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Stalled repairs exasperate TTC riders

New programs underway
Replacing missing ceiling slats
Track-level wall cleaning
Database to create inventory of removed ceiling slats
Monitoring of ceiling slat reinstallation dates
Upgrading washrooms with automated fixtures

New programs under development
Ceiling/wall slat repairs
Track-level wall repairs
Wall tile/terrazzo floor repairs
Fixing structural leaks
Replacing track-level wall slats with large panels

Coming measures
Performance-based contract for cleaning heavy grime from ceilings
Expanding crew to clean tunnel wall tiles and reduce intervals for cleaning from nine to six months
Doubling the painting crew
Hiring extra skilled trades for repairs
Pilot program for station repairs
Five-year program to rebuild all washrooms

Existing programs covered in capital budgets
Rebuild Victoria Park and Pape stations
Refurbish Islington, Kipling and Warden stations
University station renaissance
Museum station renaissance
Rebuild Cumberland entrance to Bay station
Roof replacements
Leak remediation

Source: TTC documents

Mar 13, 2008 04:30 AM
Jack Lakey
Staff Reporter

There’s always repair work going on at TTC stations, but many jobs seem to take forever to finish and appear abandoned.

A lot of TTC stations are upwards of 50 years old, which is among the reasons why they’re fraying around the edges. To keep up, TTC workers are constantly removing wall tiles, tearing apart escalators, opening up ceilings and fiddling with wiring.

In many cases, the work comes to a halt long before it is finished. A barrier is erected or yellow caution tape is strung up around the project, then nothing happens for months - or even years - at a time.

About 18 months ago, we wrote about a problem at Dupont station that required scaffolding near the collector’s booth. Recently, we spotted the scaffolding in the same place, which readers also reported.

We’ve received many complaints about stalled repairs at TTC stations. Just yesterday, a reader emailed about exposed support beams in two spots on the platform level at King station he says have been that way “for years.” We found a wide area of exposed structural steel, some of which is so badly eaten by rust that it looks dangerous.

Another common complaint involves ceiling slats that are removed to get at an electrical fixture or a water leak, but are not replaced.

Worse, the TTC often fails to post a sign that explains the delay and when the job will be done. In some cases, such as an escalator that’s being rebuilt at Eglinton station, a sign explains details of the work, but the completion date keeps changing, which frustrates riders.

Many are also annoyed by crude signage, noting a hand-lettered sign on a piece of cardboard telling riders to “use other door” is not good enough for a major transit system.

A recent email from Antoine Belaieff, complaining about the closure of the northeast entrance to College station, “with no notice or explanation,” aptly captures the problem. “A few days ago, tiles started coming off (the stairs), causing a tripping hazard, so the entrance was closed. The tiles were fixed and the entrance reopened. Now the entrance is closed again.

“Can’t the TTC post notices like every other major transit system with an explanation and the name and contact information of a manager in charge of solving the problem?”

It’s an excellent question.

Stay tuned for a story in the Saturday Star in which TTC managers explain their plans to address problems raised in our series. In some case it’ll take five years, but will go a long way toward improving things.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? We want to know. To email us, go to and click on the submit a problem link. Or call us at 416-869-4823.