Meeting Date: March 26, 2008
 
Subject: Design Approach - Station Modernization And Station Renaissance Programs
 
Action Item: X  

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Commission:

  1. approve a design philosophy for rapid transit stations that permits unique station designs, incorporating required standard elements;  
  2. approve proceeding with the Station Modernization and Station Renaissance Programs, using the approach of unique station designs, while preserving High Park, Keele, Coxwell and Woodbine Stations with the original design appearance; and 
  3. approve forwarding this report to the Toronto Preservation Board for information.

Funding

There are no funding implications arising from this report.  

Background

Currently there are two projects in the TTC’s 2008 – 2012 Capital Program for improvements to older subway stations: the Station Modernization Program, and the University Subway Stations Renaissance Program.
 
The Station Modernization Program aims to upgrade and modernize both indoor and outdoor public spaces on the Bloor-Danforth subway line to provide stations that are in a state of good repair, safe, maintainable, more easily navigated, visually modern, and more identifiable as a TTC transit facility.  The stations in the Program include Pape, Dufferin and Bloor-Yonge.  As this Program continues, additional stations will be added for future years, subject to funding approvals. Other stations that are being modernized under other Projects include Victoria Park, Islington and Kipling. 
 
The University Subway Stations Renaissance Program is an initiative that supports the Toronto Community Foundation’s “Arts on Track” Program to upgrade finishes at the platform level in Museum, St. Patrick and Osgoode stations to provide an identity related to
the cultural area served by each station through graphic content and station finishes at platform level.  
 
At this time, none of the stations included in the Station Modernization or Station Renaissance Programs have been listed or designated by the Toronto Preservation Board (TPB).  At its meeting of November 9, 2007, the TPB requested that the Director of Policy and Research, City Planning Division, report:

  1. on the heritage attributes and the options for listing/designation of the eight TTC stations currently proposed for redevelopment, including signs and typeface; and
  2. with the intent to list and/or designate the entire Bloor/Danforth line and the Yonge/University Line from St. George to Eglinton.

Discussion

TTC Engineering Design Standards permit each transit facility to be unique in appearance by using both fixed and flexible design elements.  A significant number of elements for new  rapid transit stations are required to be fixed in design including: safety and security features, signage, required illumination levels, and the use of durable and maintainable finishes, to name a few.  The flexible design opportunities include: spatial articulation, material selection and the incorporation of art and colour into the facility design.  This design approach permits artistic variation for each facility, while maintaining design consistency for essential elements.
 
The design of the Bloor-Danforth subway line permitted little variation in station platform design, other than the colour selected for the wall finish.  Since that time, the TTC has adopted an approach that permits diverse designs that incorporate public art and other cultural elements while ensuring safety, maintainability and durability through fixed standard elements.  For the modernization design of Pape Station, there is an opportunity to introduce new building materials, such as large scale ceramic tiles incorporating artwork, which will introduce variety to the appearance of the Bloor-Danforth line.
 
To date, there are two TTC subway stations with heritage protection; Wellesley Station is designated and Rosedale Station is listed under the Ontario Heritage Act.  Heritage attributes have not yet been identified for the stations on the Bloor-Danforth line.   

Justification

A design philosophy that permits unique station designs, incorporating required standard elements, will allow TTC facilities to be diverse in appearance while ensuring safety, maintainability and durability.
 
March 5, 2008
1120115
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