The Downtown Relief Line (Updated)

I have now discussed the two phases in which I believe the Downtown Relief Line (D.R.L.) should be built in.  To make it easier to follow, I have condensed the two posts into one here:

Phase 1:

I have slightly updated my proposal for the Downtown Relief Line (D.R.L.), which I have previously discussed.

The line would still head out in the west from Dundas West station heading south to a stop at Roncesvalles Avenue and Queen Street W.  The line would then run southeast to a stop on the north side of the GO Transit’s Exhibition station.  The line would then run north east through Liberty Village.

The line would then run under King Street, stopping at University Avenue and Yonge Street.  The line would then continue east to the Distillery District and the Corktown Common.

After Corktown Common, the line would essentially run northeast, stopping at Broadview Avenue and Queen Street E., and at Gerrard Square.  The line would then turn north and stop at Donlands station.

This would be the first phase of the D.R.L.  For a view of the D.R.L., please check out thislink.

My rationale for this route is as follows:

  • Dundas West station provides a connection to both GO Transit’s Bloor station, and the T.T.C.’s Dundas West station.  This will pull people travelling from the west away from St. George’s station and Bloor-Yonge station and into downtown Toronto.
  • The stop at Roncesvalles and Queen picks up people from the Roncesvalles Avenue area, plus provides an alternative to having to take the slow and crowded 501 Queen car through downtown.  Plus, with St. Joseph’s Health Centre close by, there is potential for some demand for the station on its own.
  • The stop at Exhibition, not found in my original plan, is obvious.  GO Transit already sees serve at their Exhibition station during the rush hour for the businesses north of the tracks.  Plus, there are plenty of events going on during the year on the Exhibition grounds, from the CNE, to the Royal Fair, to the Molson Indy, the Toronto FC soccer team, the Zoomer Show, Medieval Times, etc.  So, this is not only a commuter stop, but a destination point.
  • The stop in Liberty Village has the advantage of being in an area that is being redeveloped and will have potential for a good amount of traffic.
  • The stop at Spadina hooks up with the Rogers Centre (neé SkyDome) for all the events there (Blue Jays, football games, Disney on Ice, etc.) plus the potential to connect with a possible GO Transit stop, if they move some of their trains to the North Bathurst Yard.
  • Running along King Street, not Queen Street, is more for ease at this point, as it makes it easier to connect the western and eastern points along the route.  It is still off Union Station, so helps to take some pressure off Union, and may also take some pressure off the Yonge-University-Spadina (Y-U-S) line as people may be able to simply walk from on the the stops to their place of work.
  • The stop at the Distillery District provides serves to another “destination point” so people can use the D.R.L. to go straight to the Distillery District.
  • The stop at Corktown Commons provides a stop in an area that is being developed.  This means development in the area will have a connection to the transit system.
  • The stop at Broadview is only a suggestion in my opinion as it opens up a connection to the area, and provides a connection to surface transit, specifically the 501 Queen car.
  • The stop at Gerrard Square could be placed in another area, but the advantage of this stop is that it is by a mall which may create some trips, and this would not be the first time an option like this has been considered – there has been talk in the past of extending the Bloor-Danforth line west to Sherway Gardens.  Again, this stop could be place in another area if required.
  • Ending the subway at Donlands station creates two advantages: one, it is close to the Greenwood yards and some sort of connection could be installed, and secondly that it would connect to the Bloor-Danforth station in the east, yet again taking pressure off the Bloor-Yonge station.

There is potential for extensions at each end of this proposal, especially in the east for extensions.  I will be writing shortly about extending the line in the east end, which has the greatest potential for expansion.

Phase 2:

I have spoken about my proposal for a first phase for the Downtown Relief Line (D.R.L.) in my previous post.  The first phase would see the line built between Dundas Weststation and the Donlands station.  Now I would like to discuss the second phase of the line.

For the second phase, the line would continue to travel north from Donlands station as follows:

The line would head north to a stop near Don Mills Road and O’Connor Drive, named O’Connor.  This stop allows for a stop prior to the Don Valley, to serve the area.

The line would then continue north to the Ontario Science Centre.  This is an obvious destination point which would provide passengers for the D.R.L.

The line would then continue north to Eglinton Avenue with a stop there.  This would provide a connection with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line, and help take pressure off the Yonge Line, as would the other stops north of here.

Continuing north, there is a stop at Lawrence Avenue, and a potential stop at York Mills.  The Lawrence stop would connect with buses, while York Mills is only a proposal on my part.

A stop at Sheppard Avenue East would connect with the Sheppard line, plus any LRT heading east from there.

A station at Finch Avenue would take some pressure off Finch station, especially as the 39 Finch East bus would pass by.

An endpoint of Steeles Ave. would mean the the York Regional Transit (Y.R.T.) could divert their buses there from Finch station, taking more pressure off the Finch line.

The second phase of the D.R.L. would also benefit if other L.R.T. lines, not just the Eglinton Crosstown, would be built.  Plus, there has been discussion of extending the subway up to Richmond Hill, and while the Yonge line could be extended to Steeles, the D.R.L. would be the more practical option.

If you want to see my proposed routing for the second phase of the D.R.L., please see thislink.  Essentially, when you add both phases of the D.R.L., you get something that looks like this link.

At this point, I am not concerned with the name other the route: the Downtown Relief Line, the Don Mills Lines, the Going Downtown Line, etc.  The important thing is the the line gets built to provide some relief for the Y-U-S line, and to connect some destination points to the subway line.

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About Toronto Streetcars

I am a transit enthusiast.
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