There’s an out-of-date map in the Walmer Road entrance to Spadina Station that you’d better not use for local wayfinding. I mentioned this before over a year ago documenting a local tour of the TTC’s inconsistent and often poor wayfinding and information signage. However, I have been seeing more and more out-of-date maps and signs throughout the system, and little attention has been brought to this problem.
In the case of the Walmer Road entrance, it appears that a “station and vicinity” map was placed here when the new entrance opened in January 2001. A staffer put a helpful â€œyou are hereâ€ decal at the new entrance. However, the “station and vicinity” itself map dates from 1996 – Spadina Bus lives on! (Somehow, “Swansea Bus”, the route the number 77 was reassigned to, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.) Also noticeable is the fact that the Bloor-Danforth night bus is incorrectly shown as Route 310, mixing the number up with the Bathurst night bus.
I felt compelled to write this after recently visiting Warden Station, whose map is tragically out-of-date. Not only is Warden Woods Mall shown (it remarketed itself in the 1990s as Warden Power Centre before dying and cleared for townhouses), two long-defunct bus routes are also shown – the 114 Kingston Road East, and the 318 Warden night bus. According to the archived maps at Transit-Toronto, the 114 was gone by 1992, replaced by a branch of the 86 Scarborough. The 318 was replaced by a night bus on Victoria Park. This map is therefore at least 17 years old. (Unfortunately, the text in the picture does not show up particularly well, even in the full size.)
The “station and vicinity” maps are, for the most part, badly outdated. Such maps can be very helpful to tourists and passengers unfamiliar with the stations, especially compared to the small scale system maps, which are (usually) more up-to-date, but show no local details. Great examples of useful, well-designed, vicinity maps are those published and displayed by the Mass Transit Railway subway in Hong Kong, or even those of the STM Metro in Montreal. Both systems’ area maps show local landmarks, the location of surface transit stops, and the locations of exits from the stations.
I have seen tourists lost coming out of subway stations, not knowing how to get to nearby, well-known landmarks or where to transfer to a bus or streetcar. Better, and up-to-date local neighbourhood maps would certainly be another low-cost, but essential feature to assist TTC customers.
UPDATE: In a comment to this article, the TTC’s Director of Corporate Communications, Brad Ross, has kindly informed us that new “station and vicinity” maps are being produced and on their way for installation in 2009. It is encouraging to see that the TTC is already on top of this.