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City Council boards the DRL bandwagon

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Map courtesy of C. Livett; adapted and based upon 1980s Network 2011 DRL plan. 

Yesterday at the meeting of city council, the Yonge North subway extension to Richmond Hill Centre (Highway 7 and Yonge Street) was approved in principle. The extension has been received with only lukewarm support from the TTC and city staff for several reasons – that it would take priority over funding local transit projects, such as the Transit City light rail plan; that it would further exasperate the crowding that is already commonplace on the Yonge Subway by adding more riders; and that the TTC is mainly concerned with moving people within Toronto.

The Commission approved the Yonge Subway proposal last week, but only with several caveats – that it not divert money from Transit City and that funding also be allocated for Yonge Subway capacity improvements, such as upgrades to the signal system to allow for automatic train operation, and a $450 million reconstruction of Bloor-Yonge Station to manage loads through that station. In addition, as presented at a public meeting for the Yonge extension last week in North Toronto, the TTC was also going to look at expanding the new “Toronto Rocket” articulated trains to include a seventh car (technically possible with ATO operation).  However, the merits of a Downtown Relief Line (DRL) Subway (which would cost, by Metrolinx’s estimates about $2 Billion for a route from Pape to downtown via Queen Street) was downplayed and seen as only a “last resort” option by TTC staffers, even though its relief potential is significant (Metrolinx estimating a line as far as Pape would divert about 40% of riders from the Yonge subway south of Bloor).

In an earlier post on Spacing, I briefly described the DRL’s planning history and the case for such a subway today. Since then, transit critic Steve Munro wrote several interesting posts on his blog about the utility of such a line in context of the proposed Yonge extension. He also suggested that it should go as far northeast as Don Mills and Eglinton to meet with the proposed Eglinton-Crosstown and Don Mills LRT lines. Not only would this divert more riders to the relief subway, it would make sense as a Don Mills LRT route would likely need to be tunneled down Pape anyway. Metrolinx has proposed a DRL alignment in its “Big Move” document for the 25-year timeline, following Queen Street (as in the older Queen Street Subway plans from the 1950s and 1960s) instead of the railway corridor (as per the 1980s plans).

But at council, not only was the Yonge North extension approved in principle with the previous conditions attached, but it also moved to study the DRL in detail and was to ask Metrolinx to move the DRL forward from The Big Move 25 year plan to the 15 year plan. As well, Scarborough North York Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong moved to replace the technical name”Downtown Relief Line” with something more imaginative and marketable (much like the successful “Transit City” marketing name).

Surely Spacing readers could think of something more imaginative.

Fortunately, the Downtown Relief Subway plan continues to gain momentum from being a dormant proposal even just a year ago. This new subway need not compete with other transit priorities, but it will complement Transit City and relieve pressure on the overburdened Yonge Subway. It would also negate the need for a long, costly and headache-inducing second renovation of Bloor-Yonge station, the worst pinch-point in the transit system. Finally it would attract brand new riders in areas newly served by rapid transit, and relieving crowded streetcars on the Queen and King routes.

There’s more information and discussion at the DRL Facebook group.



  1. Give it to me!

    I think this is a Grrreat idea; but maybe that’s just because I live a 5 minute walk from Dundas West, and work a 7 minute walk from Pape station and my wife works a 5 minute walk from Union station.

    I say “build it”, and don’t cheap out… pair up the tracks so you can run peak time express service between Dundas West and Union, and Pape and Union in addition to running local service.

  2. Denzil Minnan-Wong is from North York…not Scarborough.

    I’m normally not a supporter of building more subways but I agree with Steve that this would be an important move in improving transit in Toronto.

    But I’m not holding my breath to see if anything pans out…especially after Tuesday’s budget.

  3. A few thoughts.

    – I love this in concept
    – I assume those responsible for hideous plaza and parking lot at Gerrard and Carlaw have been waiting for this for a long time.
    – I own a house on Pape, north of Gerrard, and I’m terrified.

  4. “Fortunately, the Downtown Relief Subway plan continues to gain momentum from being a dormant proposal even just a year ago.”

    It’s amazing what happens when Steve Munro changes his mind about something.

  5. Exciting news!

    With Adam Giambrone mentioning the feasibility of a DRL in council and on Facebook, with Councillors Thompson and Minnan-Wong advocating a line that doesn’t run through their ward, and with the media coverage it is clear that this idea has captured the imaginations of many people in this city.

    And why not? This line makes so much sense to those with a good knowledge of the city. It serves some of the city’s busiest and densest neighbourhoods, it relieves and provides an alternative to the crowded streetcar lines, and avoids a very expensive renovation to Yonge-Bloor (that at half a billion dollars wouldn’t improve transit service for a single person).

    If there’s anywhere in this city where a subway line makes sense, it’s Flemington Park, Thorncliffe Park, East York, Greektown, Riverdale, Leslieville, Broadview Village, East Don Lands, Distillery, St. Lawrence, Downtown (CBD), Fort York, Exhibition, Liberty Village, Parkdale (West Queen West), Roncesvalles, and the Junction!

  6. Interesting graphic, but stations at John AND Spadina? I’m looking at Front St and making stops at both John and Spadina might as well just be one big long station between the two streets with entrances at each end. A train leaving John St. westbound could just stop at one end of the station, and then roll up to the other end to serve Spadina. There are stations in Chicago like this.

    As for another name, how about the “Grand Trunk Subway”, to commemorate the railway that stretched east and west from Union Stn. Even though the alignment might not entirely follow the railway lines, in general it goes the same way.

  7. If the concern is relieving Yonge/Bloor and diverting enough passengers from Yonge to allow a Yonge extension into York, then the DRL should be broken down into two phases. The first phase would be the eastern leg from Danforth to downtown. This would reduce the initial construction costs and make it far more likely that it will actually get built. The western leg can be built later, as it does nothing to help Yonge and very little to alleviate congestion at Yonge/Bloor (riders on Bloor West already have the option to transfer at St George, whereas riders coming from Danforth have no viable alternative).

  8. YES!yes!yes! yes! yes!

    Can I say it anymore??

  9. This is such an obvious great idea, its sad it has taken so long to pick up steam.

  10. Rob L > GTR is a great name! Would lobby a lot for that. We’ll have something soon on the GTR itself though, stay tuned.

  11. I like this idea because I live at Pape and Gerard, and it would make the value of my house SKYROCKET!

  12. As this idea gains momentum and traction (it will! it must!) it will be interesting to watch the reaction of homeowners. Will they be like Jeremy here? Or like Andy up top, with both optimism and terror?

    Or will it be like residents in Forest Hill, who were against the Eglinton Subway, for whatever perceived change it would bring….

  13. Absolutely brilliant news.

    Could we re-use the name “Downtowner” (currently the name of the 502 streetcar)?

  14. The DRL would certainly have interesting effect on neighbourhood dynamics. Someone should study it (in a before and after sort of way) if it ever becomes a reality.

    Right now Queen and Jarvis is hardly a hub. The Moss Park Armoury, Fred Victor Centre (for underhoused people), Salvation Army drug rehab centre, and auto shop are the main ‘tenants’ at that intersection, and most of the pedestrians you see are homeless/underhoused people hanging out on the sidewalks. If a subway station were built, you’d have to wonder who would use it. There isn’t much residential or ’employment’ development right at Queen/Jarvis at the moment (although there has been a proposal for 3 35 storey condo towers in the big parking lot just west of Jarvis), Jarvis is only a 7 minute walk from Queen subway station already, and stops on the Yonge line will be as close for people living a couple blocks north or south of Queen. So what effect will it have on development, on the ‘tenants’ when their property values go up, and on the current sidewalk culture?

    As I’m typing this, I’m really wondering why Jarvis was chosen instead of Sherbourne. Sherbourne is home to a number of big high-rises populated by low-income people/transit users. It is far more residential (and low-income) than Jarvis, and is far enough away from Queen subway station to warrant a stop.

  15. This is just a graphic that one transit fan did. There will be lots of debate about where to place stops in the future. Maybe we will do a post soon that asks our readers to name all their stops and reasons why.

    But let’s hear some more name suggestions for the line. The Grand Trunk Subway is amazing for its historical reference (and location of part of the line).

  16. melissa> I think the “stops” are general mockups, nothing has been decided on (as the whole thing is hypothetical still….) but a station between Sherbourne and Jarvis would be good — with each end having entrances. The TTC hasn’t taken advantage of “both end” station entrances enough — NYC does this well, walk a few blocks, see another entrance, for the same station…serves more people.

    I think the study you’d like could be carried out along Sheppard. Dynamics are certainly different, low-suburban density vs downtown — but look at how much development has followed the opening. Thousands live where only a few dozen did so before.

  17. Jarvis hasn’t been chosen. Queen hasn’t been chosen. Nothing has been chosen. The DRL is only a concept at this point; we are probably a year or more from knowing the preferred alignment. If the past plans for it are any guide, the DRL is unlikely to go anywhere near Queen St. E except east of the Don, and will instead enter the core via the rail corridor (less $$ for tunneling) or perhaps Wellington. Queen and Jarvis will be just as dodgy as ever.

    My hope is for an alignment that absolutely maximizes the use of existing rail corridors. Cheaper that way and less disruption for construction. But most interesting of all, the bulk of residential development in central TO is taking place in former industrial areas, which are clustered along the railway: Donlands, Distillery/East Bayfront, St. Lawrence, Cityplace, Liberty, Parkdale, etc.

  18. I wonder what impacts a Downtown Relief Subway Line would have on the neighbourhoods it runs through(ie, new high-rise condos).

    Could some transit relief be achieved differently by simply improving all the streetcar lines? (remove on-street parking, cars are not allowed in streetcar tracks lane, etc)?

  19. DRL’s map seems like it runs down the GO train tracks on the West end and down to the Lakeshore, where it wouldn’t disrupt escavation on Queen or King.

    Would an option of making this section on ground level fly?(*hence reduced costs?)

    I love this DRL idea. Especially since it has potential for future nw and ne lines. And heaven forbid, a line to the airport!(*That new GO line doesn’t count cause it costs $20 and it has so few stops)

  20. Such a great idea- some possible name ideas (though Grand Trunk is great)

    – Rail-lands Line

    – Front Line
    (Give’s geographic reference point to riders for Front St.)

    – Central Line
    (CBD, works for the Brits in London)

    – Ontario Line
    (Follows former shoreline of Lake Ont. before fill, and we are the capital of ont.)

    – Sesquicentennial Line
    (Build part by 2017 to celebrate Canada and Ontario’s 150th birthday, like ‘Jubilee Line’ in London)

    – Pan-Am Line
    (Build eastern side by 2015, role into Pan-Am games funding- lot of venues on line)

  21. Great post guys and ideas by the readers.

    Also, future posts to discuss possible subway stops and reasons why would be great also. Maybe once it’s done, we can send it to the TTC/City Hall(?) Action speaks louder than words right?

    I personally like tradition(“Grand Trunk Line” – GTL) and on a map it actually looks like an elephants trunk(ironically, ha)

    My suggestion for the line would be simply the “Lakeshore Line”(LL) Keeping to the names of the other TTC lines on the map.

  22. Questions of alignment options definitely are for future study, and station locations will flow from that. I will blog on this in more detail on my own site in due course to avoid writing a long, technical post here.

    One comment I would make is that claims that the DRL will address streetcar line issues are on shaky ground because of the likely alignments, catchment areas and origin-destination patterns. The Queen car will still come once every other day in Long Branch and the Beach, and its connection to a DRL east or west will be of little benefit to those frozen in place at carstops.

  23. Oh yes .. I forgot to mention .. I have always supported the idea of a DRL, although for years I was pushing for this as LRT. The recent demand projections and the opportunity to relieve problems on the Yonge subway line with a parallel subway route have shifted my opinion about technology in this corridor.

  24. Am I the only one who thinks that “Downtown Relief Line” is a great name/brand already?

  25. RF> Perhaps, but maybe it sounds too much like somebody in St. Andrew Station having to go to the bathroom really badly.

  26. 1. Beaches – Front – Parkdale line
    2. Downtown District line

    Sorry, but the Grand Trunk line? LAME.

  27. Might the $2.1 billion cost estimate be too much? If the alignment was generally focused on the rail corridors, and the trains ran above ground on them, couldn’t costs be reduced? Does anyone know what assumptions metrolinx made for calculating the costs of this line?

  28. Looks like the person got their graphic above from the NP article.

    As for the Jarvis stop – would the line be going down Front…and what would that do for WWLRT?

    If it is on Front @ Jarvis , why not call the stop “St. Lawarence Market”?

  29. All I can say is the general idea of the line makes a hell of a lot of sense. Too bad something like this wasn’t done 20 years ago. If something like this isn’t done, I think Toronto will need to turn some routes into one-way streets (Queen, King, etc.) which will no noubt be very unpopular but would at least enable right of way streetcar service.

    At the same time, I really think the City needs to look closely at the opportunity it is SQUANDERING by backing the proposal for a BLUE22 as a pricey (over $20/one-way), single-purpose, privately-run service (a la 407) between airport and Union. This diagonal starting in the north-west part of Toronto could be a huge potential to re-orient transit service in a part of the City which is badly serviced and poorly connected — but not when service is expected to cost over $20 one way.

    starting at the , also think there needs to pressure (from our City officials) to turn the privately operated BLUE22 line into a line that will be

  30. let the above post be a lesson regarding the benefits of always rereading what you type.

  31. RF: I think you may be the only to think that, i’m sorry to inform you.

    In years to come, it won’t be a “relief line” anymore, so what will you do with the name then?

    Also, you really think a line with the word “relief” sounds appealing to us or tourists?

  32. Cam> Please explain why Grand Trunk is “LAME.” I do sincerely want to know, as your comment is so far from how I feel about a name like that (with both historic, and, yes, romantic “grand” imagery), I can’t understand where you are coming from.

  33. Name suggestions: if the line ends up going along the rail corridor to Union, then ‘Lakeshore Line’ is definataly a good option. Another possibility is the “Union Line”, assuming it goes to that station. I happen to be used to hearing ‘Downtime Relief Line’ but it does sound a bit too technical.

  34. We can start talking about names when we know where the damn thing would actually run!!

  35. Maybe someday I won’t have to get up extra early in the morning to factor in the time I waste at Ossington Station letting subways go by, waiting for one that’s not so crammed with people that I can actually get on.

  36. I was thinking that “Downtown Loop Line” or “The Belt Line” could be considered.

  37. Although I want a DRL as much as the next person, couldn’t a cheaper/temporary solution be having every other train on the bloor line, east of bay come from union?

    Basically, this would take advantage of the underground bay st. tracks that meet up with museum. Then have the train turn around at union (new facilities would have to be built, but they are digging union up anyhow for the platform and new shops).

    This means every other spadina line train from union would go to kennedy as well.

  38. There could also be good potential to make Dundas West station into a good western transit hub: subway station, streetcar lines, GO station, and changing the Jane LRT so it comes across Dundas from Jane to meet Bloor.

  39. Re the name: Downtown Relief Line.

    Can we not get with the rest of the world and designate our lines as 1, 2, etc and call them the Red Line, Green Line, Purple Line.

    It’s indicative of a real Urban Transport System.

  40. Dave: A Dundas West Transit hub? Wouldn’t that be amazing! (*just like in many other parts of the GTA)

    The GO lines that stem from Union(in every direction) i feel are severely under used. I know the GO is municipal, but in an ideal world, those tracks could be better put to use for actual city transit aswell.

    Cam: You still haven’t answered Shawn’s request to why you think the “Grand Trunk Line” is a bad idea. Simply saying it’s LAME without reason is a bit LAME itself.

  41. no no no, please don’t call it by numbers or colours. For the most part the lines are under streets. It gives riders a comfort level knowing where the line is (if you say take the purple line that means nothing but when you say the Sheppard line riders can imagine where it is and where it goes).

    As an example, the bike signs in toronto give out numbers for their routes. But do you ever say take the #4 bike route to #27? No you say take Davenort bike lanes to Christie… etc. Location location location.

    Colours and numbers can be easily changed, but road names rarely ever change.

  42. a couple of choices for a line name…
    Simcoe-Mackenzie Line (after the governor and 1’s mayor)
    Rebellion Line (the ’37 UC rebellion)
    Iroquois Line (much of the line would have been covered by the former lake Iroquois)

  43. TTL

    Through The Loop
    Toronto Transit Line

    I would love to see this going across Queen St.

  44. I agree with Liisa about not using numbers or colours for subway lines. It feels very “Toronto” to hear Bloor/Danforth Line as opposed to Green Line or Line 2. It would be a mistake to change this. The only possible change that might make sense is to rename University/Spadina to University because a) the Spadina Expressway was never built, and the line only runs a few kms under Spadina Rd, and b) the northern end of the line will be extended to a University so it makes sense to denote that whole segment simply as University. It would also be much less of a mouthful to say compared to Yonge/University/Spadina.

  45. Re: Mark Charbonneau > I disagree – this has nothing to do with indicating a “real Urban Transport System” – London, for example, uses names. Many other systems follow this same convention.

    Usually only smaller urban systems use the colour system, as this becomes limited very quickly once you exhaust the primary colours.

  46. Marc: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with naming lines something other than numbers or colours. Works for London Underground, and interjects a fair amount of character as well… would it be the same without the Circle Line or the Jubilee Line?

    As for a DRL name, I like Front Line, so long as it runs under Front Street. It’s in line with the other line names in the subway system, and also communicates the idea of it being a central line fairly well.

  47. First a note on posting, perhaps Spacing could have the last comment posted first to encourage discussion.

    Re naming, city residents are going to name it whatever they feel comfortable with. With regard to Numbers and Colours, it’s a system and should have a pattern and plan of naming. In most world city systems this is an administrative choice. Secondly this is a descriptive pattern that tourist can follow easily. If a fellow citizen ask how to get to Scarborough Town Centre, I will give different instructions than if a tourist ask me. I’ve always found this is the way of the world.

  48. I’ve liked the names coming thru here: I’ll make a combo suggestion: Lakeshore Loop line (or the triple L).

  49. I like that the oldest comment is posted first. It makes it easier to read all existing comments without then repeating something that has already been written, as is the case with other sites.

  50. I am likely unmoved by any argument for anything other than Grant Trunk Line, but if the lines do indeed run out to Thorncliff and beyond, and the Junction and beyond, a name that evokes the distances to each side might be good.

  51. Sorry but I perhaps wasn’t clear, I do not suggest that the names need to be replaced, but rather that numbering and colouring can be in addition to line names. With the addition of Transit City I feel it would be helpful in maps and designs if lines had numbers and colours as well as names.

  52. I’d suggest City Line, Downtown Line??

  53. Great news. Lets make sure that we keep on the pressure on the TTC and city council. This needs to be pushed forward to ensure that it happens. TTC just needs to push it’s priorities. Spadina, Sheppard LRT, Finch LRT, and Eglinton LRT. Then build DRL (phase 1) Pape – Union, then extend Yonge, and continue with Transit City and other projects.

    As for the name, I think it should break tradition and use neighbourhood names for the line instead of street names. I like the idea of Parkdale – Downtown – Riverdale line (PDR).

  54. Marc, the current 3 lines already have separate colours (as does the RT) on the TTC map. Some signage also incorporated these colours. I suspect if you asked most people on the subway what colour the lines were, they could tell you without looking at the map.

    Even the “fanboi” DRL map has a separate colour for the hypothetical line.

    Other cities that I’ve been to that use letters or numbers don’t typically have subways that follow long streets. I think of Paris, for example… it would be impossible to name lines after streets.

    I suspect if the E/W portion of the line were to run along Queen Street, it would be known as the Queen line. If it were to run down Front/Eastern, it would be known as the Front line.

    I don’t see the purpose of adding a number reference for Toronto’s subway.

  55. Has anybody created a map that shows the potential routes for the Transit City lines and now the DRL?

    I know that there’s the Transit City map that the TTC released but I’m not fan of the way it looks and it’s already outdated.

    I really like the way that some of the fantasy maps look.

  56. Way to save your behind Marc 😉 Better late than never huh.

    By suggesting we drop the names to these lines all together would have caused a conundrum(*which as you can see, it already had)

    With regards to tourists, i don’t see the point in giving directions differently to them than to ourselves. Like mentioned above, London seems to be doing quite well with named lines.. and they’re a world class transit city.

    Besides, let’s encourage people remembering our historic names and tradition. We’d still have the lines “coloured” on maps anyway. If they can’t say the name, they’ll at least know the colour of the line by looking at a map.

  57. Shawn,

    Sorry, but Grand Trunk Line, are you living in the 1940’s, Etta james could sing about this one.

    Seriously we’re talking about the future here, not about the past.

    My email is for those who have other opinions!


  58. @Shawn: I can’t speak for Cam, but I think that Grand Trunk sounds overly grand and silly. Surely it can’t be a trunk line unless it has branches coming off it.

  59. David,
    The TTC already has number designations for their lines, 1,2,3 and 4.

  60. Ted> It’s very Torontonian to suggest we shouldn’t call something grand “grand.”

    Marc> Then we must change any and all references in this city that keeps the old references alive while the city continues to grow and change. Names like Rosedale, Dennison, Brock, Bathurst, Yorkville, etc – all refer to historic places/people/things. We can call everything Zardoz or some derivative of that now. Cuz it’s the future.

  61. Paul: I like your suggestion for the PDR Line.. but what if this line gets extended in the future north-bound?(*northeast or northwest)

    My suggestions are simple, the Lakeshore Line(LL), Front Line(LL) or Union Line(UL) They suggest the central geographical location of where it heads to(*Union. A major hub?)

  62. The DRL would be one of Toronto’s shortest subway lines. It is not “grand”, even by Toronto standards.

    And as I mentioned before, it is not a trunk line either. In fact, it’s more of a loop off the Bloor-Danforth line.

    The historical Grand Trunk Railway was both Grand and Trunk. The DRL is neither.

    If anything could be considered Toronto’s Grand Trunk Subway, it would be Bloor-Danforth. Maybe you should start a campaign to rename it.

  63. Marc: I didn’t know the subway lines here had numbers assigned to them.

    Is this correct, anyone?

    Shawn: It’s funny how people interpret your Grand Trunk Line idea(*tree trunk, elephant(that was me) I’d vote for it though. It’s historic and original at the same time.

    But please let’s not get a Zardoz line(haha)

  64. Can’t say I’m not loving this discussion!

    Let’s look at Moscow’s map, every line has a number and colour, however I bet Moscovites don’t refer to them that way. I’m suggesting it’s an administrative plan of the system. Purely and simply, we can refer to our subways or lack there of anyway we wish.

    I live in the Pocket area of Toronto, a local or historical name I’m not sure, but one I’m willing to claim. I’m only suggesting that the mapping and the naming of the TTC system accommodates the administrative and neighbourly requirements at the same time.

  65. The line will be abut 13 km in length. So it will be bigger than Sheppard and the Scarbourgh RT and just as long as the Danforth section of the Bloor-Danforth line. So arguing over “grandness” or length is kinda silly.

    I like Grand Trunk too because it looks like it will follow that line from Union north until Dundas West. My only quibble is that not many people would know its meaning and is not as consistent as the other named lines.

    But I love this discussion of names: it’s important to have, but I hope people don’t get too aggressive or protective of name ideas since this isn’t even a study yet. Keep it civil, boys (I say boys since 97% of comments seem to be men).

    Lastly, Moscow was built over 100s of years. Toronto’s on a grid so its easy to have street names associated with subway lines. And yes, the TTC has numbered lines. I believe Eric Arthur tried to do this with his wayfinding system onlypartially executed at St George station in the 1960s. But my info might be a tad wrong, so correct me at will.

  66. DRL has been a great idea at least since the days of MTARTS (anyone here old enough to remember that?). In addition to the Don Mills extension in the east, the western end might be able to run up to Pearson. To keep the thing within the realm of affordability, large parts might be above ground, e.g. along the railway right of way and the hydro corridor. Noise concerns might be mitigated by building a relatively cheap enclosure over the line. But even if it’s not extended at either end, would be the first subway project in 50 years that made any sense.

  67. Am prepared for fisticuffs to defend the Grand Trunk, boy or girl. Meet you in The Pocket (where is The Pocket?).

  68. I dropped a comment after first reading the post and star columns regarding the DRL…I think most jumped to this read shortly after..I wanted to repost to get some thoughts..I see Steve Munro has already been noted for his thought in having the line extended past bloor to maybe eglington…what about the other is part of my post

    …We complain about patch work systems and yet here we have a possible future of an LRT running down don mills and into pape terminating at bloor, the DRL beginnning at Pape running down into the core an up the rail corridor (A/G or U/G not indicated) towards Bloor near lansdown…ahem the same corridor planned for diesels to the airport…
    I support all the routes..but why not eliminate the lower part of the proposed Jane line (tie in at the corridor overpass), run a Transit City proposed LRT from the airport down the corridor with stops as needed into the core and out the DRL route up Pape and into Don Mills as proposed… patchwork…one line, one technology, one ticket…

    one point brought to my attention was the capacity issues south of bloor into the core. Im still of the opinion that one technology should be used for the whole line, but is subway the answer..or maybe a higher capacity LRT type line…

  69. Shawn,
    Good sense of humour there! Jones to Greenwood, Danforth to the train line.

    Grand Line, City Line, Queen Line, U line, Trunk Line, really just a name,

    I can only but remember that we’ve been waiting years for this discovery of the need for downtown urban subway needs. What ever we want to call it.

  70. EDITOR’S NOTE: Spacing contributor and Urban Toronto mastermind Jason Paris will be on CBC Radio’s news update during Here and Now show (99.1) discussing the Downtown Relief line. You can hear him on air around 5:30pm. Jason runs the DRL Facebook group as well..

  71. Subway line numbers are as follows:
    SRT= 603
    Sheppard= 604

    Streetcars: 500, 501…

    Community buses: 400…

    Blue Night service: 300…

    Buses: Below 200 (I think – can’t remember if there are any bus routes in the 200 range)

  72. The Totally Awesome Subway Line.

    (TASL for short.)

  73. Good thoughts Ryan. BRING ON the LRT or the DRL up to the airport.

    Who would have thought a “ONE FARE TTC TICKET” could get you to the airport!!! (Buses don’t count, come on)

    Ryan also brings up the issue of “patchwork” plans. I know its difficult to look into the future for politicians(*since all they care about is the “now”) but it really doesn’t take a scientist to see where growing major hubs are at or are developing.

    I know it would never fly, but because TO is growing so rapidly, the TTC show reach all it’s GTA boarders. None of these seperate MissiCARgua or Vaughn transit systems. Who likes to pay seperate fares for different municipalities?

  74. I’m the guy who made the map at the top of the post. The “fanboy” as some have called me.

    If you looked at the map itself, OR read the text directly below it you would see that it says “Adapted from Network 2011 plan” and “adapted and based upon 1980s Network 2011 DRL plan” respectively.

    The DRL plan is not new. I did not make up the route of the line, it’s taken directly from the Ontario Government’s Network 2011 studies. The only small assumption I had to take is with station names and exact locations, which (which the exceptions of Pape, Queen, Union, John, and Spadina South) were not defined with certainty in the plan.

    If you want to know more about the history of the DRL, read the article written by Sean Marshall liked from the article above or head over to and read the article on the DRL there.

  75. MissiCARgua?

    I think Parkdalian has been hanging around Hamish lately.

  76. Invoke the devil? or just a carmudgeon?
    Would this line be using Front St.? Would the large ramp etc. west of Bathurst buggered it all up to quite prevent this from happening?
    Now there’s going to be major competition with the Blue 22 line/GO proposal – the better use of this corridor is for the DRL/public transit, and this may mean not proceeding with the Rail Trail, though maybe it could be atop the transit, and we could do some on-street bike paths on Bloor and Queen St. too.
    And some terms work better than others. The term “carrupt” was inspired by the FSE fight – it works.

  77. This has to follow the train rights-of-way we already have, if it has a snowflake’s chance in #*!!: from Greenwood, through the Greenwood TTC yard, down to the mouth of the Don (which will facilitate intensification there!), past Union, Liberty Village, Parkdale, and Bloor GO (Dundas West). An option to extend to the Junction. They won’t have to dig $#!+: just get the rights of way.

    Can you possibly imagine tearing up city streets downtown with the traffic idiocy there now at any hour? It ain’t going to happen. However, do not hold your breath for any relief line. You live in Toronto: the Leafs haven’t won in my life (39y), and transit’s hardly improved since my childhood.

  78. Hamish:

    “Carmudgeon” and “carrupt” NEVER EVER EVER work.

    Stop using Ned Flander-isms and maybe people outside of the radical bike faction will take your commentary more seriously. Your ideas about WWLRT are worthy of consideration but I can never get through your comments because your message gets lost in bad puns and poor grammar.

    As for names of the DRL:

    – I like Grand Trunk since it is a trunk of the Bloor-Danforth and Yonge-Uni lines
    – Lakeshore Loop was good too
    – Downtown Loop
    – Eastside-Westside Loop
    – The 504 Line (since it seems to almost follow the streetcar line)

    (I like loop)

  79. Hey Brent. I call it MissiCARga because it’s a city designed for, well, cars.

    How else can you explain to me Strip malls that can only be reached by car(or long distance transit commutes) or expansive cookie-cutter communities that you need a car to get to the nearest variety store?(if they even exist anymore)

    And no i don’t know Hamish but i’m sure he’s a swell guy.

  80. Sonia

    loop; the more or less circular figure formed by a line, thread, wire, etc, that curves back to cross itself.

    Are you suggesting that the Bloor Danforth Line be doubled tracked to give us a Downtown Loop?

  81. Should a Downtown Loop Line be considered, then the TTC should also consider building crossovers on the Bloor-Danforth stations where the two legs of the Loop would meet. That way, if there is a problem on the Bloor-Danforth, the trains could have an option to short-turn at the Downtown Loop.
    For example, crossovers at Pape Station in the east and Dundas West Station in the west. In fact, every transfer point on the subway should have a crossover for use as a option in case of problems.

  82. I’m really happy to see that this badly needed proposal is being brought back into the spotlight. As nice as it is to bring transit far into the burbs, I think that subways belong inside the city, where there is constant density and all-day demand; GO was invented to serve the suburbs and I think it’s fully capable of doing that.
    As for technology, it will be interesting to see the ‘discussion’ emerge over whether this should be a light metro (LRT) or a full-fledged subway line. The most important question in that debate should be how the line will fit into the overall transit network, and right now I think there are legitimate arguments on either side. I’ve personally leaned towards underground LRT because of the possibility of creating one large U with Don Mills and Jane and bringing direct-to downtown service to wide areas of the city (a third of trains could short turn at B-D to serve downtown only, another third at Eglinton, and the other third going up to Sheppard or Steeles or wherever), but I could be swayed by a logical analysis of the numbers.

  83. I wonder how this affect the Waterfront LRT?

    And yes, “Grand Trunk Subway” is lame. Why give homage to a railway? Give homage to a rock band! Grand Funk Subway!

  84. I like consistency. The other subways — though not the SRT — are named for the streets they (more or less) run under. So, I would favour naming the DRL after whichever east-west street it follows through the core… either that, or change ’em all to something simpler, as Y-U-S and B-D have always seemed a little ungainly anyhow.

  85. Whatever their decision let’s hope they go with something soon. Any further delays will only exacerbate situation and exasperate the riders even more.

  86. Personally, I think Lakeshore Line is a really bad idea, as it could get confused with a certain GO Train Line… you know, the one that’s already called the Lakeshore Line?

    For a similar reason, I think Union Line isn’t the best idea either… how many trains go to Union already? It’s not a unique feature of the line… and I don’t the this line should go to Union – unless it swings south of Union, there isn’t going to be enough room for it.

    What about the Don Line?

    The eastern half of the line, even if it goes upto Eglinton, would roughly be paralleling the Don Valley/River… we’ve already named a Parkway after it. If it extends west, which it doesn’t necessarily have to do (at least not yet), it could become the Don-Weston Line, just like Yonge-University-Spadina eventually grew its name as the system expanded. Yonge-University-Spadina can still be separated into 3 separate lines as well (including operationally, if they really wanted to for some reason), Don-Weston could work the same way (separate into 2 lines).

    As far as alignments are concerned, I’m a strong supporter of running a Richmond-Adelaide alignment, for many reasons (I could write a very long post on that, as I’ve looked at it quite closely).

    As for the previous comment about TTC line numbers for the subway… they used to be 600-series numbers, but then they changed it to 1,2,3,4… DRL would become 5… which would see the Avenue Road bus get a new number.

  87. Someone above mentioned suggested naming the line the sesquicentennial line — clearly they were not in Toronto (or perhaps alive?) when the city celebrated its sesquicentennial with mascot Sesqui the squirrel in 1984.

    However, naming it the bicentennial line might work — that gives a more realistic timeframe for completion of 2034…

  88. It seems to me to make total sense to scrap Blue 22 in favour of extending the DRL all the way to the airport, with a doubling up for an express track. To save costs, run the whole thing along the existing rail corridor above ground. Good lord, if Vancouver can build a double-purpose metro line/express train to the airport why the heck can’t we? The fragmentation of proposals, inability to connect the obvious dots, and lack of vision for an integrated system with different hierarchy of lines based on population density is stunning. My goodness Toronto!

  89. Wow.. so much i’ve missed, so much i must put my foot down on.

    Karl: Don Line? Really? Is that the only place this line would run along? Did we forget the west end? Also, what’s the point in naming them by numbers? No one calls them by numbers now. Technicians or hard core transit nuts know these numbers. I’ll agree with you on the Lakeshore Line name though.

    JustinBernard: Why give homage to a railway?? Uh.. are subways not run on rails??? Can we not name something based on heritage and tradition? And can we not call something LAME without backing it up. Seems kinda childish.

    *Will we break the “100” comment mark on here? I guess we’ll seeee..

  90. RE: Leo Gonzalez’s comment on the subway/rt route numbers

    As Marc Charbonneau stated the Subway/RT system is numbered as 1 Yonge-University-Spadina, 2 Bloor-Danforth, 3 Scarborough RT and 4 Sheppard. They were originally numbered 601 Yonge-University-Spadina, 602 Bloor-Danforth, 603 Scarborough RT and 604 Harbourfront LRT (now the Union Stn to Spadina part of 509 & 510). The TTC renumbered them 1 to 4 when the Sheppard Line opened. To do this though they had to free up the numbers, so they changed the names and numbers of 2 Anglesey and 4 Annette to 48 Rathnurn and 26 Dupont. The TTC uses the subway/rt route numbers on internal papers only.

  91. Well it is about time! Let’s just hope that they don’t go cheap and have it cross at Front or Dundas, and use Queen (perfect division between tourist and business commercial areas of downtown).

    What they should do is give the line Bloor-Danforth stop spacing (every 700-800m or so) and close down stations that are underused or close to larger stops on the B-D line. There are far more recognizable locations along the Queen corridor than the B-D, this will ensure stations are used even with this kind of frequency. While there are no problems with having some smaller stops to ensure locations are within reasonable walking distances, taking the B-D subway can become tedious on longer trips since the train stops at so many seldom used stations outside of downtown.

    Another benefit of speeding up the B-D line is that the line would become more competitive to cars, so that commuters in the east and west suburbs would be more likely to take the the TTC rather than driving or GO. The Downtowner would still be successful since right now many commuters take a bus north to the train, simply to go back south once reaching downtown.

  92. It shall be known as the Trudeau Line

    (or by some other well known Canadian…)

  93. Ontario Line (for the Lake) works fine for me. Ontario Place, Lake Ontario, provincial cash… all good reasons for the moniker.

    Very pleased to see that city council is not populated by head-in-the-sand types after all. If you take a long, hard look through the book “Transit Maps of the World”, you start to feel like something is hitting you on the head with a hammer about Toronto’s transit planning. Transit City is great, wonderful, lovely and I’m a big fan — but you need a high-speed transit system in the core before you improve service and density in the periphery; otherwise you are building a doughnut, not a city. People need somewhere to transfer to after riding that Don Mills or Eglinton LRT for 30 mins… After all, Paris now has all sorts of tram lines on its edges, but, oh yeah, THEY BUILT A 245-STATION SUBWAY SYSTEM FIRST.

    Built Transit City, build the DRL, expand the SRT, upgrade the existing streetcars into semi-LRT. Then, with the core system fixed, go nuts playing footsie with York and Mississauga.

  94. At this point, I’m just doing my bit to push the comment count over 100 (maybe it already passed that while I’ve been writing).

    But still, I want to expand on my question posted on Steve Munro’s blog: how could this line possibly be squeezed in through Union? Maybe, in the end, it would end up running under Richmond-Adelaide like Karl Junkin wants, or maybe Queen or even Dundas.

    Assuming it did follow the rail corridor from Eastern to somewhere near Union Station, where could it go from there? I’m pretty sure that tunneling under Front Street (and under the existing Y-U-S line) is infeasible. I can’t think of any other good routes or station locations in the vicinity of Union that aren’t already full of stuff both above and below ground. One wild thought would be to run the TTC line right through the trainshed at Union Station, but I think GO would have something to say about that.

    If tunneling beneath the Y-U-S line is possible, the TTC needs to completely rethink its Union redesign to accommodate passengers transferring between the two lines at Union, as well as exiting the new line into the PATH, going into Union Station to catch a GO Train or heading up to the surface.

    Integrating a new subway line into the mix at Union would have effects on everything that’s planned or already happening there (GO’s reconstruction of the rail corridor, the TTCs redesign of its Union station platforms, the new waterfront LRT station, the new northwest PATH, the Front Street Environmental Assessment). Most of those things can’t or won’t wait while we figure out how and where to build the downtown relief line.

  95. “JustinBernard: Why give homage to a railway?? Uh.. are subways not run on rails??? Can we not name something based on heritage and tradition? And can we not call something LAME without backing it up. Seems kinda childish.”

    If that is a reason to name it “Grand Trunk Railway, then my comment stands.
    Why not pay homage to the neighbourhoods it passes through instead? How about the “Riverdale East Line”, or simply the “Riverdale line”?

  96. Yes, I’m worried about the disruption that the construction will bring and the impact on my property value that will result from having a train run underneath. However, I support the project and will encourage my neighbors to do so. That being said, Pape north of Gerrard is in desperate need of streetscape improvements and I will be pushing for those as part of the project. This should include a lane reduction, bike lanes, trees and sidewalk improvements. If we’re to have a train, we certainly don’t need all the space currently allotted for cars.

  97. There is no chance that they would run the trains along Queen st. That would cost way more than using the existing rail lines. There is no money to bury the transit system.

    I know that it is just a mockup, and that no stops have been considered yet, but the map above shows 11 stops. Doesn’t each station cost $200 million dollars? If so, an arrangement like the one above would cost $2.2 billion (already over budget) for the stations alone.

    I could be wrong about the $200 million figure. So say it’s actually $100 million / station and they only put in 8, then I guess that the budget would make more sense.

  98. the real issue downtown is the fact that we have surface transit at College, Dundas, Queen and King.

    Does it not seem somewhat absurd? If the need for east west passage is as great as that, surely this not only justifies but virtually insists on a more permanent solution?

    To my mind Queen from River Street to Roncesvalles should be re-imagined as underground subway, with large bikelanes and extended sidewalks from end to end. Queen is the critical centre of the downtown, and deserves to be part of the solution.

    at least that’s the way i see it.

  99. Ben: The proposal (first stage) would only be from Danforth (in my opinion Pape makes the most sense) to somewhere Downtown, and that is estimated to cost $2.2 Billion, but that is assuming a Queen Street alignment.

    There’s other variations. Steve Munro has strongly suggested a northern extension to Eglinton and Don Mills, which would also divert more riders from the Yonge Line, and wouldn’t be unrealistic as the Don Mills LRT, if built to Danforth, would likely be tunnelled at least from the Don south. Of course, there’s a few options for routing such a line through downtown, and a detailed study should come up with an optimal alignment before going into a fast-track EA.

    The western section is not needed as much for relief, as the University-Spadina line is effective, but it shows the potential for westward extensions and were also studied to an extent before. Note that just like on the east, it connects high-density neighbourhoods. As for Waterfront West LRT, it still fits.

  100. JustinBernard: You can’t go around naming subway lines based on neighbourhoods. Lines usually go thru multiple neighbourhoods across the city(which is what this line would do)

    PaulJohnston: I agree, the city needs a line across Queen or King streets but this would never happen cause of the escavation problems it will bring(*aka transit/business disruptions) An LRT on the other hand might be good.. but there may not be enough road space.

  101. I stand by the Grand Trunk Subway, as a nod to history and as a nod to its intentions when looked in context with the Yonge and University subway lines. Shawn, I’ll join you if it comes to a barroom brawl.

    As for some of the other suggestions:
    Front line – not bad but sounds a lot like “being on the front line” in a battle.

    Lakeshore Line – not bad, but GO already has a Lakeshore Line, and Lake Shore Line still sounds the same.

    Belt Line – that’s another good one. Maybe this one can be used some where too.

    Numbers and colours – let others do that, we name our subway lines in Toronto.

  102. @Ben W.: It’s $300M/km, on average, including stations. Stations alone cost around $70M each if there’s no bus terminal or other surface elements like kiss’n’ride, parking, what-have-you. Assume $100M for a station with a streetcar loop, which a DRL could concievably have a couple of (doesn’t necessarily mean it will, of course).

    Only Steeles Station on the proposed Yonge Extension has ever costed $200M (it’s estimated at $195M), but that bus terminal is twice as big as the subway portion of the station.

  103. Using the rail corridor is a terrible idea. A line there would be disconnected from the fabric of the city, provide no meaningful relief for users of the King, Queen, or Dundas cars, and overwhelm Union Station. The dismal experience of the Spadina extension, underutilized for decades, would be repeated, halting further subway contruction for decades more.

    However, if the line is built on King or Queen and then follows Roncesvalles, it would be an instant success. Will miserly Toronto make the right decision?

  104. If you think this city, province or Ottawa will pay for tunnels over the rail right-of-way, you’re smoking pot.

  105. I hope that the new stations of a future new downtown subway line will actually feature some remarkable and unique architecture like on the Spadina line.

  106. Where would the Queen East station be placed at Pape and Queen? Maybe they could demolish that crack ridden donut hole that stands there today. It certainly might improve the waiting for the 501 in this part of town.

  107. I’m with Justin – Grand Trunk Subway evokes Grand Funk Railroad for me.

    If it eventually goes up up to Eglinton E and W, then across Eg and you’ve got The Downtown-Uptown Loop.

    Otherwise Downtown Line is fine as a placeholder until Front or King or Adelaide or Richmond or Queen is established as the key cross-street.

  108. “The fragmentation of proposals, inability to connect the obvious dots, and lack of vision for an integrated system with different hierarchy of lines based on population density is stunning. My goodness Toronto!”

    Well put Padrisimo. It must be my old age but some days it seems there are 3 or 4 different transit plans underway at the same time. Of course all in the planning stage. They are doing a remake of the Prisoner and sometimes I think Toronto is an island on which we plan and plan but never actually build anything. in some cruel civic torture. And there is a guy named Harris and his buddy named Leach (the man with the lead touch; tired of playing the Kevin Bacon game? Try making a list of Al Leach “accomplishments” ). Then I wake up and…

    I lived a few blocks from the Yonge street subway extension up to Finch and I remember that people, despite the construction, were really into it as a sign progress, of North York’s coming of age. Many local stores though felt that it made people go downtown to shop and I there was some truth to that. Personally I would put up with 10 years of mud to finally actually get something done, in this case a DRl that is so obviously needed that it is embarrassing.

  109. It has to connect with Union to connect with GO and VIA. Routing the line elsewhere is going to cause passenger inconvenience beyond imagining, if everyone going to VIA/GO needs to make an extra connection on the Yonge/University line. Isn’t one point of the DRL to get people off Yonge/University?

    This whole subject is pathetic. In the fifteen years since I left Tokyo they added more than ANOTHER half-dozen subway lines, and seamlessly tied them into connecting stations. Here we’re going to hear a lot of talk about how one line can’t be done, or if it can, how we can’t manage to properly renovate one station: Union. Pathetic.

  110. Since this line is going to go through several neighbourhoods, it’ll likely be the first line which doesn’t fall under Toronto’s traditional subway naming practices. Someone on Facebook suggested calling it DaRyL…

  111. I think we should call it “The Smile.” (I guess that makes the Y-U-S line “The Nose.)

  112. It’s a wonder that no wise guy has offered the name “Rolaids Line” (i.e. the old commercial: “How do you spell relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S”)

  113. Pardon the length of this – it’s not about the naming but about related politics.
    The “progressives” have been supporting subways to sprawl and a big costly road in the core, likely gone from our Official Plan. The FSE would have harmed our two transit systems and never considered transit options like GO, and the only one we still seem to see is the WWLRT, whose own 1993 EA says isn’t cost effective unless it’s part of a direct line in. It may cost $540M to $700M as they omit adapting the Union Station loop. This plank of Transit City has also not looked at GO trains to do the obvious moving of people directly from Etobicoke to the core/Union say every 20 minutes to save/defer $500+M.
    This EA is not online, personal exertion required to Urban Affairs 388.46097 W1301
    Yes, I’ve been a stuck record about the FSE for the last six years, but it would have been built now, and we would have near-impossible conditions at a critical point just west of Bathurst for transit.
    It’s still a very narrow window of opportunity with the Blue22/GO proposals that show the ongoing power imbalance that the older suburbs and 905 have over the transit-friendly and feasible core where the core gets to pay for huge projects that only overload the existing system further, and that we have to pay more for to try to fix.
    This Blue22/GO idea may wreck totally DRL transit here for this greenhouse century – unless the new 4 tracks are on the south side of the Wston tracks and the DRL two tracks are on the north side.
    I think the DRL must be on the north side and must go onto Front St. into the core to connect with Bathurst and Spadina, as anything on the railyards can’t do this and only link at Union. Front St. also needs transit restored to it; there are scads of real destinations; it is wider than King or Queen and those two streets will likely never have a ROW imposed upon them as they are relatively tight.
    There is a conflict with the railtrail – but the higher better use of this corridor is for transit, and if this means no bike path, what about Bloor? I would hope we could do both – including putting a roof atop the DRL with bikes there, and then having the bikes go onto a curb lane on Queen St. remade for a two-in-one-lane bike lane into the core.
    It’s remarkable to me that the push for protecting and enhancing the core transit system is coming not so much from core councillors like Adam G., Joe P and perhaps Gord, and perhaps Mayor Miller – but from COuncillor Thompson from Scarborough.
    The Star map of the DRL isn’t so complete btw – the plans show the DRL going well north of Bloor, and 3 alignments west of Bathurst including Roncesvalles.
    There’s only a 23-21 vote on council to improve core transit – and rather than thinking about names, which can be important (eg. we must call it the Transit Suburbs plan), but building political support including pressing Mr. Giambrone given some boneheaded comments in the SUN.
    Actions could include:
    -bugging your politicians of all levels
    – going to the Open House for the Blue22/GO idea ahead of the badly truncated sham EA process this Tuesday, between 11am and 8:30pm at Lithuanian Hall at 1573 BLoor St. W., info at
    – writing letters to the Star etc. and copying the politicians
    – watching Gord Perks’ shilling for the local Front St. for $70M, and involve yourself in that EA and ask for transit options like the DRL not a road.
    And if facts actually really worked, we’d have the Queen St. subway from a long time ago by now. We know about climate change, we know transport’s a HUGE problem, but only in 2009 do we remove the most costly road per/km in Canadian history.
    So if politicians over a six-year resistance to this Dumb Growth like a bit of wordplay in the many depositions I made; if it gives a sense of being listened to instead of principles as above and dry facts about the searious climate carisis, hey, go carazy! We are Caronto the Carrupt, and it’s a cargantuan

  114. I like Marion’s discrete way of pointing out misused words. I also like the possibility of the DRL keeping a huge parking lot out of that certain contentious Big Box development down on Eastern Ave.

  115. Late on the bandwagon I may be, but Grand Trunk or Downtowner make the most sense to me. Front Line could also work. I SO don’t want to ride “The Smile”, Todd H. Sorry but I’m not often in that great a mood.

    As for the oft contentious alignment issue, I’ll throw my 2 cents in for an railway following alignment on the East side starting at Pape and Gerrard into downtown, with stops there, at Queen and Empire or so (closer to Broadview at the point the railway crosses), possibly Eastern, St. Lawrence, etc.

    One thing I’ve got to say is that I actually love these exchanges on possible route alignments, technologies, et cetera, even with all the hair pulling and gnashing of teeth. I’m thinking of starting a series of posts on all the crazy alternatives that keep popping up in these debates, from adding express lines to existing subways, to elevated lines through downtown (one of my own crazy fantasies) to Steve Munro’s “Swan Boats on the Don” proposal. I’d be interested in examining these to see if there’s any grain of usefulness in any of them, even from the perspective of learning what they might cost, what difficulties are associated with them or why exactly they’re the craziest thing you’ve ever heard.

    I’m thinking mostly of this as an educational exercise, as many of us don’t really understand the costs and complications of various technical choices. Also it could provide a link to point to the next time someone suggests the absolutely crazed.


  116. Hamish> Railpath and new rail lines can exist together. They are not exclusive.

  117. It isn’t a “trunk” or “loop”, I’d stick with calling it a “branch” or “line”. Maybe “spoke”?

    If it follows Queen St., it has to be a subway or elevated. You need the existing streetcar line with plenty of stops which wouldn’t work for moving large volumes of people even if you eliminated cars from the route.

    The only way this will be done is following the existing rail lines, I fear even this is a pipe dream in muddled Toronto.

    I like the idea of closing a few stations that are too close to speed up the traffic.

    I’d call it the “U”, the “Keele-Pape Pipe” (too many various Dundas names already) or the “George Brown Branch”.
    I also like the “Smile” name!

  118. Why oh why can GO and TTC just get along? If GO is already building infrastructure down the rail corridor (Blue 22) why would we build a subway too? Can’t GO just add a few more stops along the way maybe with switches so that there can be an express and a slow train?

    Then all we need is some “one fare system” where transferring between GO and TTC would be seamless.

  119. it’s a shame that both maps end more or less at the borders of etobicoke, north york and scarborough. telling, but you know…unfortunate.

  120. When thinking about the construction of this in the west end, it might be just as smart to bring the line south from Keele running along the east edge of High Park. If acting as a relief to downtown, there might be a stop at Howard Park for the streetcar loop, but other than that it could run all the way to Queen/King/Roncesvalles. If it goes along Queen or King at that point I’m not sure (I think King is best) but the disrpution to Roncesvalles would be unnecessary considering there would only be one stop on the strip.

    I’ll happily ignore with suggestion if GO and the TTC decide to co-operate at Dundas West and CN is willing to sell Toronto the peice of rail corridor needed to put it in that right-out-way.

  121. Enough already.
    City of Toronto, stop talking and do something!
    This idea sounds fantastic…wouldn’t it be great if it were combined with the renewal vision for the waterfront (think of the Cherry subway stop giving access to a large park), somehow dealing with the eyesore of the Gardiner, combined with all the condo construction that is going on…
    Get going.

  122. What a great, exciting prospect. The name debate is amusing, but this is something that makes so much sense, we need to figure out how to show public support for this idea. The current system is so inadequate and a huge high density population has moved to the waterfront and will continue to move to the waterfront in the future. Just try to get on a King car at rush hour! So many people want to live in the city and use transit – we need to make this happen.

  123. No disrespect to whomever suggested it but when i saw “DaRyL” as a name alterative to this line, i thought it was a joke.

    Then i saw this same suggestion in this weekend’s National Post. Then i didn’t laugh so hard.

    To BHaggis: The Gardiner is not a huge problem for me(*better than a super wide Boulevard) But i do agree there’s waaaay too many Condo’s moving into the Lakeshore area. Has anyone seen the ACC lately??? It’s been swallowed by condos!

  124. If the DRL gets the go-ahead, it will only be the eastern leg at this time. Eventually, it will be extended west, but that will be a lower priority than the eastern portion.

    Taking the line down to Union has several disadvantages, primarily the lack of space for it there (both underground and above ground). Also important, is the huge bottleneck for passenger flow. With a Union connection, EVERYONE using the line to get to a location near University or Yonge must funnel through the Union connection. With a connection somewhere else (Queen would likely be best, but King would function as well, Dundas is problematic due to its twisty nature, and the others are too far north), the Yonge-bound and University-bound passengers will have separate connection points, so the load is split in half because of that. Furthermore, some will be going north and some south, so there is a further distribution of people onto the Yonge and University subways (and with a Queen or King connection, the loads from the north are no longer a problem).

  125. Calvin – True. And those wishing to connect to Union GO and Via lines can walk through the PATH, a defacto direct connection.

  126. I favour using Front St. into the core, and what about starting the DRL with a mini-DRL that takes some of the Queen and King cars and expedite them into the core via Front St. on the north side of the tracks to ease access to Front St. surface?
    I had a straight letter in the Star today – did anybody else try?
    Meeting tomorrow at Lith Hall 1573 Bloor St. W 11-8:30

  127. Do Torontonians think small! Trying to avoid connecting to union, never mind that GO and VIA passengers need to get there, because there are too many people already. Somehow I don’t think sending people out of their way, and making them transfer on our unreliable subway, is the intelligent solution.

    Union just needs better pedestrian flow design. More Torontonians need to get their heads out of their @$$es and look at stations like Shibuya in Tokyo which move a couple million a day! I think we can design for a tiny fraction of that.

  128. What about a AIR-DOWN-DON line? A subway out to the airport instead of Blue 22 that could travel through the rail corridor (perhaps making the Jane LRT unnecessary) to union (or another downtown location) then up to danforth via Pape or Donlands, along Don Mills (instead of the Transit City LRT) and then to Sheppard.

    If the money put aside for Transit City, Blue 22 and this new DRL was put into this one project – it could become feasible.

    Having a direct subway line downtown close to the 400 in the west and the 404 in the east could service a lot of folks including those that travel along the 401.

    The Sheppard LRT could tie into this line in the west.

  129. jamesmallon wrote, “Trying to avoid connecting to union, never mind that GO and VIA passengers need to get there”

    This line is currently called the Downtown Relief Line for a reason: to provide relief from the overcrowded portion of the Yonge line. That is SOUTHBOUND through Bloor in the mornings and NORTHBOUND in the afternoons.

    VIA’s passenger numbers, especially those using the subway to get to Union, are relatively small. GO’s passengers are moving AWAY from Union in the morning and towards Union in the afternoon – OPPOSITE the peak flow of passengers.

    While a few of these people might actually have their movements benefit from a DRL going to Union, I believe it is safe to say that most wouldn’t and that their commutes would be vastly improved by a DRL that does not go to Union.

    We really should be looking at network improvements that help spread out where people have to travel to get to their destinations (and provide alternative paths when a problem occurs). Funneling everyone through Union is just asking for trouble.

  130. Whether passengers should better move through Union or not is a moot point. If we ever get a DRL, it will be on the rail lands, and will have to connect to Union. If you think our city will ever get the money to bury under Wellington/King/Queen/Richmond or the ‘yellow brick road’, you are a stunned.

  131. “you are a stunned” not sure what that means exactly.

    While for now funding is an “if”, we should concentrate more on the “when” As Mr Hume laments in the Toronto Star on a regular basis, it may happen when the federal government understands that urban Canada is the engine of the economy now. It’s not just about the transport of goods, it’s about the transport of people. If the city ain’t working the economy doesn’t either.

  132. Naming anything is far more difficult than it looks. 🙂 As a transit marketing expert (and longtime supporter) it’s amazing how unimaginative most names can be. I salute Spacing readers for their enthusiasm and for taking up the cause of the DRL with such joy. You give people in my line of work hope that great things can be achieved and that there are people who actually care about great transit, great city iconography, great names.

  133. I do love this idea. But it does scare me a little. A subway going across the neighbourhood of Parkdale and into a residential street like Sauroren is a bit concerning.

    I’ve always dreamed of a cross town subway. The Queen/Dundas/College and King streetcars simply aren’t good enough anymore, and I’m so glad this is being addressed finally.

    I’ve always wondered why Dundas West route couldn’t work. It starts south in the east end and ends north to the west. I suppose this wouldn’t help everyone, but it crosses the bloor line, and remains within the central core.