Last week, Toronto City Council approved the sale of lands adjoining Kipling Station to Metrolinx, paving the way for a long-awaited GO/MiWay transit hub at Line 2's western terminus. Following the Council vote, the City, TTC, and Metrolinx can move forward in transforming Kipling Station into a regional mobility hub.

The recent vote presents a major step forward in what has been a surprisingly long-running saga, with plans to create a new transit hub in the works since the TTC station's opening in 1980 (the adjoining GO Train station was opened a year later). When Kipling Station entered into service, the Bloor Danforth subway (now Line 2) was extended from Islington, which had served as the western terminus since 1968. As Line 2's mid-century terminus, Islington became the transit point for MiWay services, providing a gateway between the TTC and City of Mississauga's bus network. 

A satellite view of Kipling Station, image via Google MapsA satellite view of Kipling Station, image via Google Maps

In 2007, the City and Metrolinx advanced a plan (seen below) to move Mississauga Transit bus operations (now branded as MiWay) to the new Kipling transit hub, allowing parts of the spatially inefficient Islington Station, particularly its large mid-century silo-style bus bay, to be redeveloped as part of the new Etobicoke City Centre downtown. For its part, Kipling's closer proximity to Mississauga makes it an obvious place for connections to Mississauga, as MiWay trips could be cut down by over a kilometre. Additionally, the more straightforward street grid near Kipling allows for easier transit access compared to Islington Village streets east of the complex Six Points Interchange (now in the process of being reconfigured).  

The 2007 plan, image via the City of TorontoThe 2007 plan, image via the City of Toronto

Although the 2007 plan was swiftly marshalled through City Council, the presence of a Hydro One corridor above the site unexpectedly soon came to present a significant obstacle. That plan called for a new Metrolinx bus terminal directly adjoining the existing TTC facility on Subway Crescent. As the north-south Hydro corridor runs immediately west of Kipling, however, Hydro One insisted that the new bus terminal needed to be moved further southwest. (As low-rise development under the Hydro corridor had been permitted for a fast food restaurant across Dundas Street, this problem came as something of a surprise to the City).

The Metrolinx terminal will now be located past the hydro infrastructure (seen aThe Metrolinx terminal will now be located past the hydro infrastructure (seen at left), image via Google Maps

Over the next several years, the plan was revised to accommodate the Hydro One corridor. In the 2015 plan (below), the proposed 14-bay bus terminal was relocated away from the Hydro infrastructure, with the new structure now separated from the TTC facility via a green space under the transmission lines. Like its predecessor, the 2015 plan required modification. In this case, however, the changes to the project proved comparatively minimal.

The 2015 plan, image via the City of TorontoThe 2015 plan, image via the City of Toronto

While the repositioned Metrolinx terminal avoided the Hydro corridor, the structure's configuration presented a possible impediment to the future extension of Line 2. With a westward extension of the line to Sherway Gardens long in the books (and as of this Council meeting, set to be studied again as a long-term transit priority), the alignment and shape of the terminal was subsequently identified as a complicating factor in eventually extending the tracks.

The teardrop-shaped terminal would likely impede future extension of TTC tracks,The teardrop-shaped terminal would likely impede future extension of TTC tracks, image via Metrolinx

As such, the design was once again modified, with the bus terminal slightly repositioned and reshaped to avoid impeding future tracks. Where the 2015 plan called for a somewhat tear-shaped terminal, the current proposal sees the structure slimmed down and evened out into a capsule shape (below).

The current plan (click for a closer view), image via the City of TorontoThe current plan (click for a closer view), image via the City of Toronto

As in the previous plan, pedestrian access from the new bus terminal to the existing TTC facility will be provided via a tunnel (to be animated by a series of skylights), while a new pedestrian bridge has been added to the Metrolinx facility, linking a sidewalk entrance with the bus terminal and on to the Kipling GO Station platform to its south. The bridge will be built to cross over a potential western extension of the subway line.

An early rendering of the current design, image via Metrolinx and the City of ToAn early rendering of the current design, image via Metrolinx and the City of Toronto

Subway Crescent, currently the parking lot access road, will be used exclusively by MiWay and GO Transit buses. South of Dundas, Acorn Avenue will be extended south to give private vehicles access to Kipling Station. At Acorn Avenue's new southern terminus, the passenger pick-up and drop-off (PPUDO) area has been expanded, while the parking lot will be reconfigured to maintain some parking here. On the south side of the transit facilities and the tracks, new and expanded commuter parking lots are still in the works, increasing the capacity for what will become a regional transit hub.

Another view of the current plan (showing the new parking to the south), image vAnother view of the current plan (showing the new parking to the south), image via Metrolinx and the City of Toronto

With the TTC Board and City Council approving the sale of the lands to Metrolinx, the three public bodies will—along with the City of Mississauga—now negotiate the specific terms of the agreement. We will keep you updated as the project continues to take shape. In the meantime, more information is available via the Metrolinx website, linked here. Want to share your thoughts about the project? Feel free to leave a message in the space below this page, or join in the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread