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Touring the TTC’s Hidden Places

Video takes viewers underground with TTC CEO Andy Byford.

It’s possible you’re already familiar with Lower Bay, the abandoned platform that can be found below Bay Station. It’s kind of a local movie star in its own right—if you’ve seen Johnny Mnemonic, Bulletproof Monk, or the 2012 Total Recall remake, for example, you’ve seen this ghost station on the silver screen. As Byford tells Brad Ross, head of corporate communications for the TTC, this location also serves less glamorous but more practical purposes: it’s used for things like testing new products and training paramedics who’ll be responding to emergencies in the transit system.

But you might not be acquainted with another of the TTC’s disused subterranean spaces. In the 1950s, an underground section of the Queen streetcar line was constructed under Queen Station. The project was later called off because—say it all together now—it cost too much. The platforms and track beds were installed, though, so it’s possible to imagine what it would have been like to board the Queen car there below ground.


  • DavidF

    What is one to make of their emphasis on calling the stations “Bay Lower” and “Queen Lower”? Everyone says “Lower Bay’ and placing the adjective first is a pretty common thing in the English language, isn’t it? If he’s going to keep doing that I’m going to start talking about the “Subway Yonge-University.” Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to the Stones Rolling.

    • Jason Paris

      The TTC has always internally used Bay Lower, not Lower Bay (same with Queen).


      It’s a bureaucratic thing, like parliamentary ridings: “Etobicoke North” and so on. It’s a little idiosyncratic, but you see what they mean easily enough.


    I have to say that the more of these videos they put out, the better. The TTC has been terrible in the past at communicating with its passengers. The more responsive they get with their communications, the better. They are light years away from where they need to be, of course, but this is a clear improvement on what was there before (nothing much).