Ooh, ooh, new TTC agenda package materials! How nonchalant to slide that in, nfitz Steeles West is the only conceptual design ready for sign-off this month, so that leaves, by my count, Finch West and the two York Region stations as the laggards. Price is up to $145 million, allegedly due to construction cost increases and the inclusion of the green building standard (par for the course on these so far) but also the magical discovery of a high water table. (Guys, you're not digging blind in the Klondike here. There are buildings with incredibly sophisticated "basement" technology in the general vicinity. How does something as basic to costing out an underground structure like knowing roughly where the water table sits get missed until now?) Following on from the previous posts, my first question is where the hell did the third track go? It seems to have vanished and we don't even have cost savings to show for it. In delightful overbuild news: 18 bus bays in not one, but two separate terminals--one for YRT north of Steeles and one for the TTC south of Steeles. OK, ok, I get it---one gets to be in the fare-paid zone and one isn't---but, really, TTC planner guys, you have to realize this looks pretty ridiculous, even by your standards. Even assuming every single one of those bus bays is needed, how many million does two structures versus one add to cost, all in the name of bus apartheid? (Perish the thought that a red bus and a blue bus might have to have platforms next to one another.) Indeed, the fact that the overarching design constraint seems to be "TTC stuff goes on the Toronto side of the line and gets a green roof at Toronto's expense, YRT stuff goes on the Vaughan side of the street and doesn't get a green roof unless York wants to pay for one" we have here a pretty sad moment for interjurisdictional cooperation. To add insult to injury, there isn't even enclosed access from the YRT terminal to the station: instead passengers would need to go outside and cross "Street B." I'd also bet that part of whatever twisted rationale someone reached for needing 18 bays is the need for swing space, which we apparently can't stoop to share between agencies. The station has two segregated areas at concourse level, separated by a large space that apparently can, if necessary, be used to fit in an LRT station. The document doesn't mention it, but I'm assuming this would be for the Jane LRT? Considering they'll be excavating out the entire station footprint down to track level, they'd better leave at least a roughed-in hollow concrete box here rather than backfill it with dirt only to tear up the street again 8 years later. Leaving aside the dreadful overbuild, I'm rather fond of the design. Architectural credit is to a partnership between Toronto-based Stevens group (who've done a fair few TTC projects in the past) and Will Alsop, the Brit best known for the OCAD building. I remember back in one of the early interviews after getting the contract Alsop spoke a lot about how he wanted to get natural light deep down into the building and here we see that definitely seems to be the major focus of the design. I really like the idea of a light cone punching all the way down to the platform level, and the sort of space-agey station heads are pretty cool. Poor station has to sit next to some pretty nasty York architecture.