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cityscape

Does Bessarion Station Actually Exist?

One man's quest to understand the most inscrutable name on the subway map.

Bessarion Station is the second-least used of any of Toronto’s subway stations—and in fact it could be considered the absolute least used, because the only one that beats it is on the Scarborough RT, which isn’t even really a subway. Everything about Bessarion is weird, from its name, to its location on a sparsely populated part of Sheppard Avenue East, to the fact that seemingly nobody has ever actually been there. It almost seems like some kind of elaborate hoax or trap, like when dictionary makers slip a fictitious word into the mix as a way of catching wholesale plagiarists. Could the TTC just be testing us?

The hilarious video above, by Cameron Wyllie, follows comedian Jeremy Woodcock—a Torontoist contributor and Sketchersons member—on a mission to visit Bessarion and settle the question once and for all. “I don’t know what it’s like,” Woodcock tells the camera at one point. “Are the benches red? Probably. Are there stairs? There have got to be—I think that’s the law. But other than that I have no idea what I’m going to see there.”

CORRECTION: June 13, 2013, 3:00 PM This post originally said that Finding Bessarion was the work of John Gape. In fact, the videographer was Cameron Wyllie. “John Gape” is the name of Wyllie’s comedy collective.

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