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Transit sites open doors during Doors Open

Two transit-related sites will be open to the public this weekend during Doors Open, the one weekend, once a year when 150 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and social significance open their doors to the public for a city-wide celebration.

The City of Toronto program allows visitors free access to properties that are usually not open to the public.

People interested in transit will want to visit these two sites:

Lower Bay Station (or “Bay Lower”)

Architect and year: Arthur G. Keith, 1962

Open: Saturday, May 26, noon to 3 p.m. Last admittance: 2:30 p.m. Sunday: Not open

Regular Transit Toronto readers know that the TTC built lower Bay Station as part of the University ‘Y’ when it opened the Bloor-Danforth subway line in 1966. Lower Bay allowed the TTC to operate a fully integrated subway so that passengers could travel without transferring between the Bloor-Danforth and Yonge-University lines, if they boarded the correct train. The TTC operated lower Bay from February 1966 to September 1966, when the current, non-integrated system began. Lower Bay Station is a fully operational station but today the TTC primarily uses it for work vehicles, moving trains from one line to another, training and filming.

For several weekends this February and March, passengers had a sneak preview of Lower Bay when the TTC diverted service on the Bloor-Danforth line through Lower Bay to Museum Station. (Passengers travelled through the station but could not exit the train into the station.)

On Saturday, May 26, visitors will be able to walk straight along the subway platform from one end to the other.

Harvey Shops, 1138 Bathurst Street

Architect and year: unknown, 1923

Open: Saturday May 26 noon to 3 p.m. Last admittance: 2:30 p.m.; Sunday: Not open

The TTC named this one-storey, masonry and concrete streetcar maintenance facility and general repair shops after D.W. Harvey, the General Manager of the TTC from 1924 to 1938. Harvey Shops is part of the TTC’s historic Hillcrest Complex and opened in 1923. It is still one of the TTC’s major maintenance garages where TTC crews maintain and repair buses and streetcars.

Visitors will be able to see cranes, hoisting equipment, air and lube systems, vacuum and washing systems, repair bays and the transfer table which transports the streetcars from the entrance track to the work bay.

Other transportation or transit-related sites:

Union Station (Bay and Front Streets)

Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) — the former Canadian Pacific Railway North Toronto Station, 10 Scrivener Square, across Shaftesbury Avenue from Summerhill subway station.

Steam Whistle Brewing, 255 Bremner Boulevard (near the Rogers Centre). The former Canadian Pacific Railway’s John Street roundhouse.