Familiar story time. A few years back, I took the subway to work, just like every other day, and I must have gotten distracted. Maybe I was half-asleep, or deep into a book—or perhaps I was preoccupied with surreptitiously ogling someone who struck my fancy. At any rate, somewhere along the line, I left my cellphone on the train. Disaster!

Thus began an anxiety-laden rite of passage, undertaken by countless travelers over the years, that is linked intimately with Bay station. You know the one: losing something on the TTC... and then trying to get it back.

The TTC's Lost Articles Office, located inside Bay subway station
Some 200 items a day wind up at the TTC’s Lost Articles Office [the entrance looks different now due to subsequent renovations]

Flustered and panicky, I contacted the TTC’s Lost Articles Office—tucked away in the mezzanine at Bay—to report my calamity.

The Office is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, not counting statutory holidays. Should you have the misfortune of forgetting something on the transit, I recommend calling ahead, to save yourself a potentially fruitless trek. With so many millions of rides taking place, the system accumulates hundreds of lost items daily, ranging from the mundane to the peculiar. Reportedly between a third to half of the errant items are eventually picked up; unclaimed flotsam is unceremoniously sold off via Police Auctions Canada.

After a few days of plaintively checking in, I learned that a kindly Good Samaritan had turned in my wandering phone. I paid a visit to the Office, where I was rapturously reunited with my misplaced device. What does it say about our culture, that we become so entangled with these little objects of metal and glass?

Bay station corridor
The corridor of hopes and dreams

Bay station opened on February 22, 1966, as a central part of the Bloor-Danforth-University line. The station was originally going to be named Yorkville, after the adjoining neighbourhood; this nomenclature quirkily persists as a subtitle in the station identification tiling.

Tiling at Bay station
The Pulse at Bay station. I’m not clear on the origins of this decorative outburst, a departure from the classic Bloor-line styling.

In 2008 the Cumberland St. entrance to Bay was replaced at the behest of the Yorkville BIA, which felt that the posh Village of Yorkville Park deserved an updated structure to serve it. A commemorative plaque directly outside this entrance references Budd Sugarman, the ‘Mayor of Yorkville’, who also has a park named for him on the surplus TTC lands south of Rosedale station.

Cumberland St. entrance to the TTC's Bay station
The renovated Cumberland St. entrance to Bay

Bay Lower

You didn’t think I was going to skip it, did you?

No examination of Bay is complete without a traipse through Bay Lower, the “abandoned” platform underneath the main operating level. While Bay Lower isn’t a discrete station, the platform is generally not accessible to the public. Accordingly I have filtered out my extended musings on that part of the facility, and its historical role in our rapid transit network, into the next article.

Here are a couple of photos as a teaser...

Bay station platform
Beyond these unassuming platform-level doors lies Toronto's worst kept secret...

Peek down to the Bay Lower subway platform at Bay station
Sneak Peek into the mysteries of Bay Lower

And no, the elevator (installed in 2020) doesn’t go down to Bay Lower. 

Stay tuned!

Photo Gallery

Tour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past:
(hint: turn on the captions)

Bay station photo gallery

Bay street was so-named in 1797 as it connected Lot (Queen) St. to a small bay in York’s harbour. Bonus points if you mentally pronounce it ‘BAE STATION’ in the Sony commercial voice. Double bonus points if you’re Danish and amused right now.

Bay station transfer
Bay station transfer

More about Bay

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Bay

My next stop: Bay Lower
Previous station: Christie

Alphabetical Station Selector