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Office of the Chief Executive

Commission seal 9/17/20 6:00 PM

Colourful new skylight caps Glencairn Station improvements

As you know, this is an important week for TTC service as the majority of elementary and high school students return to school in Toronto.

To meet the anticipated travel demand, we’ve bolstered our service with 110 additional special-run buses now that 150 union employees have returned to work full time. We’ve also added station staff to monitor crowding standards at key locations across the system. And, of course, we’re reminding students who may not have been on transit for a while that face coverings are mandatory on the TTC (with some exceptions) for their own wellness and for protection of all customers.

Although the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the city is concerning, the TTC continues to follow the direction from Toronto Public Health to ensure public transit remains a safe and resilient option for everyone.

I was delighted this past weekend to be at Glencairn Station to celebrate art in architecture with the completion of an important state-of-good-repair project.

The official unveiling of the new skylight and structural improvements at Glencairn was an opportunity for myself, Mayor John Tory and Federal Immigration Minister and Eglinton-Lawrence MP Marco Mendicino to thank local residents for their patience during construction. We also acknowledged the TTC’s engineering and construction team – including retired Chief Capital Officer Susan Reed Tanaka – and various TTC departments that worked extensively and collaboratively to make this milestone possible.

It was important for me emphasize that while crews worked at significant heights, zero worker incidents occurred during the reconstruction of the roof and supports, all while the station remained operational at all times.

The skylight replacement at Glencairn, and at Eglinton West Station two years ago, was made possible thanks to the Government of Canada’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, and matching contributions from the City of Toronto. The skylight project at Yorkdale Station is in its final phase of design, with construction set to start in 2021.

When the Spadina Subway opened in 1978 from St George to Wilson, each station included imaginative works of art by different Canadian artists. The public art concept at Glencairn included colourful skylight art work designed by renowned Canadian artist Rita Letendre. She titled her work, “Joy”.

Over the years, the skylight became prone to leaks, and with no funding in place, fell into disrepair. It was eventually removed.

PTIF funding put our modernization program back on track so we brought back Ms. Letendre to help redesign her original artwork and integrate it into the new skylight system using modern digital technologies and glazing techniques to ensure the longevity of the art work.

Thanks to Ms. Letendre, and our engineering and construction staff, travel through Glencairn Station has become a joyful experience once again.

On a final note I hope many of you saw the press release (see below) we put out today making good on our promise to continue matching service with demand. The TTC is recalling 132 additional unionized employees who were laid-off in April. The employees will return to work on Sunday, October 4. The 132 employees will be in roles that support the increasing demand for service.

Richard J. Leary
Chief Executive Officer
September 17, 2020

News Release

TTC recalls 132 more unionized employees to plan for a potential increase in ridership

September 17, 2020

Making good on its promise to continue matching service with demand, the TTC is recalling 132 additional unionized employees who were laid-off in April. The employees will return to work on Sun., Oct. 4. The 132 employees will be in roles that support the increasing demand for service.

“We have kept the TTC going throughout the pandemic so that essential workers can get where they need to go safely. The TTC moved to increase service to 90 per cent of pre-pandemic service ahead of back to school and I am pleased to see the TTC is bringing back even more transit operators now ahead of anticipated demand later this month,” said Mayor John Tory. “The TTC will continue to make sure they are putting extra buses on the busiest routes across the system and making sure our transit system remains safe and reliable.”

The temporary layoff of 450 employees was announced last April after ridership plummeted due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The 132 employees are in addition to the 150 operators that returned to work to provide a demand-responsive service as ridership rebounds and students go back to school.

The layoffs are a temporary measure with all operators to be recalled when the TTC reaches 50 per cent of pre-pandemic ridership levels on all vehicle modes (before the pandemic the TTC was carrying 1.7 million rides on a typical weekday day). At the lowest point of the lockdown, the TTC was moving roughly 15-20 per cent of pre-pandemic ridership. Currently, the TTC is seeing daily ridership in the 35-40 per cent range (or more than 630,000 customers each weekday).

“The TTC plans service to stay ahead of the ridership curve,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “We’ll continue to focus demand-responsive service on the busiest routes across the network in order to deploy the capacity to meet the demand where it's needed most.”


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