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Latest Transit Toronto News

GO Transit

Read these daily “on schedule” posts to find news and other information that affects your daily commute. You’ll learn about public meetings, special events and construction projects that affect transit services today.

Exhibition Place concrete pour:
TTC detour, January 18, 19 and 20

From 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 18, Thursday, January 19 and Friday, January 20, Exhibition Place is closing:

  • Manitoba Drive east of Nova Scotia Avenue

to accommodate contractors who are pouring concrete at a construction site.

The TTC is detouring buses operating along this route, while the street is closed:

  • 29C Dufferin (Princes’ Gate).


New Toronto area crane activity:
TTC detour, January 19

The City of Toronto is closing:

  • Garnett Janes Road between Ninth and Eighth Streets

Thursday, January 19 morning to accommodate contractors who are lifting a crane at a work site.

The TTC is detouring buses operating along this route, while the street is closed:

  • 110C Islington South.


Sunnybrook road construction:
TTC detours, January 19, 20

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is closing:

  • Hospital Road near the building’s “M” Wing

from 11:59 p.m. Thursday, January 19 until 5 a.m. Friday, January 20 to accommodate road work.

The TTC is detouring buses operating along these roads, while the street is closed:

  • 11 Bayview;
  • 124 Sunnybrook;
  • 352 Lawrence West overnight.


In the news: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area media report on public transit issues today.

Greater Toronto Area
Elsewhere in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Good news / bad news: TTC closing rapid transit lines
during 35 weekends in 2017

Update — Tuesday, January 17, 8:03 a.m.: The Toronto Star’s article about the subway closures details the locations where the lines are closed. We’ve added this information to this article.

First the good news:

According to a report (.pdf) to this week’s meeting of the Toronto Transit Commission, the TTC is closing parts of rapid transit system during 35 weekends in 2017.

That’s three fewer weekends that parts of system are off-line than in 2016.

More importantly, the closing of the lines — inconvenient though it may be — shows that the TTC is taking full advantage of the unprecedented interest in public transit of all three levels of government in improving infrastructure. The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto are putting their money where their interest is by funding many TTC capital projects.

While the principle of “short-term pain for long-term gain” isn’t helpful when you have to shuffle onto a shuttle bus, instead of boarding a train, to get where you’re going to weekends, it helps to remember that the weekend closures may assure that you continue to reach your destination (mostly) reliably every day for years to come.

Why the weekend? Not surprisingly, fewer passengers travel aboard subway and RT trains — and on all TTC vehicles — Saturdays, Sundays and holidays than ride Mondays to Fridays. So, by scheduling these closures over a weekend, instead of, say, a Tuesday during rush hours, the work affects far fewer people.

Since TTC staff have just two hours each night between the end of one day’s subway service before the next day’s starts to engage in regular maintenance activities, weekend closures make even more sense. According to the TTC’s chief executive officer, Andy Byford, “Big jobs that need to be done must take place on the weekend, when we can effectively get the equivalent of five weeks’ worth of nights done in one weekend.”

While the TTC must work many weekends to maintain its tracks, signals, stations and buildings in a “state of good repair”, a major project requiring the TTC to close the subway is installing automatic train control (ATC) on Line 1 (Yonge - University). This requires crews to replace the old signal system and install a new control system. The new system will allow the TTC to operate more trains along the line more frequently.

During subway closures, crews working on the ATC project typically install new cables, track-side signalling equipment or special track work in the tunnels. This work is labour-intensive and can’t all occur during the normal maintenance window each night.

Here’s a video in which CEO Byford and the TTC’s director of Corporate Communications Brad Ross explain why weekend closures are necessary.

During the multiple weekend subway shutdowns in 2016, crews:

  • replaced 5,044 metres (16,549 feet) of running rail on Lines 1 and 2;
  • replaced 500 metres (1,640 feet) of power rail on Lines 1 and 2;
  • conducted major maintenance on eight crossovers on Lines 1 and 2 (crossovers allow trains to move from one track to another, often to change direction.);
  • rehabilitated 180 train stops (a train stop or tripper would automatically stop a train that passes a signal prohibiting its progress);
  • replace 24 train stops;
  • ground 6,500 metres (21,325 feet) of southbound track on Line 3;
  • replaced 950 metres (3,117 feet) of power rail on Line 3;
  • replaced track fasteners, ties and communication cables on Line 3;
  • installed 181,000 metres (593,832 feet) of cabling for ATC on Line 1;
  • upgraded 250 track circuit locations on Lines 1 and 2
  • replaced 24 switch point heaters and 56 train-stop heaters on Lines 1 and 2;
  • replaced skylights, painted station ceilings, replaced platform edge tiles, cleaned drains, inspected structures, replaced and relamped lights in stations, installed PRESTO fare-card equipment, upgraded electrical panels;
  • rehabilitated escalators rehabilitation, repaired fencing along rights-of-way, repaired floors, installed and removed signs and removed asbestos.

While some on-line chatter during closures usually suggests that the TTC must be a “third-rate” transit system due to these weekend shut-downs, in fact, most major transit agencies frequently undertake similar weekend projects to keep service running. For example, this weekend, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is closing parts of the 4 and E lines for construction projects while long-term work continues to close stations along the F and N lines. Transport for London (TfL) is closing parts of the Jubilee and Metropolitan underground lines and part of the London Overground, too, this weekend. Meanwhile over in Paris part of the RĂ©gie autonome des transports parisiens (RATP) Line 14 is off limits to passengers this Saturday.

More good news:

By improving its power infrastructure at Broadview Station, the TTC has reduced four scheduled Line 2 closures between Pape and St George Stations to just between Broadview and St George. By including service to Broadview, TTC shuttle buses avoid congestion along Danforth Avenue between Pape and Broadview Avenues. Perhaps more important, Broadview offers more travel options for subway passengers who may wish to travel operating along the 504 King or 505 Dundas routes to travel to and from downtown.

The TTC says it’s also developed special special operating procedures to reduce a planned closure between Bloor and St Andrew stations just King and St Andrew, drastically reducing or eliminating the need for shuttles.

Even more good news:

The TTC plans to continue working with the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services to improve shuttle services by modifying signal timing along shuttle routes. It also plans to continue hiring Toronto Police Service “paid-duty” officers to help direct traffic to allow shuttles buses to quickly make turns and move into and out of station terminals.

It will also ask the City to continue restricting on-street parking during subway closures to improve trip times for shuttle buses. The City restricted parking along shuttle route during 21 of last year’s 38 closures. As a result, trip times improved for shuttle buses improved considerably, getting passengers to their destinations more quickly. Buses were less crowded and the TTC needed fewer buses to provide the service.

Now the bad news:

The TTC is closing parts of rapid transit system during 35 weekends in 2017.

The first weekend closure takes place this coming weekend, Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January 22, when the TTC shuts Line 1 between Downsview and St George Station, for work on the ATC project.

In fact, Line 1 passengers face the bulk of the closure pain this year, especially those who travel along the Downsview-to-St George section. The TTC intends to stop trains along this part of the line 11 weekends in 2017 — eight closures for commissioning and testing the ATC system and three more for trial operations.

TTC planners hope an alternate plan for operating shuttle buses to replace subway service during these closures will improve things for passengers — and for the TTC itself. In 2016, with three construction sites affecting traffic along the route an average shuttle-bus trip between Downsview and St George required about an hour to complete. The TTC had to supply about 100 buses for the service.

In 2017, the TTC intends only to operate shuttle buses between Downsview and Lawrence West Stations. It’s encouraging passengers to ride connecting buses and streetcars to stations on the Yonge branch of the line or directly to Line 2 (Bloor - Danforth) stations and it will enhance service along these connecting routes.



In total, Line 1 riders face 20 weekends without service along part of the line in 2017. Line 2 riders can expect 10 shut-down weekends. The TTC closes all of Line 3 during four weekends and Line 4 on just one weekend.

The list of closures by line and by date follows.

Bay streetcar tunnel roof repairs:
TTC detours, early January 16 and 17

Early next Monday and Tuesday, TTC track crews are repairing the roof of the Bay streetcar tunnel.

The TTC is revising service along this route to accommodate work in the tunnel:

  • 317 Spadina overnight.

Shuttle buses replace the cars east of Spadina / Queens Quay Loop.


Wellesley East crane activity:
TTC detour, January 14

The City of Toronto is closing:

  • Wellesley Street East at Church Street

tomorrow, Saturday, January 14 during crane activity on the street.

The TTC is detouring buses operating along this route, while the street is closed:

  • 94 Wellesley.


PRESTO system maintenance, January 13, 14

PRESTO Contact Centre services, and the GO Transit Service Guarantee webpage are all temporarily unavailable starting at 10 p.m. tonight, Friday, January 13, until early afternoon tomorrow, Saturday, January 14, while PRESTO staff maintain the system.

PRESTO warns,

“There may be a delay with online transactions being updated; all transactions completed during this time should appear in your transaction history within one-two days after the system maintenance.

“General information questions during this time can still be answered by contacting the PRESTO Contact Centre at 1-877-378-6123.”

You can continue using your PRESTO card for travel during the maintenance. You can still load your card in-person at a GO Transit station, a PRESTO customer service outlet and at PRESTO self-serve reload machines.

PRESTO devices will continue to display accurate fare and balance information during the system maintenance, however, online accounts won’t be available.

Orenda Road construction:
Brampton Transit detour starts January 16

Starting Monday, January 16, the City of Brampton is closing:

  • Orenda Road east of West Drive

to accommodate Region of Peel contractors working on a project to repair the water-mains.

Brampton Transit is detouring buses operating along this route while the street is closed:

  • 40 Central Industrial.

Construction on Orenda Road and the Brampton Transit detour continue until February 6.

Detour Map 40 Central Industrial.jpg

Toronto Transit Commission meets, January 18

The Toronto Transit Commission meets for the first time this year next Wednesday, January 18 at 1 p.m. in the Council Chamber, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.

The commission is the TTC’s board of directors. It oversees matters of policy and planning, building, maintaining and operating the TTC system and expanding its services and facilities.

Commissioners include City of Toronto councillors and members of the public.