The great central pinch-point of our overburdened subway system. It ought to be a station of symbolic pride and triumph, but instead, we have grown to quietly loathe it, our affections eroded and alienated by the unyielding constancy of its rush-hour congestion.
|A rare moment of stillness at Bloor-Yonge|
Due to its role as the primary interchange between the Yonge and Bloor-Danforth lines, the station is by far the busiest in the network. The upper level was designed by architect Charles B. Dolphin, who also gave us the William McBrien building, home to the TTC’s official headquarters at Davisville.
It seems clear in retrospect that Dolphin never anticipated the hordes that surge daily through the station corridors—the 1987-92 platform widening and the 2009 crowd control measures serving as proof of the inadequacy of his layout (in fairness, when Dolphin designed Bloor, it was only with a streetcar connection in mind; the main east-west interchange was going to be along Queen). Perhaps one day a Relief Line will ease the pain…
|The north- and southbound platforms were widened by 12 feet in 1992 to mitigate over-crowding.|
Although the station officially bears the appellation ‘Bloor-Yonge’, hardly anyone calls it that, except for TTC executives and the automated robot voice on the Toronto Rocket trains (the voice on the Bloor-Danforth T-1s says ‘Yonge’). Most folks still prefer the shorter ‘Bloor’, the original name used during the opening on March 30, 1954.
The lower level of the station opened on February 25, 1966, replacing a transfer point to the Bloor streetcar line. Unlike ‘Bloor’ above, the ‘Yonge’ platform was constructed using a narrow island configuration, a missed opportunity to build a commodiously expanded station with multiple platforms, that could have mitigated some of the crush problems of the north end upstairs.
|Benches on the Yonge island platform.|
Three historical items decorate the main station concourse: an archival photo of the streetcar connection platform, a commemorative Edwin McCormick reproduction (shown below), and a plaque dedicated to the opening of the Bloor-Danforth subway.
|Commemorating the workers who built the subway system.|
If there is but a single piece of information I’d like you to retain from this entire project, it’s to avoid the washrooms at Bloor. The cleaning staff do their heroic best to keep up with the traffic, but it’s a losing cause. For your sake—try to hold it in.
Photo GalleryTour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past:
(hint: turn on the captions)
Bloor takes its name from the Methodist brewer Joseph Bloore (1789-1862), a scary-looking fellow who was intimately involved in land development around the village of Yorkville. Bloor St. was named after him in 1855.
|Bloor-Yonge station transfer|
More about BloorTTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Bloor-Yonge
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