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Toronto Transit Commission

Toronto Subway

Toronto Subway Line 1 Yonge–University
Toronto Subway Line 2 Bloor–Danforth
Toronto Subway Line 3 Scarborough
Toronto Subway Line 4 Sheppard
Toronto Subway Line 5 Eglinton (under construction)


This article is about the subway system in Toronto. For the organization that operates the system along with the city's buses and streetcars, see Toronto Transit Commission.

The Toronto subway and RT is the main rapid transit (RT) railway system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Since the original line following Yonge Street opened in 1954, the network has expanded to become Canada's longest rapid transit rail network, encompassing four lines and 69 stations on 68.3 kilometres (42.7 miles) of track; this includes the RT's 6 stations with 6.4 kilometres (4.2 miles) of track. The subway system is a very popular mode of public transport in Toronto and the largest in Canada in terms of passenger usage, with an average of 1,186,050 passenger trips each weekday (as of 2005-2006).

The TTC sometimes uses the term "rapid transit" internally to describe all four lines, but in general public usage there is no collective term. They are called the three "subway" lines and "the (Scarborough) RT".

A current focus for the TTC's rapid transit expansion is an extension bringing the western branch of the Yonge-University-Spadina Line northward to York University, Steeles Avenue, and Vaughan Corporate Centre in York Region. The Government of Ontario announced on March 23, 2006 that it will provide $670 million for this extension, about one-third of the expected cost. If built, the extension would be approximately 6.2 km long and would likely be built with six new stations: Sheppard West, Finch West, York University, Steeles West, Highway 407 Transitway and Vaughan Corporate Centre. It is expected to cost approximately $2 billion. An environmental assessment has been completed to Steeles Avenue.

Toronto's subway networkEdit

Bullet Line Terminals Year Opened Newest Extension Length (km) Stations
Toronto Subway Line 1 Yonge–University FinchDownsview 1954 1996 30.2 32
Toronto Subway Line 2 Bloor–Danforth KiplingKennedy 1966 1980 26.2 31
Toronto Subway Line 3 Scarborough KennedyMcCowan 1985 6.4 6
Toronto Subway Line 4 Sheppard Sheppard–YongeDon Mills 2002 5.5 5

History Edit

Yonge-University line (1954-1963) Edit

The first segment of the subway, which replaced a heavily-used streetcar route, ran under and next to Yonge Street from Eglinton Avenue to King Street. The route then turned west, to the southernmost station, at Front and Bay, underneath to the city's main railway terminus, Union Station. This line was completed in 1954. It was 6.5 km long.

In 1963, an extension was added, north from Union Station, below University Avenue, to just south of Bloor Street, where it turned west to terminate at St. George and Bloor.

Bloor-Danforth line (1966-1968) Edit

The very existence of the Danforth line, opened in 1966, is thanks to a decision made more than forty years earlier. When the Prince Edward Viaduct was built in 1919, its designer insisted on building twin decks below the roadway to allow for future rail traffic. Thanks to that decision, the subway is able to cross the Don River ravine to Danforth Avenue on the east side.

Yonge line extension (1973-1974) Edit

The Yonge-University line was extended north 8 km from Eglinton and Yonge to Finch Avenue and Yonge in 1973 and 1974.

Spadina extension (1978) Edit

A further 12 km was added to the Yonge-University Line at St George and Bloor, running north-west to Eglinton and William R. Allen Road, where it turned north to run down the centre of the Allen Road, to Wilson Avenue and the Allen Road.

Bloor-Danforth extension (1980) Edit

Extensions were added at the west and east end of the Bloor-Danforth Line. These extensions each added a single station, and much needed bus bays to connect to surface routes, and, on the eastern end, room to connect to the Scarborough RT.

Scarborough RT (1985) Edit

The Scarborough RT is an intermediate-capacity line built almost entirely above ground, which has no direct track connections to the other lines and uses a separate fleet of ICTS trains based on dramatically different technology (similar to those of the Vancouver SkyTrain). Nevertheless, its operating practices are the same as those of the other three lines. The route is fully isolated from road traffic and pedestrians, the stations are fully covered, and the trains are boarded through many doors from high platforms within a fare-paid zone set off by a barrier. The TTC therefore includes it with the other rapid transit lines for mapping and administrative purposes.

Spadina extension (1996) Edit

An additional kilometre was added to the north end of the Spadina arm of the Yonge-University-Spadina line, adding a station (Downsview Station) with bus-bays for connections to surface routes. At the time, a newly elected provincial Progressive Conservative government cancelled their share of funding that would have extended this route northward to York University and Steeles Avenue. This extension is again under serious consideration (see Future expansion).

Sheppard line (2002) Edit

The Sheppard line, opened in 2002, runs 5.5 km east, from Sheppard Station on the Yonge line (now renamed Sheppard-Yonge), near the north end of the Yonge-University-Spadina Line.

Voice automation system Edit

An automated voice system was added to announce each station and replace the need for the train operator to announce each stop. The automated system is currently used on the Sheppard and the Yonge - University Spadina Subway Line. The entire subway and RT system will have this installed by the end of 2007. The system uses a computerized female voice similar to the automated system used on Viva. Station announcements by the Operators originally commenced January 8, 1995.


The Museum, Osgoode and St. Patrick subway stations will be renovated to provide transit riders with a visual experience linking them to the major cultural institutions in the area, such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Gardiner Museum, Textile Museum of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario College of Art and Design and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Future expansionEdit

The TTC has placed a lower priority on rapid-transit expansion, contingent upon additional funding: maintenance of the present system, increasing the present system's capacity, and fare initiatives are currently considered higher funding priorities.

Through its Rapid Transit Expansion Strategy (RTES), the TTC has identified two major subway expansion projects until 2015. One is the eventual eastward extension of the Sheppard line from Don Mills station to Scarborough Centre station (see the Sheppard line article for more details).

Another is the extension of the Yonge-University-Spadina line from Downsview station through York University to Steeles Avenue and up to the proposed Vaughan Corporate Centre in the city's northern neighbour, the City of Vaughan, which is part of the Regional Municipality of York. Receiving increased attention recently, this extension to Steeles Avenue has passed the third phase of Environmental Assessment and an alignment has been established. The six proposed stations are provisionally named Sheppard West, Finch West, York University, Steeles West, Highway 407 Transitway, and Vaughan Corporate Centre.

The current provincial Liberal government will provide $670 million to a trust fund earmarked for the Spadina subway extension. With no obstacles and full funding commitments from senior government, the $2 billion expansion would be operational by 2013 at the earliest.

In addition, the TTC is currently considering options for revitalizing the Scarborough RT line, since its fleet of trains are approaching the end of their lifespan and the line is already overcrowded. Replacing the trains is complicated by the fact that the original ICTS vehicles used by the line are no longer produced, and their newer counterparts are longer and so would require expensive upgrades to the existing track. As a result, the TTC is also considering other options including an extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway along a different alignment, converting the Scarborough RT to a dedicated right-of-way for streetcars (as was originally planned), and replacing it with a bus rapid transit line. The Government of Ontario has provided $1 million for an environmental assessment relating to the future of "the Scarborough subway".

Subway factsEdit

Like most subways, the Toronto subway/RT trains collect their electric power from a third rail mounted alongside the tracks. 'Shoes' mounted on the bogeys are located on both sides of each coach for the required contact. Power is supplied at 600 V DC.

Scarborough RT trains cannot switch directions except at the ends of the line as there are no turnback switches between the two termini. In contrast, the subway system was built in multiple segments, thereby providing multiple x-pattern crossovers. Current service patterns do not provide regular short turn service aside from the procedure at St. Clair West in the AM rush hour, however the flexible crossovers have come in handy during track repairs in which service is suspended in certain areas. Some currently unused crossovers include those near Islington, Keele, St. George (University line), Union, Woodbine, Warden, Eglinton, and Wilson. Another x-pattern crossover is present at the now abandoned Lower Bay Station.

Aside from the AM rush hour short turning of northbound trains at St. Clair West, no current service patterns involve either short turns or multiple routes sharing the same trackways. Even still, there remain Flexible signs suspended from the ceilings of stations (excluding those on the Sheppard subway and Scarborough RT) with a fixed sign reading "Next train" and the destination posted below on a flexible display. This system was useful during the short-lived interlining trial (see below), in which multiple routes shared the same tracks as other lines. The signs on the southbound platforms from College to King, the University-bound platform at Union, and the northbound platforms from St. Andrew to St. Clair West were active to indicate trains short turning at St. Clair West until December 2004 when their use was discontinued. To avoid confusion, all of these signs are currently set to the corresponding present terminus (Kipling, Kennedy, Downsview, Finch).

In March 1963, an electrical short in the motor of a subway car and the decision to continue operating the train despite visible smoke in the affected car until the train reached Union station resulted in the destruction of six subway cars and extensive damage to the tunnel and signal lines west of Union station. Following this incident safety procedures involving electrical malfunctions and/or fire in subway trains were revised to improve safety and reduce the likelihood of a similar incident occurring.

In October 1976, a vandal-originated fire caused the destruction of four subway cars and damage to Christie station, resulting in the closure of the Bloor-Danforth line for three days, and the by-passing of Christie station for some time afterwards for repairs.

In August 1995, the TTC suffered its worst subway accident in what it refers to as the Russell Hill accident on the Yonge-University-Spadina line south of St. Clair West station. Three women died and 100 people were injured, a few seriously. This led to a major reorganization at the TTC, since contributing to maintaining a "state of good repair" (i.e., an increased emphasis on safety and maintenance of existing TTC capital/services) and less so on expansion.

GO Transit commuter trains stop at or near the Kipling, Dundas West (GO's Bloor station), Main Street (GO's Danforth station), Leslie (GO's Oriole station), and Kennedy subway stations. The TTC's Union subway station connects with Union Station, Toronto's main railway station, which serves not only GO trains, but also VIA, Amtrak, and Ontario Northland. GO buses connect with the TTC at a number of stations, and some other GO stations, while not connected to the subway, are served by buses or streetcars.

Suicides in the subway system have occurred in Toronto, but it is not a common problem. Some have suggested the installation of barrier doors to prevent suicides and others from accidentally falling onto the tracks.

The only baby to be born on the subway is Mary Kim of Scarborough, Ontario. On February 6, 2006, her mother, Sun Hee Paik, took the subway with her family to St. Michael's Hospital from their Scarborough home. She did not make it to the downtown hospital and gave birth at Wellesley subway station. Her husband delivered the baby and Toronto EMS arrived later to help finish the birth and send the mother and child to St. Michael's. TTC officials later promised to provide Mary with lifetime transit access.

Passengers are notified that the doors are closing and they are about to leave the station with a three note chime (G-E-C) [1]. This chime is instantly recognisable by most Torontonians and has become part of Toronto culture. The door chimes were first tested in 1991. Since 1954, the Guard had notified patrons of the doors closing with two short blasts from a whistle. The "official" last whistle was blown on the Bloor-Danforth line in 1995, however, the M-1 class of subway cars were not refitted with the chimes and the Guard continued to use a whistle until the retirement of those cars in 1999. In case of a malfunction of the door chimes, subway Operators continue to carry a whistle, which has occasionally been used since 1999.

Subway artEdit

Over time, Toronto's transit system has become a hidden art gallery, home to more than two dozen pieces scattered along the subway and streetcar routes.

One of the most memorable distractions in the subway system is Charles Pachter’s "Hockey Knights in Canada", added to College station in 1985. The two-part installation, just steps from Maple Leaf Gardens, depicts the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs squaring off from opposite sides of the subway tracks.

The Spadina Line features many art installations. Spadina station on that line features a tilework mural with approximately 10,000 circular tiles and another mural called Barren Ground Caribou by Joyce Wieland. St. Clair West Station features an enamel mural called Tempo by Gordon Rayner. Unusually, Eglinton West station features an artwork called Summertime Streetcar by Gerald Zeldinwith, which consists of two enamel murals depicting PCC streetcars facing each other, although these streetcars had never served this station. Dupont station features A Spadina Summer Under All Seasons, an installation from the 1970s. Using thousands of pieces of glass, artist James Sutherland built colourful mosaics of flowers directly into the station’s tiling. Two giant flowers face each other across the tracks, reaching upward into a mezzanine level lined with smaller flower mosaics.

The artwork at Dupont station was the most extensive in the Toronto transit system until the Sheppard line opened in 2002. The Sheppard-Yonge station features Immersion Land, a mosaic composed of 1.5 million one-inch tiles, created by Toronto artist Stacey Spiegel. The installation was developed from a digitized and pixilated blend of 150 photographs depicting lush landscapes, country homes, and rural scenes from Yonge Street as it stretches towards North Bay.

Each Sheppard line station has an artistic feature. The most notable of these is Leslie, a station that approaches the expanse of Dupont and Sheppard-Yonge’s installations. Five years before the station opened, artist Micah Lexier began collecting writing samples from the public of the words “Sheppard” and “Leslie”. Over 3,000 of these samples were used in the installation, and the words were silk-screened onto tiles. In total, 17,000 of these tiles are on the walls of the station, each featuring the handwritten contribution of a community member. The installation was dubbed Ampersand in recognition of the “&” symbol – the only consistent element of each tile.

At Bayview, shadows of common objects such as apples and ladders silk screened to the linoleum and walls framed by patches of coloured tile gives it a kind of surreal look called trompe l'oeil.

At Bessarion, images of the backs of peoples' heads have been silk screened onto wall tiles highlight the platform walls.

At Don Mills, metallic inlays of shells in the floor of the platform make it appear underwater, while in the concourse, tile patterns representing geological strata make it appear underground (which it is).

USA Today said of Toronto's Sheppard Subway: "Despite the remarkable engineering feats of this metro, known as Sheppard Subway, it's the art covering walls, ceilings and platforms of all five stations that stands out. Each station is 'a total art experience where artists have created imaginative environments, uniquely expressing themes of community, location and heritage' through panoramic landscapes and ceramic wall murals." [2]

Panya Clark Espinal is the artist who designed the art in the Bayview Station.

See: Art on the TTC See: Subway Art


For complete lists and details of stations, lines, and their locations in the Toronto subway/RT system, see "Train network" above and associated links.

Current stationsEdit

Most stations are named for the nearest major road crossed by the line in question. A few are named for major landmarks, such as shopping centres or transportation hubs, served by the station. The University Avenue section of the Yonge-University-Spadina line, in particular, is named entirely for landmarks (public institutions and major churches).

All trains stop at every station along their route and run the entire length of their line from terminus to terminus.

Closed stationsEdit

Lower BayEdit

The TTC has one closed subway station platform: the lower level of Bay subway station. This subway station was briefly used for interlining between two of Toronto's lines in 1966, producing an effect similar to the "branching" lines of metro systems in some other cities. Interlining worked in that one would not have to switch trains to go from one line to another.

The experiment, which lasted six months, proved to be impractical. A problem could hold up much of the system. The interlining trial worked by having one group of trains travelling south from Eglinton. After leaving Museum, they would turn east into Lower Bay, continuing east to Woodbine. They then travelled west to Keele via upper Bay and lower St. George, afterwards returning east to upper St. George, where they would switch south onto the University line, and return to Eglinton, producing a wye pattern. The other group of trains would also start at Eglinton, but at the Bloor junction, they would turn west to Keele via upper St. George, reversing east to Woodbine via lower St. George and upper Bay, and returning to the University line via lower Bay. At Bay, the problem was caused because trains going to Woodbine from Eglinton would arrive in Lower Bay, and trains from Keele would arrive in Upper Bay. Since trains alternated, passengers entering the station did not know where to find their train. The same problem was encountered at St. George, where trains to Keele from Eglinton would arrive in Upper St. George, and trains from Woodbine arrived in Lower St. George (opposite to that of Bay). The problem was not encountered for trains headed for Eglinton, as they would always arrive at Lower Bay and Upper St. George-due to track layout, and Museum did not have the same problems, because it had a single level. Track layout was the cause for the issues at St. George and Bay because both levels had sets of tracks headed for their corresponding terminal (At St. George, west-bound tracks on both levels went to Keele. Bay & Woodbine had the same issue, but with east-bound tracks.) It was impossible to make both trains headed for the same terminal arrive on the same level (as in Queensborough Plaza Station, New York City), because at the University line junction on both sides (West and East) both tracks on the same level went in the same direction.

Chaos ensued as passengers at St. George did not know which platform their next train might end up on, causing people to wait on the stairs. Switching trains also did not significantly lengthen a commute, since at the point of departure one would have to wait anyhow for an interlined train heading to the desired destination.

Today, Lower Bay is best known for its use in movie shoots and special events. The station has been modified several times to make it look like a "common" American subway station, and the TTC owns a pre-built set to disguise it as a New York City Subway station. While open, the setup of staircases between Upper and Lower Bay resembled that of St. George. The stairs to Lower Bay have been walled up, but are still fairly obvious in that they were walled up using green tiles, in contrast to the white tiles of the rest of the station.

The tracks through Lower Bay still exist and are used from time to time to move equipment between lines. The junctions are just north of Museum station northbound and just west of Bloor-Yonge station. A second double-track connection links junctions just east of Spadina (Bloor-Danforth line) and just north (physically west) of St. George on the Yonge-University-Spadina Line.

On weekends from February 24 to March 31, 2007, Bay station will be closed and Bloor-Danforth trains will be routed through Lower Bay, but will not stop. See Bay (TTC) for more information.

On February 24, 2007 at around 4:00pm all trains on the Bloor-Danforth Line were forced switched back at Ossington in the west end and Chester Stations in the east end due to switcher and signal problems, there were shuttle buses running between Chester and Ossington Stations, hundreds of commuters were stranded due to an unexpected errors, At around 6:00pm all train service on the Bloor-Danforth Line was resumed on their normal route.

Other stationsEdit

A lesser known station is Lower Queen. In the plan that produced the original section of the Yonge subway, the TTC planned to build a second subway under Queen Street that would have been used not by dedicated rapid-transit trains but instead by regular streetcars in order to speed up their east-west passage through the downtown section. When the federal government refused to provide funding for the subway project, the TTC deferred the Queen subway, and by the time it came to revisit the east-west question, changing traffic patterns made the route under Bloor Street more sensible. The original Yonge subway's Queen station, however, had been built with a roughed-in streetcar station on a lower level, ready for the second line if it should ever be built. Many people unknowingly pass through this second station every day, as the tunnel that goes under the station so that riders can move between northbound and southbound platforms is a portion of this underground station, with most of the excess infrastructure walled off. The access to the lower space is from the passageway between the platforms.

The TTC also planned a similar platform under Osgoode station for the Queen line, but all that was done was the relocation of utility lines to allow for future construction.

In the 1990s, the TTC began digging a platform under the existing Eglinton West for the Eglinton subway project, but it was filled in again when the Government of Ontario cancelled the line in 1995.

That year provincial resources were immediately pulled out of the environment ministry, cutting its budget by nearly half and shifting focus away from urban planning. In addition to cancelling the planned subway line along Eglinton West, extension of the Spadina line to York University was also halted. (Moloney, 2002) By 1998, the province completely eliminated subsidies for the Toronto Transit Commission that had amounted to $104 million in 1995. (Theobald, 2003)

Busiest stationsEdit

The system's busiest subway stations are (in order):

Track informationEdit

For the most part, the subway system is composed of two parallel three-rail tracks. At most stations, particularly the older ones, the rails enter two separate bays in each station, one for Eastbound, one for Westbound (or Northbound/Southbound). In this case, these are side-platform stations.

These stations are:

  • Eglinton West
  • St. Clair West
  • Dupont
  • Spadina (Both Lines)
  • King
  • Queen
  • Dundas
  • College
  • Wellesley
  • Bloor (Not Yonge)
  • Rosedale
  • Summerhill
  • St. Clair
  • Davisville
  • North York Centre
  • Sheppard-Yonge (Sheppard Line Only)
  • Royal York
  • Old Mill
  • Jane
  • Runnymede
  • High Park
  • Keele
  • Dundas West
  • Lansdowne
  • Ossington
  • Dufferin
  • Christie
  • Bathurst
  • Sherbourne
  • Castle Frank
  • Broadview
  • Chester
  • Pape
  • Donlands
  • Greenwood
  • Coxwell
  • Woodbine
  • Main Street
  • Victoria Park
  • Lawrence East
  • Ellesmere
  • Midland
  • Scarborough Centre
  • McCowan

The newer stations, with some exceptions, use a single platform between the tracks. Older stations that were formerly termini also use a single platform between the tracks. In this case, these are centre-platform stations.

These Stations are:

  • Downsview
  • Wilson
  • Yorkdale
  • Lawrence West
  • Glencairn
  • St. George (Both Lines)
  • Museum
  • Queen's Park
  • St. Patrick
  • Osgoode
  • St. Andrew
  • Union
  • Eglinton
  • Lawrence
  • York Mills
  • Sheppard-Yonge (Yonge Line only)
  • Finch
  • Kipling
  • Islington
  • Bay
  • Yonge (not Bloor)
  • Warden
  • Kennedy
  • Bayview
  • Bessarion
  • Leslie
  • Don Mills

Along the lines there are also storage tracks, a third set of rails longer than the length of a train, that can be used for resting or turning around. They are formally known in the TTC as centre tracks.

These exist at the following locations:

  • East of Islington Station
  • East of Ossington Station
  • West of Chester Station
  • South of Lawrence West Station
  • North of St. Clair West Station
  • West of Union Station
  • South of York Mills Station

Pocket tracks are also a variation of centre tracks, but can only be accessed from one end. The other end ends in a blocker. They can be found at:

  • South of Osgoode Station (accessible from north end only)
  • North of Eglinton Station (accessible from north end only)
  • North of Finch Station (tail tracks)

Double crossovers, allowing for the switching of tracks exist at the following locations:

  • East of Kipling Station
  • East of Islington Station
  • East of Jane Station
  • East of Keele Station
  • East of St. George Station (both lines)
  • West of Woodbine Station
  • East of Victoria Park Station
  • West of Warden Station (geographically south of the station)
  • West of Kennedy Station (on the Bloor-Danforth line)
  • South of Downsview Station
  • South of Wilson Station
  • North of Spadina Station (on the Yonge-University-Spadina line)
  • Sound end of Wilson yard *SINGLE CROSSOVER*
  • North end of Wilson yard *SINGLE CROSSOVER*
  • East of Union *SINGLE CROSSOVER*
  • North of Bloor Station
  • South of Davisville *SINGLE CROSSOVER*
  • North of Davisville *SINGLE CROSSOVER*
  • South of Eglinton Station
  • South of Lawrence Station
  • South of Sheppard Station
  • South of Finch Station
  • West of Yonge Station (on the Sheppard line) *SINGLE CROSSOVER*
  • East of Yonge Station (on the Sheppard line)
  • West of Bayview Station
  • West of Don Mills Station
  • West of McCowan Station
  • East of McCowan Station (in McCowan yard)
  • North of Driver platform (in Wilson yard)
  • South of Driver platform (in Greenwood yard)

There is also a single crossover north of Union Station on the Yonge line that allows trains to come into Union from the north, enter what is now the platform designated "Northbound - University line", and turn around, heading back north towards Finch on the proper track. This would have been used when Union was the Yonge terminus until the University line was opened in the 1960s.

Other track "anomalies":

  • The tracks used for interlining in the late 1960s:
    • North of Museum Station the tracks split, one heading for Upper-St. George St, the other for the now abandoned Lower-Bay.
      • The track headed to Lower-Bay joins up with the Bloor-Danforth line just before Yonge Station.
      • The track headed to Upper-St. George is what is now used for the University line.
    • The tracks approaching St. George Station from Spadina split, one heading for Upper, the other for Lower-St. George.
  • Single cross-overs act as entrances to the Vincent Yards, the Wilson Yards, the Davisville Yards, and the Downsview Yards.
  • Between Donlands and Greenwood Stations the track splits in both directions, allowing trains to enter or exit the Greenwood Yards in either direction.
  • A maintenance track, accessible from the eastbound Bloor-Danforth line, just west of Warden Station. Trains must back into this track and leave head-first.
  • Short tail tracks at Don Mills Station. It is the only terminal station not to have train length tail tracks.
  • The tracks used to transfer between the Sheppard and Yonge lines are as follows:
    • From Northbound Yonge to Eastbound Sheppard: Simple track split on the Yonge line
      • This track meets the Sheppard Line East of Sheppard-Yonge Station, so trains must then back into the station.
    • From the Westbound Sheppard track to Southbound Yonge: Trains go west, beyond the Sheppard-Yonge Station, the track then splits, one track onto the Eastbound Sheppard, the other to Southbound Yonge.
  • There used to be more crossovers on the Yonge line, but three were removed when the University line was constructed
    • The locations of the removed crossovers were: north of King Station, south of College Station (Gerrard Crossover), and south of St. Clair Station.
      • The cuts in the tunnels for the King and Gerrard Crossovers still exist to this day.

Track gaugeEdit

The tracks of Toronto's streetcars and subways (apart from the Scarborough RT) are built to the unique gauge of 1495 mm (4 feet 10⅞ inches), 60 mm (2⅜ inches) wider than the usual standard of 1435 mm (4 feet 8½ inches). One popular albeit false belief is that the City of Toronto feared that the Toronto Railway Company, which held the franchise to run streetcars before the TTC was created, would allow Canadian Pacific Railway to operate steam locomotives through city streets. The more practical reason is that early tracks were used to pull wagons smoothly in the days before paved roads, and that they fit a different gauge. Due to the cost of converting all the tracks and vehicles (and the lack of any real benefit in doing so), the unique gauge has remained to this day.

Some proposals for the city's subway system involved using streetcars in the tunnels and possibly having some routes run partially in tunnels and partially on city streets, so the same gauge was used, though the idea was ultimately dropped in favour of dedicated rapid-transit trains. The use of standard-gauge tracks on the Scarborough RT makes it impossible for there to be any track connection between it and the other lines, and so when its ICTS vehicles need anything more than basic service (which can be carried out in the RT's own McCowan Yard), they are carried by truck to the Greenwood subway yards.


The Toronto Transit Commission has a fleet of:

  • 684* subway cars for the Yonge-University-Spadina, Bloor-Danforth, and Sheppard lines
  • 56 subway work cars
  • 28 Intermediate Capacity Transit System cars for the Scarborough RT line
  • 6 RT work cars
  • 372 accessible subway cars (2005)

Here is a list of rapid transit vehicles used by the TTC since 1954:

Subway trainsEdit


Product list and details (date information from the TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
Hawker-Siddeley Canada RT 75 H4 Subway car 77 1974-1975 When next order of cars is in service* 50 out of the 77 remain active:

5580-5681, 5600-5601, 5602-5603, 5604-5605, 5606-5607, 5608-5609, 5610-5611, 5622-5623, 5624-5625, 5626-5627, 5630-5631, 5632-5633, 5638-5639, 5640-5641, 5642-5643, 5644-5645, 5646-5647, 5648-5649, 5650-5651, 5652-5653, 5654-5655, 5656-5657, 5658-5659, 5660-5661, 5662-5663.

Hawker-Siddeley Canada RT75 H5 Subway car 138 1976-1979 When next order of cars is in service* 5721, 5755 are retired; 5720* is paired with 5754. (now renumbered to 5754-5755). 5796: T1 prototype in December 1990.
Urban Transportation Development Corporation RT75 H6 Subway car 126 1986-1989 2016? (Will be converted to be wheelchair accessible during maintenance)
Bombardier Transportation RT75 T1 Subway car 372 1995-2001 All wheelchair accessible

The current subway fleet consists mostly of the T1 cars and H5 and H6 cars. ALL of the H4 and H5 cars will be retired as more cars are bought in the future or wear out.

Before the H5 Cars will be retired, they may be running on the Bloor - Danforth Line for 3 years to replace the H4 cars.


All Gloucester and MLW cars have been retired, as well as most early H-series cars (H1-3) and the M1 Cars.

Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
Gloucester Railway Wagon and Carriage Company G1, G2, G3, and G4 Subway car 140 1953-59 1990 pair 5098-5099 sent to the Halton Radial Railway Museum in Milton, Ontario
Montreal Locomotive Works M1 Subway car 36 1962 1999 pair 5300-5301 sent to the Halton Radial Railway Museum in Milton, Ontario
Hawker-Siddeley Canada RT75 H1 Subway car 164 1965-66 1999
Hawker-Siddeley Canada H2 Subway car 76 1970-71 2002. 5500-5505 equipped with experimental Hitachi chopper controls and regenerative braking

and reclassed as H-3 in 1973; converted back to H-2 between September 1984 and April 1985.

Hawker-Siddeley Canada H4 Subway car 88 1974 Retired: 5576-5577, 5576-5579, 5582-5583, 5584-5585, 5586-5587, 5588-5589, 5590-5591,

5592-5593, 5594-5595, 5596-5597, 5598-5599, 5612-5613, 5614-5615, 5616-5617, 5618-5619, 5620-5621, 5628-5629, 5634-5635, 5636-5637.

50 remain in service; of them, 44 are rebuilt.
Hawker-Siddeley Canada H5 Subway car 138 1976-1980 5721, 5755 are retired; all others remain active until next order of trains is in service

Future: Toronto Rocket (T35A08)Edit

The "Toronto Rocket" is the official name for the TTC's future trains; "T35A08" is the public codename used. To pick a new name, the TTC conducted a 'Name the New Subway Train Contest', with the winning name announced on October 13, 2006 from over 3,000 submissions. [3] Beginning June 6, 2006, the TTC began displaying a mock-up of the new train at various stations; this ended on July 21, 2006.

For their future fleet, the TTC are considering abandoning their strategy of building their trains from married pairs of identical cars, and purchasing permanent six-segment articulated units similar to the model of Bombardier's Movia metro train used by the Shenzhen Metro. These will have only two driver cabins per train which will be stretching the width of the subway car, The TTC official on duty during the mock-up had reported complaints about the look-out window at the front which will be blocked off. And will allow passengers to walk between cars to provide increased capacity, reduce noise, and simplify operations. The original plan was to make all seats unpadded, plastic benches that would be parallel to the outside wall; due to the bad reaction from the public on this proposed change, this idea has since been scrapped, and the seats in the new trains will be almost identical to those of the T1 trains. Accessible seats will be doubled in the new cars, allowing for 12 locations per train for special needs commuters. Construction would be welded rather than riveted to reduce building costs and increase aerodynamics. The First of the newest train is scheduled to enter service in 2009. The new trains will be found on the Yonge University Spadina Line.[4]. Here is a walk through of the new designs released by Bombardier [5].

Scarborough RT trainsEdit

Product list and details (date information from TTC)
 Make/Model   Description   Fleet size   Year acquired   Year retired   Notes 
UTDC ICTS (CCR) - LRV Mark I RT car 28 1982-83 replacement pending unless line is scrapped

Work vehiclesEdit

Current subway work vehiclesEdit

  • note* RT35 and RT36 are mixed matched (2004).

Retired subway work vehiclesEdit

  • RT4: Platform maintenance car, ex Witt 2528, conv. 1954, retired 1974
  • RT5: Single truck grinding car, ex Civic car, conv. 1954, retired 1970
  • RT7: Single truck grinding car, ex Civic car, conv. 1967, retired 1970
  • RT10: Garbage car unit, Tokyo Rose, built 1967, retired 1999
  • RT14: Grinding train, ex PCC 4446, conv. 1970, retired 1989 – used with PCC RT15
  • RT14: Tunnel washer locomotive, conv. 1988 ex G2, retired 1999 – used with RT16 and RT17
  • RT15: Grinding train, ex PCC 4410, conv. 1970, retired 1989 – used with PCC RT14
  • RT15: Tunnel washer locomotive, conv. 1988 ex G2, retired 1999 – used with RT16 and RT17
  • RT16: Tunnel washer, built 1973, retired 1999 – used with RT12, RT14 and RT15 after 1988, rebuilt to non-motored flat car
  • RT17: Tunnel washer, built 1973, retired 1999 – used with RT12, RT14 and RT15 after 1988, rebuilt to non-motored flat car
  • RT38: Garbage car unit, ex G2, conv. 1991, retired 1998
  • RT39: Garbage car unit, ex G2, conv. 1991, retired 1998
  • RT28: Motorized flat car by Ecolaire, using G1 equipment, 1988
  • RT29: Motorized flat car by Ecolaire, using G1 equipment, 1988
  • RT34: Grinding train, ex G2 5102, conv. 1988, retired 2004
  • RT37: Grinding train, ex G1 5069, conv. 1991, retired 2004

Scarborough RT work vehiclesEdit

  • ST1: Diesel loco, built 1984
  • ST2: Flat car w/ crane, built 1984
  • ST3: Grinding truck, built 1984, used with ST1
  • ST4: Non motored snow blower, built 1986, used with ST1
  • ST5: Non motored power rail cleaner and de-icer, built 1987, used with ST1
  • ST6: Grinding truck, built 1987, used with ST1


A HS H1 car is used to simulate subway scenarios and is located at the Special Operations Training Centre of Toronto Fire Services.


Here is a list of subway and RT yards and facilities:

As well there are:

  • 66 elevators and 294 escalators in use in 2005
  • 28 parking lots with capacity for 14,136 cars in 2005

Source: TTC Subway Related Properties

Formerly planned linesEdit

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

 v  d  e 
Currently operating heavy rail rapid transit systems in Canada
Montréal/REM · Toronto · Vancouver
 v  d  e 
Stations of the Toronto Subway (TTC)
Toronto Subway Line 1 Finch · North York Centre · Sheppard-Yonge · York Mills · Lawrence · Eglinton · Davisville · St. Clair · Summerhill · Rosedale · Bloor-Yonge · Wellesley · College · Dundas · Queen · King · Union · St. Andrew · Osgoode · St. Patrick · Queen's Park · Museum · St. George · Spadina · Dupont · St. Clair West · Eglinton West · Glencairn · Lawrence West · Yorkdale · Wilson · Downsview · Sheppard West · Finch West · York University · Steeles West · Highway 407 Transitway · Vaughan Corporate Centre
Toronto Subway Line 2 Kipling · Islington · Royal York · Old Mill · Jane · Runnymede · High Park · Keele · Dundas West · Lansdowne · Dufferin · Ossington · Christie · Bathurst · Spadina · St. George · Bay · Bloor-Yonge · Sherbourne · Castle Frank · Broadview · Chester · Pape · Donlands · Greenwood · Coxwell · Woodbine · Main Street · Victoria Park · Warden · Kennedy
Toronto Subway Line 3 Kennedy · Lawrence East · Ellesmere · Midland · Scarborough Centre · McCowan
Toronto Subway Line 4 Sheppard-Yonge · Bayview · Bessarion · Leslie · Don Mills

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