What Queen Street tells us of the Confed Line Stations


Here’s the Lyon Street main Confed line station entrance in  the Podium Building, which is sandwiched between Tower C Transport Canada and the Marriott Hotel. The building may still have the old movie theatres locked in its core. It also has approvals for adding some additional stories … about 22 of them.

This  2000 sq ft street-level lobby sits above the pedestrian concourse that runs below the three office towers and two hotels that make up the Place de Ville complex. As such, there is probably another lobby below it, and much of the pedestrian traffic to and from the LRT will access it from the subterranean passageways.

Notice that there is but one escalator, and beyond it, two staircases with a centre railing. Two elevators are shown off to the top left. The drawing also shows the structural pillars of the building (the little squares on a grid) which are typically about 20′ apart. There are no ground level doors to the left, onto the sunken plaza Campeau put in front of Tower C, probably because there would have to be steps, and an accessible ramp, etc.

Here is another entrance, at the appropriately-red-trimmed office building above the old Zellers / now Winners store. The entrance stairs — no escalator — is shown built onto the lobby in what is now exterior space carved into the ground floors of the building, which cantilevers out above the station on higher floors, supported by round pillars which are also shown on the drawing as little circles..



The glass lobby at the head of the staircase is very minimal, and crowds the sidewalk.

And over at the Clarica site, the station is between the parking garage ramps (shown to the left) and the former Hy’s Restaurant site to the right:


This station has both the manual staircase and a single escalator. Users will approach over a generous forecourt to the street side, and through the building lobby from the south (which also accesses Albert Street sidewalks).

The other Lyon street station entrance further west also has a staircase plus one escalator.

The presence of a single escalator suggests it will run in the direction of peak traffic, ie down at the mid-afternoon rushour, and up in the morning and probably up in the off peak times too.

I am glad there are manual staircases. Using them may be the only exercise some cubicle sitters get all day. But even the athletic tend to use the escalators if they are present.

Back in the day, when the City was drawing up its wish list for the LRT stations, it spec’d that there should be three escalators at each main entrance: one up, one down, and one spare / rush hour direction.

Going with only one escalator, and at only some entrances, definitely saves costs on buying and installing and maintaining escalators, but also saves huge amounts of space since multiple escalators would require bigger lobbies and shafts.

6 thoughts on “What Queen Street tells us of the Confed Line Stations

  1. There has been industry consolidation in the number of companies in North America that build and install escalators as a result, the cost of them has more than doubled in the last decade alone. The days of 3 escalator sets in new buildings and structures, 1 up, 1down and an extra, are effectively over and done with. The cost of spare parts for escalator maintenance on existing models has also greatly increased. Especially now, due to the Ontarians With Disabilities Act, transit agencies are forced to install very expensive elevator systems in all their transit stations that have part quality expectations and service ability requirements that, produce a maintenance plan that would bankrupt smaller transit systems.

  2. What I see is a system that is designed for the able-bodied adults. Anyone who uses any sort of device (stroller, walker, wheelchair or scooter) to get around and anyone who has difficulty navigating stairs will be unwelcome on the Confederation Line. While there will be some elevators, they will be only at one end of each station, from what I can see.

  3. gardencatt: the Lyon station had elevators at the outlet beside Barbarella’s strip club; and at the Podium Building location, ie 2 sets of 2 elevators each.

  4. IF, and I stress IF, the LRT is supposed to handle a relatively large number of riders, then multiple escalators are a must, irrespective of the incremental cost cited by Fraser Pollock. People need to be able to get in to and out of the LRT stations, quickly. Designing bottle necks/traffic jams into the stations is a fundamental flaw. What happens in the event of an emergency, and the escalators are in the down mode?

  5. Two points…1) what you ID as Zellers is in fact 151 Queen – the Heritage Bldg. I know it well; my Dept used to have office space there. 2) the singleton escalator accesses will in all probability be always in UP mode, never down. This is the case in Montreal’s Metro, from whence I came long ago. Only where there are at least three are any in down mode. You walk down; you have the choice UP, which is far better for users of all health concerns and for better exit crushes and emergencies load handling. btw…keep writing, i’ve ghosted here a long time…thx.

Comments are closed.