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Give us a sign, TTC riders implore



This transit shelter at Queen and Bay Sts. is one of only three newer shelters in the city that’s affixed with the name of the nearest cross-street. The works department plans to fix the problem soon.


It’s a sign of the times: Of Toronto’s 1,000 newest transit shelters, only three have a sign on them identifying the street to which they are closest.

The Toronto Public Space Committee says that’s a shame and has started an online petition to enlist our help in getting something done about it.

This week, The Fixer was emailed a page of the committee’s website, which asks supporters to put their names on a petition. It entreats us to lean on the city to add the name of the nearest street to every one of the new transit shelters at an intersection.

The web page notes that in June 2001, the city unveiled the first of its fancy, all-glass shelters at Queen and Bay Sts.

Dave Meslin, a spokesman for the 700-member committee — which supports protecting shared common spaces from commercial influence — said streetcar and bus riders often can’t see the street sign when they arrive at a stop.

When the transit shelter bears the name of the cross-street, people know where they are, Meslin said, adding that about 170 people have signed the petition — at

Viacom, which has a contract with the city to erect and maintain shelters in exchange for the right to sell advertising on them, has put up about 1,000 new shelters since 2001. But the only ones containing street names are at three of the four corners at Queen and Bay.

There are about 4,100 transit shelters in Toronto, most of which are older, with brown metal frames and rounded or flat tops. Many of these older models at intersections are emblazoned with the name of the cross-street.

“The only text on the shelters now is the word, `Viacom,’ which is very helpful to TTC riders who want to know which ad company owns our shelters, but not helpful to riders who want to know which stop they are at,” the web page says.

STATUS: Steve Johnston, who deals with media for Toronto’s works department, said for months the city has been working on lettering that can be attached to the sides of the shelters. It plans to begin attaching street names to the new shelters by the end of July and hopes to have the job done by mid-September.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. To email us, go to, click on the GTA tab, then click on The Fixer. Or call us at 416-869-4823.