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Bay is a station on the Bloor-Danforth line of the subway system in Toronto, Canada. It is located at 64 Bloor Street West at Bay Street. It was opened in 1966. Nearby landmarks include the Manulife Centre and Yorkville.
The only bus route that serves Bay is the 6 Bay.
Early plans of the Bloor line, and even some published maps, named this station ‘Yorkville’; the platform signs still read ‘BAY’ in large type, with a smaller ‘YORKVILLE’ underneath.
Lower Bay Edit
Below the main platform for Bay station is an abandoned platform, which was used for only six months in 1966 when the TTC experimentally ran trains whose routes included portions of both the Yonge-University and Bloor-Danforth lines. This abandoned platform is sometimes referred to as Lower Bay.
The platform was in service in 1966 as part of an ‘interlining’ experiment, in which the Toronto Transit Commission ran trains along three routes, with one matching the subsequent Bloor-Danforth line, and the other two combining parts of the Bloor-Danforth line with the Yonge-University line. The experiment was deemed a failure, largely because delays anywhere quickly cascaded to affect the entire system. Also, as the stations had not been laid out effectively for cross-platform interchange, trains travelling west from St. George and east from Bay alternated between the two levels, leading passengers to wait on the stairs in-between the levels, since they were unable to tell which platform would receive the next train.
With every station served by at least two routes (Bloor-Yonge station was served by all three routes, with the Yonge-University-Danforth route passing through it twice, once on each level), passengers could travel between any two stations without changing trains, but the TTC found that when the extra time waiting for a train from the correct route was considered, the time savings were not significant.
Interlining was discontinued because of the confusion and delays, although it has been argued that it was politically motivated and that the experiment was sabotaged by the TTC, perhaps even designed to fail from the start. Much of the infrastructure for interlining is still present on the system, and most older stations still have signs informing passengers of each train’s next destination, although they no longer change.
Though closed to the public, Lower Bay has not been abandoned. It is now used to train new operators, to move trains between the two lines, for platform-surface experiments, and to allow filming in the subway without disrupting the public service. The station has been modified several times to make it look like a ‘common’ North American subway station, and the TTC now has an elaborate pre-built set for converting it to a New York subway station.
The tracks connecting Lower Bay are still in existence and are used if subway trains or equipment must be moved between lines. A northbound train from Museum can reach them by turning right at the junction where the train veers to the left toward St. George; a westbound train from Bloor-Yonge can reach them by turning left at the junction immediately after the station. The station platform can be reached through (normally-locked) service doors on the upper level.
Passengers on the Bloor-Danforth trains can get a glimpse of Lower Bay station, from the front of a westbound train as it leaves Yonge station bound for (upper) Bay station. Immediately after the station, the westbound tracks fork, with normal traffic travelling on the right. If passengers follow with their eyes the left-hand fork in the tracks, ahead and down, the lights of Lower Bay station can be seen in the distance.
- The Truth Behind the Interlining Trial, at Transit Toronto
- Toronto's Lost Subway Stations
- Subway Secrets in Cygnals Zine (Issue 8)
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