Home World World's most 'overbuilt' station part of £1.9bn mega-project but is hardly ever...

World's most 'overbuilt' station part of £1.9bn mega-project but is hardly ever used

A major train and bus station in Canada has been dubbed a “white elephant” by critics as, despite the exorbitant cost of building it, it’s scarcely ever used.

Toronto’s Highway 407 station, on the outskirts of the city, was part of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway extension. The extension saw two rail lines extended into the city’s suburbs, towards the neighbouring city of Vaughan.

The project saw six new stations constructed, including at Highway 407, and cost £1.87billion ($3.2billion). It began in 2009 and was completed in 2017.

Highway 47’s design is extravagant and has a large sprawling bus terminal and underground subway.

The issue is that hardly anyone uses it as the station, being off a major motorway, can’t realistically be reached on foot.

In 2019, the station only served 13,956 passengers and doesn’t have a residential development near it.

In 2022, YouTube star Johnny Walks, who has 107,000 subscribers, ventured out to the station to observe its use.

Approaching the distinctive building, he said: “At first glance this doesn’t really strike you as a location where you would build a subway station.

“There’s a very large cemetery on the east side of Jane Street.”

Pointing at an empty field, he adds: “There’s really nothing to the south of it – just a bunch of land like this. And just off to the west is Highway 400 and that’s what you would take north up to Canada’s wonderland, and just to the north of here is Highway 407.”

He went on: “In fact, there was a fair bit of controversy when this station was built, as it was believed that it would be underutilised and that’s very much the case.”

Later he said: “There really isn’t any residential development in the area which is kind of odd”.


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