Bloor Danforth Line Celebrates 50 Years

Subway traveling along the Bloor Danforth Line

Subway traveling along the Bloor Danforth Line

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Bloor-Danforth Line.  Service commeneced February 25th, 1966 between Keele and Woodbine stations.

The line was the second subway line built in Toronto, following the opening of the Yonge Line in 1954, and its extension up University Ave. to Bloor St. in 1963.  The line originally was proposed to travel along Queen St., but ridership was growing faster on Bloor St.  The Prince Edward Viaduct also helped with Bloor being chosen as it was built with space for a subway line.

T1 TTC subway car parked in St. George subway ...

T1 TTC subway car parked in St. George subway station in Toronto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The line was approved in 1958, with the first step being a subway line along University Ave. connecting St. George station on Bloor St. with Union Station and the south end of the Yonge Line, effectively creating a U-shaped subway as trains would operate between along University Ave. and Yonge St.

The University Ave. extension to the Yonge Line was built and completed first, in order to allow passengers travelling from the west to head downtown at St. George station.

For the first six months the TTC experimented with a ‘one-seat ride’ option for Bloor-Danforth Line as every other subway train would depart either Keele or Woodbine and then head south on University Ave. around the ‘U’ and up Yonge St. all the way to Eglinton station.  This created a unique situation at the Bay St. stop on the Bloor-Danforth line as subways heading to and from Woodbine Ave. would use their own stop, situated beneath the Bloor St. stop called ‘Lower Bay‘.

The experiment ended after six months as many passengers found the operation confusing, and delays on one line would ultimately create delays on the other line.

The Toronto Transit Commission's Kipling stati...

The Toronto Transit Commission’s Kipling station, currently western terminus of the Bloor-Danforth subway line.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bloor-Danforth line would be extended over the years: in 1968 west to Islington and east to Warden, and then again in 1980 west to Kipling and east to Kennedy.

The Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) line would connect Kennedy station with the Scarborough Town Centre and McCowan Road.

The Bloor-Danforth Line now comprised 31 stations over a stretch of 26.2 km.  Service starts at 5:31 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, 5:48 a.m. on Saturdays, and 8:00 a.m. on Sundays, with service shutting down at 1:31 a.m.

So, let’s celebrate 50 years of the Bloor-Danforth Line.


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