Downtown Relief Line (part 1)

Preface: Keep in mind this is pretty much a pipe dream, and Transit City is probably far more important to the city right now.

Toronto has just been awarded the 2015 Pan-American Games. This is believed to be an incentive to improve the city’s rapid transit network. Specifically, the much-discussed Downtown Relief Line is core to this plan. The West Donlands area would be redeveloped with new housing, and serve as the athletes’ village during the games. But this area is currently severely underserved by public transit, and a new subway line may be just what is needed.

The Downtown Relief Line was proposed in part for the ability to alleviate transfers at Yonge-Bloor and St. George stations, and provide a faster route downtown for people travelling from the west or east ends of the Bloor-Danforth line. It would also alleviate serious overcrowding problems, which are only going to get worse if the Yonge line extends north of Finch.

Taking the subway downtown (towards the 2 transfer points) in the morning gets extremely crowded, except from the Spadina line*. When I was going downtown from the west end, my subway car would be full by about Lansdowne or Dufferin, and people would often be left behind on the platform because they simply couldn’t board the train. The situation is mirrored on the Yonge line and Danforth line. There need to be more options for commuters in the morning.

The Downtown Relief Line was originally proposed to go southbound from Pape station, and across Eastern Avenue / Front Street, with a transfer point at Union, and ending at Spadina. A potential westward extension would connect to Bloor at Dundas West, and a potential northward extension would go up from Pape to Eglinton (presumably at Don Mills).

That plan outlines a good general idea of what Toronto’s DRL should do.

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Posted on November 11, 2009, in Ideas, Toronto, TTC and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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