scarborough rt line 3

Toronto transit line is still out of service five days after the huge blizzard hit

A blizzard of historic proportions threw Toronto commutes into a state of chaos Monday morning, and despite much of the TTC being back online as of Friday afternoon, there's still an entire line of the rapid transit network that remains out of service.

Subways have the benefit of mainly operating underground. Sure, there are large at-grade sections along northern and western routes, but the city's three heavy rail subway lines are largely protected from snow-related issues.

Unlike its underground counterparts, the elevated Line 3 has always been an outlier on the transit system, and the aging line has arguably been the hardest hit of all TTC routes this week.

Fully exposed to the elements, the Scarborough RT is a lingering casualty of Monday's storm, now on its fifth consecutive day forced out of commission as crews "continue to troubleshoot the issue."

It wasn't much of a surprise to see one of the RT's elevated trains stuck in the snow as 55 centimetres of the white stuff descended on the city Monday morning. But anyone who thought a speedy resolution was on the way, well, they thought wrong.

People were fuming on Twitter after the first full day of the outage and dreaded replacement shuttle buses, but there was still hope commuters would wake up to a functional system the next day. By day three, that hope was dwindling, and by day four Scarborough residents were feeling forgotten by the TTC.

But now it's day five, and the mood seems to be shifting to one of defeated confusion as commuters find themselves once again packing onto shuttle buses.

People are having trouble understanding what the hold-up is, as snow blockages impeding streetcar and subway traffic have long been resolved.

And if this extended outage seems like an injustice to Scarborough transit riders, it's really just a prelude to what's coming next. Line 3 is set to close next year, to be replaced by temporary shuttle buses until the new Scarborough Subway Extension opens in 2029-30.

It's only been a week, but with the clock ticking down to the line's 2023 closure, the continued outage has one commenter wondering if passengers will ever get to ride the line again. However, this might be a bit of an extreme prediction.

Lead photo by

Nicoli OZ Mathews


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