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No subway service, late December 4, all day December 5 to 12: Finch to Sheppard - Yonge


The TTC is closing Line 1 Yonge - University between Finch and Sheppard - Yonge stations, starting 11 p.m. Friday, December 4 and continuing until 2 a.m. Saturday, December 12.

Shuttle buses partially replace subway service. The buses operate frequently while this section of Line 1 is closed. You can expect buses to pick up or drop off passengers every 60 seconds or better Mondays to Fridays during rush hours and, the TTC says, “very consistent service to continue throughout the day.” The transit agency explains that it designed service levels after having considered current passenger volumes.

(Or, consider a shuttle-bus alternative.)

Finch and Sheppard - Yonge stations remain open so you can pay fares and connect with TTC, GO Transit and York Region Transit buses and TTC subway trains along Line 4 Sheppard. However, North York Centre Station is closed.

Although shuttle buses are accessible, Wheel-Trans service is also available. Ask TTC staff at each station in the closure area for information about Wheel-Trans service from that station.

This closure is phase one of two phases. During phase two, the TTC’s extending the closure area as far south as St Clair Station, Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13.

While the TTC closes this section of Line 1, crews are improving the tunnel. The improvements speed up the process of installing the automatic train control (ATC) signal system.

The TTC is capitalizing on the fact that fewer riders are travelling by the subway during the COVID-19 pandemic to carry out this project. By shutting down this section of the subway for ten days, it can save more than two years of early nightly closure shifts. During the closure, crews are competing vital state-of-good-repair work, including reparing the tunnel lining, upgrading the tracks, removing asbestos, cleaning stations and upgrading signals by installing ATC.

“I know these closures are frustrating, but the TTC is doing this work now during the pandemic, while subway ridership is dramatically reduced, to save years in the long run,” said Mayor John Tory. “I want to thank our TTC workers for doing all they can to accelerate the installation of the ATC signal system. These upgrades will help provide a more reliable subway ride for more riders.”

“This innovative approach will result in remarkable cost and time savings, reducing the project timeline for necessary tunnel improvements for several years,” said Councillor Jaye Robinson, the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, the TTC’s board of directors.

“We are taking this opportunity to make the best of our reduced ridership and complete imperative state-of-good-repair work in the subway system while inconveniencing as few customers as possible,” said TTC chief executive officer Rick Leary. “This work will put our crews ahead several years in their progress of modernizing the system and providing the best possible service for our customers.”

The TTC says that “The existing signals, relays, wiring and cabling equipment, much of which is over 60 years old, need replacing as their failure significantly impacts service. Once Automatic Train Control is fully installed and operational, [passengers] will see improved frequency of subway service, less crowding and greater reliability of the signal system.”

In the normal course of nightly subway maintenance, subway work-cars leave Davisville Yard for the mainline soon after subway service ends and return to the yard before subway service starts each morning.

During this ten-day work period, TTC crews conduct other work activities involving subway work-cars at Davisville Yard overnight. From 2:30 until 5:30 a.m., night crews at Davisville Yard are unloading materials from two work-cars returning from the tunnel work area. Once they’ve unloaded the cars and before morning subway service starts, the two work-cars leave Davisville Yard for the tunnel work area. Nearby residents may hear noise when crews are unloading the work-cars.

During this 10-day period, crews use a self-contained generator to continuously supply power to the work site in the tunnel near North York Centre Station. Cables extend from the generator into the tunnel through a subway vent-shaft.

The crews are parking the generator on the west sidewalk of Yonge Street immediately south of Park Home Avenue. However, it will not block pedestrian access to the sidewalk. Although the generator is self-contained, you may hear the unit if you’re nearby. Crews remove the generator from the site Monday, December 14.

Shuttle buses

While the subway is closed, most shuttle buses likely operate to and from the bus terminals at Finch and Sheppard - Yonge stations and stop on Yonge Street near North York Centre Station.

The TTC says, “From December 4 to 12, shuttle buses will operate frequently on Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard - Yonge stations during the scheduled subway closure. To maintain a reliable service, TTC buses may also operate on Doris Avenue and Beecroft Road between Finch and Sheppard Avenues.”

Shuttle-bus alternatives

Plan your trips on the subway ahead of time during this period to avoid stress and crowding. One way that you can reduce the impact of the closure is by planning ahead, leaving earlier than usually and giving yourself more time to get to where you’re going.

Although shuttle buses replacing subway service will be frequent, they may also be crowded.

Regular TTC buses, streetcars and trains provide less frequent, less direct, but, perhaps, less stressful alternatives. Consider travelling along the University branch, instead of the Yonge branch, to and from downtown Toronto and avoid the shuttle buses entirely. Or board buses along the 97 Yonge route to travel to and from stops on Yonge north of Davisville Avenue / Chaplin Crescent.

Ride buses or streetcars on routes serving streets north or south of the closure to reach stations on the University branch.

At the closure area:

  • Buses along the 36 Finch West route and board the subway at Finch West Station, instead of Finch Station.
  • Buses along the 84 Sheppard West route and board the subway at Sheppard West Station, instead of Sheppard - Yonge Station.

South of the closure area:

  • Buses along the 96 Wilson or 165 Weston Rd North routes and board the subway at Wilson Station, instead of York Mills Station.
  • Buses along the 52 Lawrence West route and board the subway at Lawrence West Station, instead of Lawrence Station.
  • Buses along the 32 Eglinton West route and board the subway at Eglinton West Station, instead of Eglinton Station.
  • Streetcars along the 512 St. Clair route and board the subway at St. Clair West Station, instead of St. Clair Station.
  • Trains along the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway line and board the 1 Yonge - University line at St. George Station, instead of Yonge Station.
  • Buses along the 506 Carlton route and board the subway at Queen’s Park Station, instead of College Station.
  • Streetcars along the 505 Dundas route and board the subway at St. Patrick Station, instead of Dundas Station.
  • Streetcars along the 501 Queen route and board the subway at Osgoode Station, instead of Queen Station.
  • Streetcars along the 504A / 504B King route and board the subway at St. Andrew Station, instead of King Station.
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