toronto subway

What is the worst TTC subway station in Toronto?

This week we asked the people of Twitter to vote for the worst Toronto subway station. The criteria were broad: any station with poor facilities, bad design, or a lack of cleanliness was to be singled out. The responses were, perhaps not surprisingly, varied. But a few stations did emerge as contenders for the dunce cap.

The most recent TTC customer satisfaction survey, which didn't single out specific stations, suggested that overall ratings for cleanliness and platform crowding were improving on the subway. The helpfulness and clarity of station announcements and the quality of way-finding materials were ranked lowest, suggesting the worst TTC stations might suffer from these flaws.

Here are five candidates for worst subway station, in no particular order.

Islington station is a major bus interchange -18 different TTC and Mississauga transit routes use the surface-level bays, giving the place a well-worn, sooty air. It's busy place, pigeons tend to flock inside the station, and it doesn't look like it's had a meaningful update since it opened in 1969.

Recent construction, below average station cleanliness (at least so the perception seems to be), and the lack of bus bays contribute to the Dufferin's place on this list. Technically you're not in the station when you're waiting for the 29 bus, but that's precisely the problem given how busy the route is.

Formerly the end of the Spadina Line, ever since Downsview opened, it seems that Wilson has gotten shabbier and shabbier. The multi-level station can be confusing to navigate and seems to get unusually cold in the winter.

One tweeter said Spadina station was the worst because of the lengthy interchange between the Line 1 and Line 2 platforms (the passageway used to have a moving walkway, but it was removed in 2004.) That is a curious design quirk (Spadina was originally planned as two separate stations--the Line 1 platform was called "Lowther"), though it comes in handy for those heading north from the 510 streetcar.

Union may have been unpopular because of crowding on the narrow centre platform (now thankfully relieved) and the constantly shifting landscape of false walls and temporary stairways en route to the GO platforms or PATH. Now updated for the first time since 1954 and destined to benefit from improvements to the wider station in the coming years, Union may be destined to move out of the hall of shame.

What do you think is the worst TTC subway station?

See also:

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: tapesonthefloor/blogTO Flickr pool.

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