The Future is Retro for Steeles West Subway
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The Future is Retro for Steeles West Subway

Flying atomic subways from the twenty-third century: how the new Steeles West station will look.

What is this? Is it: a. an underground moon base; b. a strange Japanese children’s TV programme; c. two vacuum-cleaner attachments in a pistol duel, or; d. the new design for Steeles West Station on the Spadina subway extension?
The plans [PDF], which form part of the $2.6 billion project to extend the subway north of Downsview, are likely to be approved by the TTC in today’s monthly commission meeting. (“The Spadina Subway Extension is fully funded and is proceeding as planned,” the TTC’s Brad Ross told us this morning, in the wake of pending TTC cuts. “Likewise, the SRT, Sheppard East, Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRTs for Transit City are also fully funded and are proceeding.”) The design for the station is quite outlandish compared with those approved last month for York University and Sheppard West.

The station entrances are on opposite corners of the intersection and seem to owe a great deal to the Jetsons; there should probably be a place for flying saucers to land somewhere. The multicoloured parasols are a nice touch too, though they seem more decorative than functional. And there’s another interesting feature, which incorporates the idea that each station on the extension should contain as much daylight as possible: a “light cone.” This is a skylight that will allow the sun to shine directly onto the subterranean platforms, and its opening will be at the southwest corner of the intersection. (Though were it to be on the pavement of Steeles West, it would be quite easy to gouge out one of the potholes.)

A view of the street-level plans for Steeles West.

Steeles West Station will lie diagonally below the road and will be the first station to be built outside the boundaries of Toronto—half the station will be in Vaughan, half in Toronto. At Toronto’s end, there will be a TTC bus station and at Vaughan’s, a York Regional Transit bus station and a commuter parking lot with 1,900 spaces. The design shows a new road needs to be built north of the entrance to York U, but this is still being worked on. “Negotiations are ongoing between York Region and United Parcel Services (UPS) to acquire land,” says the report. Here’s the Google Street Map view.
Steeles West has been marked as the terminus on the proposed Jane LRT, part of Transit City. Unlike Sheppard West, where the hope is that the station will bring development, the new station will already have a few neighbours, which right now are fairly tricky to get to: the north part of York University, the Metro Toronto Track & Field Centre, and, of course, Black Creek Pioneer Village.
And, if everything goes the TTC’s way and members of the public approve at consultation, the much maligned street of Steeles could get its very own visitable, and slightly otherworldly, landmark.
Renderings courtesy of the TTC.