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The TTC Wants You to Tell it How Much Longer Construction Should Last at Pape Station

For the first time, the TTC is using an online survey to help it decide on a service issue.

A rendering of what Pape Station will look like, once construction there is finished. Image courtesy of the TTC.

About four years after embarking on renovations that have had Pape Station continually covered in construction hoarding, the TTC is taking the unprecedented step of asking riders to decide how much longer the work should go on.

Right now, the plan is to keep the station open throughout construction, which would prevent workers from finishing the bulk of the job until around December. One way to speed up the process would be to close the station temporarily, and that’s what the TTC is seeking input on.

An online survey, posted on the TTC website on Tuesday, asks members of public to pick from three different options:

  • Keep the station open throughout construction, as planned
  • Close the station for 12 days straight
  • Close the station for six consecutive weekends

The TTC thinks either of the latter two courses of action would enable it to finish the main part of the renovation about three months earlier, in September. If the station were closed, no trains would stop there and buses would have to be rerouted.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross says the commission is seriously committed to doing whichever of these three things the online survey’s results seem to favour.

“If it’s clearly one over the other two, for example, then of course, if that’s what the community wants, then that’s what we’ll do,” he said. If no single option wins a clear majority, the TTC will go with whatever seems to be best for construction.

Ross said this is the first time the TTC has tried to poll the public directly—although the commission has, in the past, engaged with riders in less quantifiable ways, at community consultations and at town hall meetings.

The renovations at Pape are supposed to improve accessibility and add a second exit, while also enlarging the station and modernizing its look. Dufferin Station is getting similar treatment, but the makeover there isn’t expected to be finished until 2014.

When work at Pape began in mid-2009, it was scheduled to be completed by spring 2012, but various unexpected setbacks have caused the project to drag on for longer. Even so, one has to wonder if riders are fed up enough with the dilapidated look of the place that they’ll tolerate a closure.

We’ll find out. The survey closes on April 17.


  • Steve Munro

    Pape and Dufferin Stations differ in that at Pape there is only one shared route from the subway platforms to the surface. This is small and passes right through the main construction area to a small bus loop serving over 40 buses/hour. Dufferin Station serves on-street stops with about 23 buses/hour each way. Pedestrian traffic between the subway and buses at Dufferin is spread over more space and multiple routes.

    It’s surprising that the TTC has not proposed short-term shutdowns like this before at Pape given the congested nature of the site.

  • Travis

    I use Pape station every day, and sure will be glad when the construction is over. I can’t say that it has been a hindrance or nuisance at all – just ugly to look at every day. What has crossed my mind recently is the talk of the DRL. Pape is positioned in those plans as a major hub, with the two lines crossing. If the DRL ever does get the go-ahead, Pape is going to be back in hoarding yet again. I suppose though that I’ll be taking Wheel-Trans by that day…

  • Jennifer

    Where is the survey?

    • randy

      click the word ‘survey’, then scroll to the bottom of the TTC page.

      • Jennifer Allen

        Thanks. I found it.

  • Guy

    They should survey people at the actual station. If you don’t use Pape station, why should you get a say?

    • Matthew Harper

      I was curious about how the survey was worded, but the 1st question asked how often I use Pape station. The survey ended when I answered “Never”.

  • HotDang

    Pape is a pretty pointless station anyways. It’s such a close walk over to Broadview, and it’s even closer to Donlands. I can’t see a downside to closing it down a little here-and-there given that the alternatives are relatively accessible. They should close it during Taste The Danforth.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      It’s a considerable walk to Broadview if you’re doing it twice daily. And what about people going east? They’d have to run a bus from Chester to Greenwood.

      (Chester, on the other hand, could go.)

      • HotDang

        Two kilometers per day is hardly “considerable.” That’s about twenty minutes of walking. What’s the big deal?

        • 99bloorcallcontrol

          Uh, Pape is the subway interchange for some really busy surface routes, like the 25 Don Mills the 72 Pape and the 81 to TPD. That station is more important to folks from the north (and south) accessing the Bloor line than Danforth local walk-in/walk-out local traffic. If you want to nuke a station on a walking distance basis Chester’s a heck of a lot less useful in the grand scheme of things.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          We both forgot about Chester, so it seems silly to talk about walking to Broadview now.

        • rich1299

          Wait until you develop arthritis or any other health problem that limits your mobility and then tell us how 20 minutes of walking is no big deal.

    • Winkee

      How is Pape pointless if Donlands isn’t? Pape has the 25 Don Mills, one of the busiest lines in the City and Thorncliffe and 72 Pape buses. Donlands only has the Jones and Leaside which are far less important than any of the 3 Pape buses. There is really no reasonable option to transfer those incredibly important bus lines to any of the neighbouring stations as Chester doesnt have bus platforms, Broadview is pretty much full and Donlands only has one slip. I’m sure the TTC will figure it out, but it will be painful either way.
      Btw I chose the 6 weekends option just because I think 12 straight days is completely unrealistic.

      • HotDang

        I rarely travel east of Parliament or ride a bus, so it’s entirely possible that you are raising some really good points here. It makes me wonder why the TTC would open up this question for any jerk on the internet to answer.

        FYI I chose the 12 day option and lied and said that I ride through there twice every day.

        • Jennifer

          Then surely you could find another survey to do other than this one. My god, trolling about a TTC station? Man,that’s pretty sad.

      • Megasus

        As someone who lives in Thorncliffe Park, I would be pretty pissed if they closed Pape. Kind of all you need to know. I actually have no idea what I’m going to vote for. Probably weekends. I mean, none of them are ideal situations as it stands, especially if you also catch the bus there (half the platform isn’t there because of construction, particularly where you catch the 81, and it can barely hold all the people at rush hour).

    • jennifer

      I guess you only go to the Danforth for events then. I live on Pape North with my family of 5, including small children. There are no alternatives to the three buses that run from there, and they can’t be fit in at ANY of the stations neighbouring. Why don’t you tell us where you live, and where you park your car?

  • Walter Lis

    If they close it, wouldn’t that be a good time to provide some sort of DRL access or connection?

    • Eric S. Smith

      I’m pretty sure you can’t rough in a whole new tunnel in 12 days.

      • HotDang

        I bet you could do it if you threw enough money at the problem.

        • Eric S. Smith

          I’d wait until the DRL actually had an alignment before I threw that money.

          It’s unclear whether Walter Lis was talking about building a whole “Lower Pape” platform or just reserving some wall space for entrances to future stairwells and corridors. In any case, you sure don’t just tack last-minute extra excavations on to an existing project that you’re already pushing to fit into a two-week period.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          If there’s one thing the TTC is known for, it’s having lots of money to throw around.

    • Manana

      The TTC declined to do so when this first came up in 2009. Its money and more money with the TTC.

  • JEB

    While Pape station is certainly situated closely to its neighbouring stations, I disagree with the comment that it is useless. With three bus routes that stretch far north and south, Pape is arguably one of the more useful stations along the Danforth (and certainly serves more customers than the nearby Chester station). Pape station also serves a large population of elderly customers who have lived in the area for the majority of their lives and rely on the TTC for small tasks like running errands (in many cases that I have seen, this includes using the subway to simply reach a neighbouring station rather than walking, which can be difficult for them to do).

    I voted for a 12-day closure. I hope that if either of the closure options is selected that the TTC will keep the 25, 81 and 72 routes running and diverting to Donlands or Chester (if possible, as Chester does not have any room for bus pick-ups or drop-offs) in order to reduce the impact. There WILL be impact regardless, but as a frequent user of Pape station, I think a 12-day inconvenience would be worth it to have the station finished three months sooner. It is pretty much a disaster right now!

  • Rico_Featherbutt

    Provide buses and close the damn thing. Get it done.

  • Matthew Harper

    Hm, three options. I wonder if they will determine the winner via First-Past-The-Post or a more representative option. If they are using FPTP, it seems like they are cooking the survey to ensure that keeping the station open has a better chance of winning, while the closure options are splitting the vote.

  • Joe Clark

    “Majority” vote? Surely plurality. But what about a near-three-way tie?

    Even then, the methodology is suspect. The most vulnerable users will not even know the poll is happening. Plus Donlands and Greenwood really cannot handle that degree of overflow bus traffic (it’s been tried, so I am not speaking hypothetically).

    • Jennifer Allen


  • Bob But Not Doug

    By way of contrast, the Blue Water Bridge was built in a YEAR AND A HALF using 1930s technology:

  • Paula

    The survey is ridiculous!

    How do you usually get to and from the station?
    Transfer with a connecting bus


    • Jennifer Allen


      • Paula

        Right? I don’t live there but I work near there so I take the subway to get there in the morning, and then walk to the station at night – so I chose ‘walk’ for this question but I’m not sure it is answering the question appropriately.

    • DerekDK

      I think it’s assumed that you use the subway to get to and from the station. It’s also assumed that you use the subway. It is, after all, a subway station.

      It is also assumed that you do not simply travel to the station on a subway, remain inside the station, and then leave on the subway.

      So, setting aside your knee-jerk hostility, answer how you make the other, non-subway trip to and from the station.

      Was that so hard? Really?

      • Paula

        If they are assuming that people use the subway to get to and from the station, why does the question a) get asked and b) not include the subway?

        Not everyone uses the same mode of transport to get there each and every time. My co-worker takes the bus to the station from home in the morning but after work takes the subway to pick up her son.

        It’s not worded well, is my point, and any confusion at all is excluding people who can’t parse the question.

        • DerekDK

          I think the number of people who use different modes equally is very small. Not as small, perhaps, as your mooted rider group who exclusively “TAKE THE SUBWAY TO AND FROM THE STATION YOU MORONS.”

  • Jennifer Allen

    Right. So I very rarely sign up for messages boards, but I’m doing it for this one. 5 generations of my family on Pape at O’Connor. That survey was ridiculous. How often do you use the station? Everyday. Do you use it during peak, off peak, or weekends? Unable to click all three. Nor was I able to answer in my 30 word comments what I truly think. So I’ll try here.

    I use 2 of the buses for my job in Leslieville. My family, including two small kids, uses the same two buses to get to two community centres. My partner uses the bus to go north to his job. And that’s not even counting subway use. And that’s just my family. Let alone all the apartments and houses in Thorncliffe and Don Mills. Let alone that getting south of the Danforth on Pape is the only option between Greenwood and Broadview (Jones bus is laughable really).

    Thank you to the person that mentioned the elderly in the neighbourhood who have lived here there entire lives and use it for errands. I would like to mention all the low income families with strollers and shopping bags as well. Many in these groups may not have a computer,and therefore can’t take this handy survey. The ones that this will screw up the most.

    So I voted for as is for these reasons. There is no guarantee they will be done by September or December either way. We are 4 years in, and I see no actual improvement yet. Except that the ceiling no longer leaks. 12 days isn’t enough if 4 years of Sunday and night time hours have done zip. I also fail to see that weekends would improve the situation. Unpack and pack again. This isn’t the Great Wall of China. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day? Do people remember Broadview station (although it’s nice now).

    None of the subway stops in either direction can accommodate three more buses.It just isn’t doable. It has been tried. If you don’t use this subway stop, or any of the ones in the area, I fail to see why you would comment.

    For everyone else that does use Pape, I respect your opinions, and I guess we’ll see what happens.

  • Manana

    This whole rebuild is pointless. No transit system in the world builds standalone eyesores for subway stations then tears them down and rebuilds them after 40 years.

  • Duckworth Peslar III

    Why do TTC projects take longer than it did to build the pyramids?

  • Garneau

    I appreciate that the station likely needed renovation, but if the DRL were to run south through Pape, wouldn’t a station overhaul be required in any event? Why spend the money twice?

    • Manana

      A) It didn’t need renovation in the sense of a tear down. Its only 40 years old. the rest of the world would spruce up a 100 year old station, and never tear it down.

      B) The TTC new of the DRL back in Jan 2009 when council voted on the DRL study that was just presented to council. They also knew of the supposed Pape north LRT which would have part of Transit City. This same debacle is now being factored into Finch station and the design for Finch West station for that needless LRT there, when in reality articulated buses and/or a rush hour diamond lane would do just fine.

  • Winkee

    It may just be a coincidence, but I find it quite interesting how quickly work ramped up yesterday with the publication of this article. Pape station was a swarm activity yesterday with what appeared to be all hands on deck.
    This morning as I went through the north wall was mostly completed and uncovered. I just find it remarkable that they made more visible progress in one day than they have in the last two months of work.

  • ʎuoʇ

    This has to be the worst project ever done by the TTC. The white matte wall tiles are always so dirty, there is green tape stuck in between them, and missing grout all over the place. It looks cheap. What were they thinking?

  • Yaggerz

    Why can’t the workers work overnight like they do in London, England? It shouldn’t take 4+ years to put up some tiles, glass shelters, poles, and a new escalator. It’s mostly a cosmetic refurbishment, not an overhaul. They built 2 brand new overground rail lines in London in only 1.5yrs. Come on TTC, step it up. It’s embarrassing. I know that TFL has more money, but we’re talking about 2 stations here, Pape & Dufferin. It’s just plain laughable.