With the clock counting down to the December 17th opening of six new subway stations on the TTC's Line 1, Toronto's rapid transit network will soon extend beyond the city limits and into York Region. To build excitement in advance of the northwest extension opening, the TTC held an open house this past Saturday afternoon for the 3 most northerly of the 6 stations beyond the current terminus at Sheppard West. The public was given their first chance to visit Pioneer Village, Highway 407 and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stations on the Toronto York-Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE). While the public was allowed to wander on their own, staff from the TTC, York Region transit, and the City of Vaughan were on hand to provide information about the stations and answer questions.

The southernmost station was Pioneer Village Station, straddling the border between Toronto and York Region, with the station platform running diagonally directly below the Steeles Avenue city limit. Designed by starchitect Will Alsop of aLL Design—with IBI Group serving as architects of record—the station's two above-grade entrances feature playful exteriors with weathering steel and vibrant flashes of red porcelain enamel.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentrePioneer Village Station north entrance, image by Marcus Mitanis

This aesthetic carries over into the entrances' interior spaces, including a dramatic overhead lighting feature with varying artifact shapes cut out of its weathering steel surface. 

TYSSE Pioneer Village Station, Will AlsopInside the Pioneer Village Station south entrance, image by Craig White

Down at track level, Toronto Rocket trains were parked in the station to give future riders a better idea of how the platform will look and feel once revenue service begins.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreTrack level at Pioneer Village Station, image by Marcus Mitanis

Still to be completed at the station is the installation of its major public art feature, Lightspell, by Berlin-based Jan and Tim Edler of realities:united. 40 characters will hang overhead, lighting up with changeable messages that are programmable by station visitors.

united, LightspellLightspell by Jan and Tim Edler hanging over the northbound tracks, image by Craig White

Pioneer Village Station also has two at-grade bus terminals, one on ether side of the city boundary. The terminal on the Toronto side fits in with the weathering steel and enamel aesthetic, but with a more angular posture than at the street entrances.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentrePioneer Village Station's bus terminal, image by Marcus Mitanis

A kilometre to the northwest, Highway 407 Station is located to make connection to GO Bus lines easy, while providing commuter parking for those arriving via the toll highway or Jane Street. Designed by Aedas in partnership with AECOM and engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, the station is also ready to be expanded if the dedicated 407 Busway is ever built.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreHighway 407 Station exterior, image by Forum contributor PMT

The station's exterior is marked by a low, sweeping roofline that extends shelter over its 18 bus bays.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreBus terminal at Highway 407 Station, image by Marcus Mitanis

Inside, two colourful art installations by Toronto and Swansea, Wales-based glass artist David Pearl, are standouts. On the top level, a full wall of coloured glazing marks the centre of the bus terminal between bays.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreInside of Highway 407 Station, image by Marcus Mitanis

Pearl's other work colours the massive skylight that hovers above the escalators which connect the concourse level to the subway platforms deep below.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreSkylight at Highway 407 Station, image by Marcus Mitanis

Just more a kilometre to is the line's new northwestern terminus at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) Station. Designed by Arup Canada Inc., in association with Grimshaw Architects, the station features a main entrance just north of Highway 7 and just west of Jane Street.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreVaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, image by Marcus Mitanis

Commuters entering through the domed main entrance will be greeted by "Atmospheric Lens", an installation by Paul Raff Studio that turns the space's roof into something of a kaleidoscope, with the reflections constantly change as people course through.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreInside of Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, image by Marcus Mitanis

As with other stations on the extension, VMC's lower levels benefit from skylight penetrating down from skylights above.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreConcourse level at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, image by Marcus Mitanis

At track level, the station—which had areas cordoned off for the open house—is ready for the start of service.

TYSSE, Pioneer Village, Highway 407, Vaughan Metropolitan CentreTrack level at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station, image by Forum contributor PMT

UrbanToronto will be back for the official opening in 49 days' time. Additional information and renderings can be found these and the other 3 TYSSE stations in the database files for each station, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.