May. 15, 2016

Lessons from Toronto’s Sheppard subway line

"Despite the criticisms, the subway has begun to transform some pockets along its route. Residential towers cluster around the intersection of Sheppard and Bayview avenues. Urbane new shops line the streets.

“It’s great to have that foot traffic going into the subway in the morning,” says Michael Smith, 26, standing behind the counter of Bread-Stuff, a recently opened bakery that serves organic, fair trade coffee. “It’s been very steady.”

At Burger Hut, a holdout from a previous era in the neighbourhood, John Kambouris, 65, says the area has become more diverse in the past decade.

“There’s more hustle, more people, more activity,” he says, looking across the street to a spot next to Bessarion station, where condos are planned to rise on a former warehouse site. “It’s a totally different look.”

The line itself is well-designed, with roomy stations and convenient entrances for walk-on traffic. Downtown, meanwhile, commuters stand several rows deep on platforms at Yonge-Bloor station at rush hour, or wait at stops as crammed-full streetcars pass them by.

It’s a strange contrast, and it’s hard to find another city that has anything quite like Sheppard."

ADRIAN MORROW - The Globe and Mail - Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 - Last updated Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012