The bus platform of Pape station was engulfed in a whirlwind of mops and microphones early yesterday afternoon as workers scrubbed the walls and windows till they sparkled and the media mingled with curious commuters, all of them eager for TTC chair Adam Giambrone to arrive and kick off the Station Modernization Program. This whammy of a project, which will include the restructuring and redesign of nine subway stations, was set into motion at three p.m. yesterday with speeches by Giambrone as well as by members of the Toronto Community Foundation. Pape (above), Dufferin and Bloor-Yonge are first in line for a makeover, followed by Victoria Park, Islington, Kipling, Museum, St. Patrick, and Osgoode.
Victoria Park Station.
Some of the aging stations will receive a full-on facelift, while others will get a light but effective slathering of architectural night creme. The floors, walls, and ceilings of all nine stations will be revamped, as well as their signage, lighting, and landscape. At Pape and Dufferin, construction of elevators and exit routes will take place alongside other modernization stuff, which will mean a shorter period of service disruption, and more wheelchair accessible stations and emergency exits sooner.
Pape, which Giambrone says looks more like a Tim Hortons than a subway station, will also get a roof extension, new fire alarms, and features that clearly distinguish it from its adjoining donut shop. The bus terminals at Victoria Park and Islington will be demolished and replaced, and a new inter-regional bus terminal at Kipling station will connect Go Transit and Mississauga Transit buses with the TTC.
Since one of the key objectives of this program is to make the stations more pleasant and comfortable to be in, public art that reflects each station’s surrounding neighborhoods and cultural institutions will be integrated into the designs. Under the wing of the modernization program, the Toronto Community Foundation’s “Arts On Track” initiative will deck out Museum, St. Patrick, and Osgoode in all manners of historical and cultural bling. Seen above is a rendering of one potential design for Museum station. This would be a lot more awesome if feedback was being solicited from the transit riding public regarding the selection of artists and the creation of the public art itself, though the Business Improvement Areas surrounding the stations in question will be consulted, and all potential designs will go before an arts review committee.
For better or for worse, this train is off and running. Let’s see what 100 million dollars and some elbow grease can do to for the rusty bits of our Better Way.
Renderings courtesy of the TTC.