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Midland

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Text by James Bow

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Midland station is a station on the Scarborough RT between Scarborough Centre station and Ellesmere station. It is the westernmost station on the route’s elevated section. West of the station, the tracks descend into a tunnel beneath Metrolinx’s Uxbridge subdivision before curving south and rising to the surface north of Ellesmere station.

Midland station opened with the rest of the line on March 24, 1985 and shares the steel-and-glass architectural style of other stations on the line, save for Kennedy. The station straddles Midland Avenue and has two side platforms with stairs and escalators leading directly to one of two entrances located at street level, on either side of Midland Avenue. The west-side entrance is watched over by a station collector, but the east-side entrance is automatic and is accessible only by token or Metropass. The station is not accessible and likely never will be.

The automatic entrance on the eastern side was the result of a budget cut made before the Scarborough RT opened that resulted in a number of changes to reduce costs. The removal of a station collector booth at the east side of Midland was one of the cuts. At the time, local politicians and area residents expressed concern about how passengers on the east side of Midland Avenue (such as those transferring from a northbound 57 MIDLAND bus) would access the station, suggesting people would jaywalk. Rider Calvin Cotnam noted that, “Metropasses and transfers could be used (at the east-side entrance) by placing (them) face up on the stand where a token could be inserted. A camera directly overhead allowed the collector across the street to see it, along with another overhead camera that allowed seeing who was waiting to enter. Then, the entrance could be remotely enabled.”

As a result of the automatic entrance, before the current generation of transfer machines, the eastern entrance transfer machines would stamp out “MIDLAND STATION - Automatic Entrance”, possibly so that passengers on that side could enter the station, cross over Midland Avenue, and show the transfer to board southbound 57 MIDLAND buses, although it’s unlikely few passengers took advantage of this.

The inconvenient location of the station, and the lack of significant development in the surrounding area has made Midland station the second least-used of the Scarborough RT, behind Ellesmere, with just 2,460 passing through its gates on an average weekday in 2014. The station was initially planned for preservation when Metrolinx planned to convert the Scarborough RT into an LRT option, but when the city vetoed that plan in favour of an extension of the BLOOR-DANFORTH SUBWAY, the new alignment bypassed the station area, and indeed offered no replacement station on Midland Avenue.

Trivia

  • Calvin Cotnam writes, “The SRT was originally equipped with automatically reversing escalators. One could stand at the entrance of an escalator going the wrong way, and if nobody boarded the other end within some time (within 15-30 seconds?), it would stop and reverse. A somewhat slow process, but likely more suited for a less busy station. At some point, the disabled the feature and left them on one direction. While a neat feature, I suspect it was not popular on two counts. First, who heads for a wrong-way escalator, and second, who wants to wait the time it takes to use the stairs just for it to stop and reverse so you can start using it?”

  • Calvin supplies one last story about Midland: “During construction when the metalwork was in place to support the forms, clearance was significantly lower than it is with the finished station. At least one truck that I am aware of got stuck under there. This one I know of was carrying a dumpster bin that was chained down. From my understanding, it should have cleared under with inches to spare. However, the driver hit the brakes at the last moment (either because of a last moment thought it wouldn’t fit, or because of traffic conditions). This caused the load to shift forward and due to how it was secured from moving too much, it lifted enough to get caught. I seem to recall that it lifted after it was under, as the first couple of trusses were intact.”

Service Notes (as of January 3, 2016):

  • Off-Site Resources:
  • Line: 3 SCARBOROUGH RT
  • Address: 2085 Midland Avenue
  • Opened: March 24, 1985
  • Average Weekday Ridership: 2,460 (2014); 3,020 (2013)
  • Hours of Operation:
    First Train to Kennedy: 5:49 a.m. weekdays, 5:53 a.m. Saturdays/holidays, 8:01 a.m. Sundays.
    First Train to McCowan: 6:09 a.m. weekdays, 6:11 a.m. Saturdays/holidays, 8:19 a.m. Sundays Last Train to Kennedy: 1:21 a.m. every day. Last Train to McCowan: 1:39 a.m. every day
  • Entrances:
    • Midland Avenue, West Side Entrance - located on the west side of Midland Avenue, 278 metres south of Progress Avenue
    • Midland Avenue, East Side Entrance (Automatic) - located on the east side of Midland Avenue, 278 metres south of Progress Avenue, stair access to platforms only
  • Elevators: None
  • Escalators (click here for maintenance schedule):
    • West Side Street Level To Kennedy-bound Scarborough RT - Up At All Times
    • West Side Street Level To McCowan-bound Scarborough RT - Up At All Times
  • Parking: None
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • No in-station washrooms
  • Token vending machine
  • Two side platforms

TTC Surface Route Connections:


Midland Station Image Archive


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