New development vision could bring hundreds of dollars to the transit system's coffers—and close a couple of stations.
The TTC has some big news: a task force led by the TTC is going to be pressing other orders of government for sources of “long-term, sustainable, predictable funding”—and it’s already got some suggestions of its own.
As Chris Upfold, Chief Customer Officer for the TTC, explains, Chester, Bessarion, Old Mill, and Summerhill stations serve very few people, and could be closed. The closing of these underused stations would not simply save money on the operational side—it would also open up exciting development opportunities: “Individual condo units on the platforms—it’s genius, really,” says Upfold. “We break the platforms up into living quarters, and we sell them.”
But that’s not all: the stations could become fully contained mixed-use communities, with cabaret clubs, bowling alleys, and billiards. “All the things,” as Upfold notes, “a modern and vibrant city needs.”
Renderings of the design are available in the form of a napkin on which Upfold has drawn a number of things.
And the vision doesn’t end with platform-level condominiums: the TTC is also floating a plan to turn the Sheppard line into a lazy river on summer weekends.
These plans will almost certainly cause controversy, but when Torontonians appreciate the live-work balance that can be achieved through setting up house on a subway platform, and the joys of a leisurely paddle through Leslie, they will soon stop mourning the loss of Chester. And Bessarion. And Old Mill. And Summerhill.