Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Accordion City Day, Part 4: The Subway That Could Be

[via stridingcloud and xophylia] This is what the subway map of Accordion City actually looks like (click to see a larger image):

A good chunk of the city — particularly the north end — is underserved by it. Here’s what it probably should look like (once again, click to see a larger image):

Graphic: Map of an ideal Toronto subway map.

Xophylia has also created a scalable PDF version of the dream subway map for you fantasy cartographers to study in detail.

The gold-coloured line’s east-west stretch would be nice, but it doesn’t serve a very population-dense area. If I had to pick one line from the dream map to add to the subway, I’d add the Sheppard-Etobicoke line (the purple line that spans the north end of the city). That entire line would serve a population-dense part of town bristling with high-rises that’s currently served by buses. It would also give us what a proper city has: an airport subway stop!

Accordion City locals: your comments, please!

14 replies on “Accordion City Day, Part 4: The Subway That Could Be”

As I said in my post it would be great to have a subway along Sheppard the whole way and also along Eglinton. The Eglinton buses are always packed and if you want to go from one end to the other (as I do everyday) you have to switch at the Eglinton subway station.

Eglinton West to York Centre is the busiest transportation route in the city, so finishing that line (the tail tracks were built) makes sense. Also, there are a few logical stops missing from the map such as Willowdale between Sheppard and Bayview.

I would love that top purple line too.. or at least a connection from the Bloor line to Kipling.

But since I moved away…. I am just more curious what such an ambitious project would cost. I would bet around a billion dollars.

As an east-ender, I would very much like to see the red line (the Don Mills extension to the Spadina line) and the blue line (Eglinton). That would solve a whole lot of travel issues, personally. But ideally, all of it would be spiffy-keen; I’m sure a case could be made for each of these routes, in terms of high-density areas where folks are heavily reliant on buses.


These maps are exceedingly fun to fantasize about, but they are dangerous in that they contribute to an impractical “big project” only mindset to improving transit. Sure, subway lines are sexier than proletarian bus routes. But you could improve the heck out of a lot of bus routes for the crazy amount of money that it would cost to, say, finish off the sheppard line that extra few klicks.

You’ll never get a subway stop at the airport, because the government (don’t remember which branch, probably Trans Canada) makes money off of each taxi cab ride. All those taxi rides bring in a lot of cha-ching. They won’t make nearly as much from the subway, and worse, it’ll cost them to create the subway.

Government giving up a source of income? Look what happened to the ‘temporary’ income tax and gas tax.

Nice dream, however fares are high enough now! I can’t imagine paying more for the TTC then my GO pass.

As for the government making money off taxi rides to the airport… certainly not in Toronto? All the taxi rides I’ve had have been flat rate off the books cash for the cabby. You think he’s claiming that fare? Think again.

Can’t let this go without mentioning that the Yonge line should be expanded North, where a great deal of traffic is coming from. I’d take it up to Steeles, John, possibly Highway #7. You should see what the the major North/South corridors are like in Accordion City’s perma-rush hour.

The System should be changed.

Instead of a “one size fits all” in regards to the pricing of the trips they should charge them by distance / time as it is done pretty much everywhere in europe.

In that case, you would pay for your monthly pass according to the “zones” you are treavelling through, if you go further you buy additional tickets.

Where I grew up they started with tickets for ~1.25 DM (60 Eurocents) for three stops, and then more if you needed to go further.

The End result: The system had more cash and actually could see exactly which lines were the most popular and add the required capacity.

An extension of the Yonge-University line north would be great (at least up to Steeles on the Yonge line) but further north, up in Richmond Hill & Markham, most people depend on cars to get around because everything is so spaced out. Go suburbia.

Hooray for the dream subway map!

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