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The Yonge-University-Spadina Line is the oldest subway line in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and undoubtedly, the most crowded subway line in Toronto, since it serves Downtown Toronto. It is operated by the Toronto Transit Commission, has 32 stations and is 30.2 km (18.8 miles) in length. It opened in 1954, and had extensions completed in 1963, 1973, 1974, 1978, and 1996. North York Centre station opened on an existing section of line in 1987.
The line's name has changed as it was extended. It was simply the Yonge subway until 1963, then the Yonge-University Line until 1978, when the Spadina section was added. Although only two stations are actually on Spadina Road, a larger portion of the line was originally planned to follow the Spadina Expressway. The part of the expressway that was actually built was renamed William R. Allen Road, but the name of the line was never adjusted. It is also numbered as Route 1 (formerly route 601), but its route number is used by the TTC predominantly for internal purposes and is rarely used by the public or on TTC maps.
The subway runs from approximately 6:00 to 1:30 Monday to Saturday and 9:00 to 1:30 on Sunday. The subway runs every 5 minutes, with frequent service (3 minutes) during rush hour periods. Note: There is limited service (5 minutes) northbound from St. Clair West station from 6:00 to 9:00 Monday to Friday.
The 320 Yonge bus provides late night service when the subway is not in operation. This service operates frequently from along Yonge between Steeles to Union Station. No bus service follows the University-Spadina line, though other night bus services, such as 311 Bathurst pass near some of the stations. Bus service is extended on Sundays to account for the 9:00 start.
On 30 March 1954, after five years of work, the first subway in Canada opened to the public. The original Yonge Street subway line went from Union Station north to Eglinton station. Premier Leslie Frost and Mayor Allan Lamport, among other important persons, 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 p.m., 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.
In 1973, the line was extended north to York Mills station, and the next year to Finch station. Stations were also planned for Glencairn (between Eglinton and Lawrence) and Glen Echo (between Lawrence and York Mills). 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, a southbound subway train heading toward Dupont Station crashed under Russell Hill. This accident, called the Russell Hill subway accident prompted the Toronto Transit Commission to review its practices and put its resources into safety.
In 1996, the Spadina expansion was opened, adding one new station, Downsview.
This line is expected to see the next major phase of expansion: the "Spadina North" extension, which will bring the line to York University northwest of Downsview station, and into the city of Vaughan to the proposed Vaughan Corporate Centre. Six new stations are planned along the 8.7 km extension (6.2 km in the City of Toronto and 2.5 km in York Region). Preliminary route planning has begun, and the TTC has completed an environmental assessment only to Steeles Avenue. The current Ontario government has committed $670 million in its March 23, 2006 budget, which is about one-third of the expected $2 billion cost. The other two-thirds of the money would come from the federal and municipal governments (Toronto and York Region). This commitment is also dependent on the line being completed to the Vaughan Corporate Centre/Highway 7 area, which would require further environmental assessment. In the meantime, a temporary busway is planned between Downsview station and the campus. See the link below.
Proposals have also been put forward to extend the Yonge Street portion of the line beyond Finch to Steeles and into York Region, most likely ending at a terminal station at Highway 7. This extension is not expected to be built in the near future.
The line forms a rough U-shape. Its western leg starts at the northern terminus at Downsview station, at Sheppard Avenue and W.R. Allen Road ("Allen Road"). The line follows the Allen Road, which becomes a small expressway, travelling in its median for 6 km (3.8 miles). Continuing southeast below the Cedarvale and Nordheimer Ravines, it turns south under a short stretch of Spadina Road. After sharing the Bloor-Danforth Line's Spadina and St. George stations, it turns south again under Queen's Park, passing to one side of the legislature, and running the full length of University Avenue beyond. It turns east on 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 (10 miles), crossing the Bloor-Danforth Line again at Bloor-Yonge and the Sheppard Line at Sheppard-Yonge, before reaching its northern terminus at Finch station.
The line is generally 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 which are now covered were originally open and have since been covered over to permit other uses above the tracks. Most of the tunnel was constructed by cut-and-cover, 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 February 2007, stations marked have elevators for wheelchair access. By the end of 2007, wheelchair-accessible elevators will be added at St. Clair, Lawrence West, and North York Centre stations. Museum station could also become accessible by as early as 2009.
The preferred alignment and placement for four stations for the proposed "Spadina North" extension beyond Downsview station to serve York University was finalized in September 2005. Six stations are planned: the tentative name for the new terminus is "Vaughan Corporate Centre", with intermediate stations called "Highway 407 Transitway", "Steeles West", "York University", "Finch West", and "Sheppard West". If built, this extension would likely replace the portion of York Region Transit's Viva Orange bus rapid transit line that currently covers the Downsview — York University route.
Voice automation systemEdit
This subway line now uses an automated voice system to announce each stop on this subway line without the operators announcing every stop.
- ↑ Significant dates in Canadian railway history. Colin Churcher's Railway Pages (17 March 2006). Retrieved on March 29, 2006.
- ↑ City of Toronto (2006). Toronto Transit Commission - History. Retrieved on March 29, 2006.