Go West, Young Man!

I decided to continue my mini-tour of ‘far-flung’ TTC stations with a visit to Kipling. Of course, classifying Kipling as a distant outpost betrays my parochial view of Toronto; in reality, this bustling western terminus plays a central role in the lives of over 50,000 travellers each day. For these commuters, Kipling is a beginning, not an end.

Photo: Kipling station exterior
The ‘suburban-modern’ style of Kipling’s 20 concrete arches, portrayed as an idyllic fantasy. The reality is somewhat more prosaic.

The last time I was at Kipling was on the tail end of an international climbing vacation. I had a 40 pound pack strapped to me, and I was exhausted from the flight to Pearson. I’d transferred from the 192 Airport Express bus, and all I wanted was to get home and take a shower as soon as I could. For some reason, the outbound train was delayed, and I remember silently hating Kipling for no good reason.

It’s an intriguing station, viewed in contrast to other significant TTC hubs such as Finch, or Kennedy.

Photo: Kipling station south commuter lot entrance: a concrete bunker
A stark concrete bunker: the first impression of south lot users. 

You can tell that certain sections were constructed at different times: the various entrances and connecting passages exhibit completely different aesthetic treatments.

Photo: Kipling station eastern ramp
The cool green eastern ramp provides street level access

Photo: Kipling station taxi pickup corridor
Warm (fake) brick leads to... the taxi pickup

At Kipling we find two mournful reminders of the evanescent nature of transit planning. On the bus platform level, if you stroll over to the south-facing windows, you can view the roughed-in platform originally intended for a future Etobicoke RT transfer connection (heading north on the Kipling hydro corridor to Pearson, then east via the Finch corridor to York University). That expansion never happened—and based on our experience with the Scarborough RT, perhaps it was for the best.

Photo: Kipling station bus level hall
The grand hall, atop the subway level, looking east. On the left, the buses. On the right, an evaporated dream.

Kipling RT platform
The never-completed light-rail platform at Kipling

The second artifact of a design not entirely brought to fruition is the ‘ghost’ portal for a third subway tunnel entering the station from the east. This third track, never laid, would have extended to a theoretical subway yard.

Notwithstanding these incomplete flourishes, Kipling is due for additional future expansion, via the construction of an (adjacent?) inter-regional bus platform, to connect with GO Transit and Mississauga Transit buses.

Kipling station opened to the public on November 22, 1980, following an opening ceremony the previous day. A pair of plaques on the bus level commemorate the opening. Together with Kennedy at the other end, this station extended the Bloor-Danforth line to a length of 26.2 km.

The adjoining parking lots and the Manby electrical transformer station make for pleasingly bleak vistas. Check them out in the gallery!

Photo Gallery

Tour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past (including before and after photos of the platform wall panel replacement):

Photo gallery of the TTC's Kipling subway station in Toronto, Ontario

Kipling station transfer

More about Kipling

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Kipling

My next stop: St. Andrew
Previous station: Sheppard West (formerly Downsview)

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