Kodachrome Toronto photo of the day: 29 May 2010.


Bay-Lower station

Elusive Path, 2008. Photo by ageing accozzaglia on flickr.

Owing how this is Doors Open weekend, today’s photo looks back to a moment during Doors Open 2008.  Inset here is a shot I made whilst in Bay Lower station.  As many Torontonians have come to know — particularly so as trains have been re-routed through there in recent weeks — Bay Lower is the shuttered level of Bay-Yorkville station that is now used for maintenance, testing, and as a filming location.

In the mid-1960s when the Bloor-Danforth green line was completed, Bay Lower was originally intended to serve as a lower service platform similar to those in St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations.  The planned routing of subway trains with the existing infrastructure was found to flow more efficiently when excluding Bay Lower from the picture.  So within a year of opening, the platform was closed permanently and largely forgotten.

The gentleman from TTC staff working that Doors Open 2008 day was a veteran subway operator whose retirement was to arrive in 2009.  He was very kind to allow me to set up a time exposure shot pointing eastward toward Bloor-Yonge station.  It meant going just beyond the area a non-staff member is ordinarily permitted.  The low lighting levels, coupled with the slowness of Kodachrome, meant the shot required several seconds of absolute stillness. Much easier said than done.  The wall was used as the makeshift “tripod.”

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