The Toronto Transit Commission
On Wednesday I was walking along King Street east between Toronto street and the King subway station on Yonge Street.
A streetcar made its rumbling way past me, bogged down in a single-lane of cars.
Toronto being what it is, it allows parking along King Street during business hours. This reduces the prime thoroughfare to one lane each way with predictable consequences.
Toronto is great at postponing decisions. No real subway has been opened since about 1982. That’s Thirty-Five years.
I said to myself, “Self”, I said, the time has come to remove the old jacket, spit on the hands, and pick up a shovel”.
Well, not exactly.
I thought that along King Street might be dug a trench, and a subway line be dropped into it. A simple line that would serve the vast residential population that now lives close to the shore of the lake.
The line might run from the Streetcar depot a Roncesvalles and Queen out to the little loop at the end of Queen Street.
My educated guess of the catchment area is outlined in yellow.
About that trench:
It should start at King and St Andrews stations and work outwards, at the rate of one station per year. No Ifs, Ands or Buts. Yes there will be disruption to business, yes there will be upheavals. But the counter to these bleats is to stick to a schedule and promise that the upheaval will all be gone in twelve months.
Open each new station as it is built, which is to say, provide subway relief year by year to an increasing population from the catchment area. Drain passengers away from the Bloor-Danforth line.
Over fifty years ago this cut-and-cover method was used to build the first stretch of subway line from Union Station to the Bloor-Yonge intersection. Back then they had trucks and they had power-shovels.
But look at what we have today in terms of earth-moving equipment.
With today’s machines, we should be able to progress much faster than they did in 1965.
And how long did it take them back then to build, from scratch, a seven-station subway line?