old mill ttc

A loner's guide to the 5 least used TTC subway stations

Finding peace and quiet on the TTC is a difficult task - and that's a good thing. Without people to crowd its platforms, pack its streetcars and stuff its buses, the TTC wouldn't exist, at least not as we know and (mostly) love it today. There are, however, places on the subway where riders are more likely to find themselves alone, or at least part of a very small crowd.

Here's a loner's guide to the quietest stations on the TTC.

Old Mill
Despite its picturesque location on the bank of the Humber River, Old Mill is the quietest stop on Bloor-Danforth line and the fifth quietest overall. The stop recorded an average weekday ridership of 5,790 in 2013. Old Mill is the only station on the TTC to be half underground, half elevated. A fire on board a garbage collection train in 2000 damaged the east end of the platform and ended the practice of collecting station waste using converted subway cars, including Tokyo Rose, a Japanese-made train that was scrapped in 1990.

Located just a few hundred metres east of Scarborough Centre station, the second busiest on the RT, McCowan handles less than 15 percent of the riders of its neighbour -4,150 people on the average weekday. There's very little point to using McCowan, other than to beat the crowds at the next stop or avoid a very short walk east, since there are no connecting bus routes at street level. Though there are two platforms at McCowan, only one is used by passengers. The other provides access to the maintenance yard at the end of the line.

Another peaceful stop on the Scarborough RT, Midland station drew just 3,020 riders per weekday in 2013. The stop suffers from a problems shared with other stations on the RT: poor location in a mainly industrial area and a lack of bus connections: the 57 Midland route is the only other service that connects to Midland station. Most riders skip this stop and continue to Scarborough Centre or Kennedy, both of which have ridership levels competitive with stations on the Yonge and Bloor-Danforth lines.

Strange and lonely Bessarion is twice as busy as the TTC's quietest rapid transit stop, but that doesn't stop it claiming the title as the least used subway station. In 2013 it accounted for just 0.122 of the entire TTC subway/RT ridership. Only 2,550 used it on an average weekday in 2013. The station was almost scrubbed from the subway map during planning of the Sheppard line in 1998.

Almost nobody uses Ellesmere station. Just 1,140 passed through its turnstiles during the average weekday in 2013. More people pass through Bloor-Yonge station in 4 minutes than use Ellesmere all day. The problem is due in part to Ellesmere's location in the middle of an industrial park. The stop does not have any bus bays and there are only two connecting routes on Ellesmere Rd.

Photo by MarkBeauchamp in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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