TTCAs the City of Toronto continues to attract thousands of new residents each year, our public transit system becomes an even more critical component of the high quality of life we enjoy. The debate continues about how best to expand and improve our subways to more effectively carry passengers from points A to B. A recent blog on http://www.Torontoist.com by Toronto transit advocate and author Steve Munro presents an interesting scenario for what could be in Toronto’s subway system of the future.

He quotes some head-turning statistics, namely that the demand for transit service in Toronto is growing at 3 per cent annually on the TTC and 5 per cent on GO Transit. He also stresses the fact that although existing expansion plans for areas beyond Toronto are admirable, there is still a need for a subway linking downtown to what he calls the “inner suburbs” – neighbourhoods within City of Toronto boundaries that command a time-consuming commute to the core. As areas such as North York build up with more condominiums, the starting points of commuters move north as well.

One possible solution to this dilemma? Munro champions the idea of a “Don Mills Subway” line running from Front and Spadina to Eglinton and Don Mills. This line would connect residents of neighbourhoods such as Flemingdon Park, Thorncliffe park, East York, Riverdale, Leslieville, the Distillery District, Canary District and St. Lawrence with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Danforth subway line, the streetcar on Cherry Street that will eventually link to the eastern waterfront, the Yonge-University subway at King and St. Andrew stations, and the proposed satellite GO terminal at Spadina and Front.

According to Munro, Metrolinx, TTC, the City of Toronto and York Region have already begun a transit network capacity study to look at options for addressing the situation. Although the process to create the Don Mills Subway would be phenomenally expensive and difficult, he stresses that it is “vital to the future of Toronto’s transit network.”

Of course, time will tell what will actually happen, but it is wise to consider Munro’s ideas. He is a long-time advocate of human-oriented rapid transit, and he received the Jane Jacob’s Prize in 2005 in recognition of his efforts. You can read more about his progressive ideas at http://www.stevemunro.ca.