-billion proposal would take 10 years to build and would replace many of the 2,500 buses per day that run along the route. Ridership on the proposed extension is estimated at 165,000 per day. The extension would be 7.4 km long. York Region estimates that the extension will help to create 31,000 jobs, and that the extension would carry 58 million riders annually by 2031.
In April 2009, the Environmental Assessment for the Yonge North Subway Extension was approved.
In November 2014, an addendum to the Environmental Assessment was approved to include an underground train storage facility and surface facilities.
By 2016, the province had committed to fund 15 per cent of the preliminary engineering and design for the project.
Toronto council approved the plan in principle in January 2009 provided there were upgrades to the existing line to support the additional ridership from York Region. Specifically, Toronto politicians say that the Yonge line does not have the capacity to support an extension to Richmond Hill until a separate relief line is built between Pape and Osgoode stations. In March 2016, the mayor's office said that SmartTrack and automatic train control may also be required.
In March 2016, York Region officials said that SmartTrack, electrified GO service, the Spadina subway extension and automatic train control will be implemented within a decade, and that these would be sufficient to support the extra ridership of an extension to Richmond Hill. Thus, the deputy mayor of Richmond Hill wanted to start construction of the extension by 2019. Vaughan politicians and officials are basing their case on a Metrolinx report from June 2015. The report indicates the Yonge line would have a capacity of 36,000 pphpd in 2021 with automatic train control. Demand is 31,200 pphpd in 2015 plus 6,600 growth by 2031 plus 2,400 for the extension north of Steeles giving a total demand of 40,200 pphpd. The TYSSE would divert 1,300 pphpd and Regional Express Rail would divert another 4,200 leaving a demand of 34,700 pphpd and 1,300 pphpd in excess capacity. (However, as of April 2016, Metrolinx has no immediate plans to provide electrified GO service on the Richmond Hill line.) Transit advocate Steve Munro says that, given the Metrolinx analysis, the line would be at 96% capacity in the peak hour and, because this is the peak hour average, there would be some overcrowding due to variations over the hour.
In June 2016, TTC spokesperson Brad Ross said that the ridership on the Yonge line is regularly 24,000 passengers per hour during the morning rush hours, approaching the line's capacity of 25,500. Automatic train control would increase the line's capacity to over 32,000 riders per hour but that would still not be enough to support the increased ridership from the extension. The TTC would need the completion of the relief line and SmartTrack in order to support the extra riders from York Region. (Note that the TTC and the Metrolinx report disagree as to the estimated capacity of the Yonge line after the implementation of automatic train control.)
In the morning rush hours, southbound trains on the Yonge line usually get full between York Mills and Eglinton stations.
GO Transit's long-term plan also calls for all-day service on its Richmond Hill line that would run express trains every 15 minutes between its Langstaff Station adjacent to the Richmond Hill Centre terminal, and Union Station in downtown Toronto, calling into question the additional need for a subway extension.
As of April 2016, Metrolinx had no plans to electrify the Richmond Hill line which would require $1 billion for flood mitigation. Planned service improvements are every 15-30 minutes but only in the peak period.
Given the wait for the Richmond Hill extension, there were plans to have Viva Bus Rapid Transit bus lanes along Yonge Street from Finch Avenue to Highway 7. However, by April 2014, the plans were revised to run the busway from Highway 7 (at the proposed terminal of the North Yonge Subway Extension) north to Newmarket with some portions of the route operating in mixed traffic through Richmond Hill. The expected completion date of the revised busway is 2018.
A local group in York Region was lobbying for the cancellation of the planned busway along this route, which would have been a part of York Region's Viva bus rapid transit. The group was concerned about a loss of treed boulevards and private property when widening Yonge Street for bus lanes through Thornhill south of Highway 7.
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The line forms a rough U-shape. Its western leg starts at the northern terminus at Downsview Station, at Sheppard Avenue and Allen Road. The line follows the Allen Road, which becomes a short expressway with the subway line travelling in its median for 6 km (3.7 mi). Continuing southeast below the Cedarvale and Nordheimer Ravines, it turns south under a short stretch of Spadina Road.
After sharing Line 2 Bloor–Danforth's Spadina and St. George stations, it turns south again under Queen's Park, passing to one side of the Ontario Legislature, and running the full length of University Avenue beyond. It turns east onto Front Street to serve Union Station, Toronto's main railway terminus, and then north.
The eastern leg runs straight up Yonge Street for 16 km (9.9 mi), crossing Line 2 Bloor–Danforth again at Bloor–Yonge and Line 4 Sheppard at Sheppard–Yonge, before reaching its northern terminus at Finch Station. A roughed-in station exists below Queen Station for the proposed Queen streetcar subway. This section often suffers from severe overcrowding during peak times, especially in the area immediately south of Bloor-Yonge station.
The line is mostly underground, but has several surface or elevated sections between Downsview and Eglinton West, and between Bloor and Eglinton; some portions of the section between Bloor and Eglinton were originally open and have since been covered over to permit other uses above the tracks. Sections between Bloor-Yonge and the track short of Summerhill, and between St. Clair and Eglinton remain in their original open state. Between Summerhill and St. Clair, the track was built in open cut, but has since been covered over. Evidence of this can be seen in the tunnel: there are no columns or walls between tracks, and ballast and drainage ditches are present, something not seen in the rest of the subway system. There are also tree stumps and the stubs of lamp posts in the tunnel. There are also clues outdoors: seemingly useless railings along the sides of a nearby street, which was once on an exposed bridge, and empty lots following the trains' right-of-way marked with signs warning heavy vehicles and equipment to keep off because they might fall through to the columnless tunnel below.
Most of the tunnel was constructed by a cut-and-cover method, but some was bored, as noted below. All stations, whether by transfer or fare-paid terminal, connect to surface TTC bus and/or streetcar routes. Other surface and train connections are noted below.
As of late 2014, 18 stations have elevators for wheelchair and stroller access.
The preferred alignment and placement for four stations for the extension beyond Downsview Station to serve York University were finalized in September 2005. Six stations are planned: the tentative name for the new terminus in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre is "Vaughan Centre" based on the precedent set by North York Centre and Scarborough Centre, with intermediate stations called "Highway 407", "Pioneer Village", "York University", "Finch West", and "Downsview Park", with plans to rename Downsview Station "Sheppard West". This extension will replace the portion of York Region Transit's Viva Orange bus rapid transit line that covers the Downsview–York University route.
The original design of the oldest stations in the subway system, which are on the Yonge line (from Union to Eglinton), are mainly utilitarian and characterized by vitreous marble wall tiles and the use of the Toronto Subway font for station names. Eglinton Station is the only station to retain this wall treatment, though Queen Station retains a narrow band of original blue Vitrolite tiles near the ceiling at platform.
The design of the stations on the University line was mainly utilitarian and this style (sometimes referred to as “bathroom modern”) was later used for the Bloor–Danforth line as well. Queen's Park and St. Patrick stations have circular and semi-circular cross-sections, because they are constructed in bored tunnels. Museum station was renovated to have columns resemble artifacts found in the nearby Royal Ontario Museum.
Lawrence, York Mills, Sheppard, and Finch Stations are similar to each other in design, but have different colour schemes: Lawrence is red and cream, York Mills is light and dark green, Sheppard is yellow and dark blue, and Finch is light grey, medium grey, and dark grey.
The Spadina line has art and architecture that is unique for each station. The art installed in Glencairn and Yorkdale stations has been removed, as the former's art had faded and the latter was too costly to operate.
Downsview, which was opened in 1996, is the newest station on this line. It has art and architecture that is different from the earlier Spadina line stations.
The Spadina line extension north to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre will feature art and architecture from notable artists and architects.
Operation hours and frequency
As with other TTC subway lines, Line 1 operates most of the day, and is generally closed between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. EST on weekdays and Saturdays, and 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Sunday. Trains arrive at stations 2–3 minutes during peak periods and 4–5 minutes during off-peak periods. There is limited service (every 5 minutes) north of St. Clair West Station from 6:00 am to 9:00 am Monday to Friday.
Overnight service on the Yonge segment of the line is provided by 320 Yonge Blue Night from Queens Quay to Steeles with headways of 3 to 15 minutes. The University segment does not have an overnight service.
The line is solely operated with the TTC's newer Toronto Rocket (TR) subway trains, which are based on Bombardier's Movia family of trains. Unlike other trains in the TTC rapid transit rolling stock, the TR trains have a "six-car fixed" articulated configuration with full-open gangways, allowing passengers to walk freely from one end to the other. The TR trains were scheduled for delivery starting between late 2009 and early 2010, but was delayed until late 2010 due to production problems. They entered revenue service on this line on July 21, 2011, replacing the older H5 and the T1 series trains, which had been used on this line. (The T1 series trains, which used to operate on this line, were transferred over to Line 2 Bloor–Danforth where they replaced the older H4 and H6 series trains).
Automatic train control
The TTC estimates that automatic train control on Line 1 could be installed by 2020 (a system that is already used on Line 3 Scarborough RT). When this system is installed, the TTC will be able to run trains as often as every 105 seconds. The limit of the manual signal system is every 150 seconds, the interval at which trains operate at rush hours.
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- TTC Union Station
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yonge Spadina line.|
- Yonge-University Line at Toronto Transit Commission
- Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension
- Yonge Subway Extension at York Region Transit
- "Yonge Subway Extension – Finch Station to Richmond Hill Centre, Transit Project Assessment Environmental Project Report" (PDF). 30 January 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- "Yonge Relief Network Study" (PDF). Metrolinx. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- "Yonge Subway Extension – Environmental Assessment Submission and Project Update" (PDF). City of Toronto. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2016.