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Jane

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Text by Ameer Shash and James Bow

Jane Station on the Line 2, BLOOR-DANFORTH subway, is located at 15 Jane Street, just north of Bloor Street West. It serves the neighbourhoods of the old municipalities of West Toronto and Swansea and is a transit hub connecting the routes 26 DUPONT, 35 JANE, 55 WARREN PARK, 335 JANE NIGHT and 935 JANE EXPRESS (300 BLOOR-DANFORTH NIGHT buses stop on Bloor Street). The station was built north of the site of Jane Loop, which acted as a gateway to the western part of the city for intercity buses and buses serving communities along Bloor Street in the Kingsway neighbourhood and the old Township of Etobicoke. Jane is a moderately busy station, serving 20,110 passengers on an average weekday in 2018.

A Brief History of Jane Street

Jane Street began life as one of the western-most concession roads in York Township, located well outside the original City of Toronto. The road allotment stretched north from the base of the Humber River, a few hundred metres north of Humber Bay, and continued north to Holland Marsh. A map from 1878 identifies the concession road around Bloor Street as Jane Street. Some historians have suggested that Jane Street was named after the wife of Toronto real estate developer James Barr, but as the couple immigrated from Glasgow in 1907, this casts doubt on that claim.

South of Bloor Street, Jane Street was altered and changed as development in the new village of Swansea responded to the topology of the area. The route of what used to be Jane Street is now taken over by the South Kingsway. The first portion of Jane Street to come under control of the City of Toronto was between Bloor Street and Annette Street, when the City annexed the Town of West Toronto in 1909. The boundary between the City of Toronto and York Township ran along the west side of the properties abutting Jane Street.

The City of Toronto set to work improving transit access from the old Town of West Toronto to the rest of the city, but found that work stymied by the Toronto Railway Company arguing that the newly accessed portions of the city were outside its original franchise. The City of Toronto responded by setting up the Toronto Civic Railways to service the new areas, and built the Bloor West streetcar, operating from Dundas Street to Quebec Avenue starting February 23, 1915. This service was extended to Runnymede Road in 1917.

A Western Gateway Established

After the Toronto Transit Commission took over the operations of the TRC and the TCR on September 1, 1921, it pushed service further west, extending the Bloor West streetcar to a new loop at Jane Street, which opened on December 31, 1923, located on the south side of Bloor Street. The TCR tracks were connected to the old TRC tracks at Dundas and rush hour KING cars joined BLOOR WEST cars serving the line. On August 25, 1925, an underpass built beneath the railway tracks over Bloor between Dundas and Lansdowne allowed service to begin on the crosstown BLOOR streetcar, taking passengers from Jane Loop all the way to Luttrell Avenue near the boundary with East York and Scarborough Township.

Jane Loop was augmented and improved, offering waiting rooms and platforms for buses, particularly Gray Coach buses, travelling from downtown Toronto to points west. The first TTC bus to call Jane Loop home was the JANE bus, running north from the loop via Jane, Annette, Runnymede and St. Clair to meet the ST. CLAIR streetcar at Keele Street. TTC buses operating on behalf of the Townships of York and Etobicoke followed, such as the KINGSWAY bus, and the fore-runners to 50 BURNHAMTHORPE and 2 ANGLESEY. On October 6, 1947, trolley buses joined the streetcars and buses at Jane Loop with the arrival of 4 ANNETTE service.

When plans surfaced for the crosstown subway to parallel Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue, the need for a stop at Jane was obvious, not just because of the presence of Jane Loop. Luttrell Loop on the east side of town was also a transit gateway into the city, linking buses from Scarborough with streetcars on Danforth Avenue, but Luttrell was not located on a major north-south street that could draw down future riders. Stops were built instead on Main Street and Victoria Park. By the time work began on the new Jane subway station, however, 35 JANE buses were already frequent, and promised to be extended as far north as Steeles.

In her review of Graham Jackson’s novel “The Jane Loop”, Globe and Mail reviewer Jade Colbert observed, “Until the construction of Toronto’s second subway line in the late 1960s, the western terminus of the Bloor streetcar at Jane Street marked a psychological border. To the east, the streetcar, the bright lights and hubbub of downtown. To the west, the bus through sleepy suburbs, an escape from the city’s perceived seaminess.”

Even so, Jane Station was built to the north of the original Jane Loop, as the alignment of the Bloor subway followed the laneways behind the properties on the north side of Bloor Street. A station building, including a bus terminal and a roadway, was built between Jane Street and Armadale Avenue. When Jane station opened on May 11, 1968, TTC services left Jane Loop. Gray Coach continued to call on the property for a few years afterward, before their stop was relocated to Islington station instead. By 1976, Jane Loop had been abandoned for a few years before it was finally sold off and redeveloped. A mid-rise office building now occupies the spot.

Zone and Architectural Complications

Jane Loop was located close to the western boundary of the City of Toronto for much of its existence. As a result, it acted as a transfer point between the City of Toronto fare zone, and suburban fare zones surrounding the city. Passengers arriving on buses from Zone 2 (the nearest suburban zone) had to pay an additional fare to board TTC buses, streetcars or trolley buses continuing into Zone 1 (the city zone). As the TTC and Metropolitan Toronto considered extending the Bloor subway into Etobicoke, they had to deal with the question of how to manage the zone fare system on the subway. The decision was made to operate the subway as being entirely within the Zone 1 fare district. Passengers arriving on Zone 2 buses at Islington, Royal York and Old Mill stations would have to pay their Zone 1 fare to board the subway. Those whose destinations were still within the Zone 2 fare district had the option to transfer to the 3 KINGSWAY bus instead, which operated on Bloor Street from Kipling Avenue to Jane Street.

To accommodate the fare gates and surface transit terminals in this arrangement, large mezzanines were built for stations like Royal York and Main Street, where fare gates would separate Zone 2 bus riders from the subway. The same arrangement was also made with Jane Station. Though it was on the boundary between zones 1 and 2, it took in a number of Zone 2 buses at its bus terminal, and so the transfer arrangements made sense.

When the TTC eliminated its zone fare system and brought all of Metropolitan Toronto under a single fare, the bus terminals at Royal York and Main Street were converted, with the fare gates moved from the mezzanine level to the bus terminal, where there was enough space to install them between the street entrance and the bus bays. Jane Street was not so lucky. With entrances sandwiched between stores, and with the bus platform and lane hemmed in by housing north of the property, there was no place to move the fare gates to both give subway passengers access to the bus terminal, while blocking access to the street, so the fare gates remained in the mezzanine, and transfers were required to switch from the buses to the subways and back.

Station Features

The Jane station building features less of the glass and steel architectural stylings that other stations on the BLOOR-DANFORTH line do, likely due to its constrained surroundings. The largest part of the station building is the bus terminal, squeezed between the bus lane and the stores lining Bloor Street West. The fa├žade is primarily brick, with narrow windows running almost floor to ceiling. The windows still feature the red plastic and unpainted metal band at waist height that is a feature of other stations of the time. A long, level roof protrudes and hovers over the bus bays at the station. The slope of the bus roadway raises the eastern end of the bus terminal, but the roof remains level, lowering the distance between it and the platform below, potentially complicating the use of taller TTC buses such as hybrids.

Officially, Jane Station has three exits: one to Jane Street, one to Armadale, and one south to Bloor Street. However, all three of these exits are off of the bus terminal building; indeed, Jane and Armadale use the bus platforms themselves as exit routes. Stairs and escalators to the station’s mezzanine level are found within the bus terminal building. As for Bloor Street, this exit used to be off of the south side of the bus terminal building, roughly halfway between Jane and Armadale. Passengers followed a paved walkway between buildings fronting Bloor Street. The pathway has since been roofed over, with new commercial space (often a donut shop) added to serve passengers.

Inside, the station features the standard two-tone tile arrangement seen on the rest of the BLOOR-DANFORTH subway at the time, with yellow base tiles complemented with green trim and green station name lettering — an arrangement shared with Pape station, until that station underwent renovations between 2009 and 2013.

Jane Station also features a double crossover in the tunnel to the east, allowing trains to short turn, should something happen to block the bridge over the Humber River to the west. However, in 2009, when a fire on a waste collection train damaged Old Mill station, Jane Station was deemed too close to the problem to use as a turnback stop. The double crossovers at Keele Station were used instead, with passengers bussed to the Dundas West station surface transit terminal.

Renovations were made to Jane Station to add elevators which opened on Thursday, June 22, 2006. The TTC celebrated the event with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Ward 13 councillor Bill Saundercook and area MP Peggy Nash along with TTC chair Howard Moscoe. The renovations also added power-sliding entry doors, enhanced fare gates, an improved public address system, and a closed-circuit security camera system covering the station and its new elevators.

In spite of this, Jane Station was singled out as one of the worst-ranked stations in terms of cleanliness and hygiene. On July 24, 2010, the Toronto Star responded to a user-submitted tip claiming that the TTC was “unable to see things from a customer’s perspective” and “unwilling to do what is needed to improve the cleanliness and appearance of the station. The Star investigated and corroborated the user’s findings. It should be noted that this event happened after the TTC stopped garbage train service, and relied on surface vehicles to clear garbage from the system. The cramped design of Jane’s station building meant that garbage bags often ended up stored near where people could see them. TTC General Manager Andy Byford highlighted station cleanliness as a “easy win” in a drive to improve TTC passengers’ experience. There were no further reports of complaints about trash bags at Jane station; recent visits to the station show the place to be relatively clean, though the issue of system cleanliness is likely ongoing as the TTC deals with tight funding.

Possible Changes for the Future

Jane Station has no second exit from the platform level to the street and, as of the time of this writing (May 2021), no plans for one. As the station is already accessible, there is no pressing need for accessibility renovations that could a second exit could piggyback onto, such as was done at Chester station. There were vague plans to reshape Jane Station in 2007 when Jane Street was selected as a possible Light Rail Transit corridor under the Transit City plan, but the Jane LRT proposal was soon cut back to operating from Eglinton Avenue north, before being forgotten entirely in the flurry of plan revisions in the 2010s. It’s likely the station will remain as it is for years to come. As it stands, however, Jane Station remains a vital hub to its surrounding neighbourhood and points north.

Service Notes (as of May 1, 2021):

  • Off-Site Resources:
  • Line: 2 BLOOR-DANFORTH
  • Hours of Operation:
    First Train to Kennedy: 5:48 a.m. weekdays, 5:56 a.m. Saturdays/holidays, 8:08 a.m. Sundays.
    Last Train to Kennedy: 1:38 a.m. every day.
    First Train to Kipling: 5:49 a.m. weekdays, 5:53 a.m Saturdays/holidays, 8:06 a.m. Sundays
    Last Train to Kipling: 2:08 a.m. every day.
  • Address: 15 Jane Street
  • Opened: May 11, 1968
  • Average Weekday Ridership: 20,110 (2018), 19,860 (2016), 19,820 (2015), 20,090 (2014), 17,080 (2013), 18,150 (2012), 16,260 (2011), 16,880 (2010), 16,730 (2009), 17,730 (2008), 16,340 (2007)
  • Entrances: 3
    • Jane Street Entrance (Accessible), located on the east side of Jane Street, 40 metres north of Bloor Street West.
    • Bloor Street West Entrance (Accessible), located on the north side of Bloor Street West, 53 metres east on Jane Street, accessed through a covered walkway running north 28 metres.
    • Armadale Avenue Entrance, located on the west side of Armandale Avenue, 38 metres north of Bloor Street West, then continue west along the Bus Platform for 33 metres.
  • Escalators (click here for maintenance schedule): 3
    • Concourse To Street Level, up at all times
    • Westbound Platform To Concourse, up at all times
    • Eastbound Platform To Concourse, up at all times
  • Elevators (click here for maintenance schedule): 3
    • Eastbound platform to concourse
    • Westbound platform to concourse
    • Concourse to street level
  • Wheelchair Accessible: since June 22, 2006
  • Bus platforms located on the north side of the station’s street-level entrance.
  • No Washrooms
  • 2 Side Platforms
  • No official TTC parking, but City of Toronto parking available nearby.

TTC Surface Connections (Transfer required):

Previous TTC Connections


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