Friday, July 17, 2009

How Do You Spell Relief, Toronto?:: Saga of Subway Lines South of Bloor/Danforth

Last Friday, I blogged about Toronto as a walkable city on here and at ThickCulture. I'm enjoying Mary Soderstrom's book, Walkable City, and plan on making trips out to Don Mills {Toronto} and Mount Royal {Montréal} soon.

This week, I was alerted to the possibility of Toronto's Downtown Relief Line being fastracked by a Toronto councillor. {HT:: LQ} The Downtown Relief Line has been talked about for a century, was studied heavily in the 1980s, and fell through the political cracks. According to this interesting post on Transit Toronto, the Conservatives typically were in favour of funding TTC projects, while the Liberals in the 1980s were wary the $5B pricetag for Network 2011 {a comprehensive transit plan} after finally coming to power in Ontario after 42 years. Current talk of a Downtown Relief Line is building a subway from Pape station on the Bloor/Danforth south to Leslieville. The route would follow Eastern, the Gardiner, and Front Street over to Spadina. Extensions would take the line westward to Queen West and back up to the Bloor/Danforth line at Dundas West. This is close to this fantasy map featured on the Torontoist, with a line along the DVP/Broadview rather than Pape.

This made me think about both density and how mass transit could shape development and increase property values along subway corridors. Currently, I don't have GIS capabilities and I'm an ArcView novice in any case, so I created a map in Photoshop by brute force. I took a map on SpacingToronto that had a current TTC route map along with the city's high rise apartments. I stripped out the white background, making it transparent, and saved it as a png file. I then took a 2006 density map from UrbanToronto, which became the main layer in my Photoshop file {.psd}. I rotated and resized the TTC route map until I saw it roughly corresponded with the density map and inserted it as a layer into the Photoshop file. I didn't have time to change the colour of the TTC route map that would have increased legibility, but I tried to help identify the subway lines by labeling them. If anyone wants the .psd file, e-mail me or leave a comment & I'll get it to you.

Looking at this map {click to see magnifiable image on Picasa}, where do you think the downtown relief line should go? Other than the proposed University line extension to York University, where do you think subways should go?

Image:: Ad for Network 2011 proposal placed by TTC in the Toronto Star, ca. 1985. TransitToronto I dig the kid's Safeway cap.

Twitterversion:: #Toronto Dwntwn Relief Subwy Line may have new life.I created a density map w/curr.#TTC routes.Where should new lines go? @Prof_K


Dont Sleep In The Subway - Marie-France Arcilla & Ensemble


Kenneth M. Kambara said...

After thinking about it a bit, I see that much of Toronto's density has an "east-west" orientation. On The Intrepid's TTC Fantasy Maps blog compiles quite a few great maps {completely awesome indeed}. I'm partial to the Dream Map, as it has multiple east-west routes in the downtown area:: Waterfront {East/West}, King/Downtown Relief, Queen, Dundas, College/Carlton/Gerrard.

Toronto condos said...

Oh, it seems you were thinking about this quite intensively. A cool map, by the way. Can't really decide where I want the downtown relief line to be, though. Where do you? Best wishes, Elli.