16 Things to Do Along the New TTC Extension

By: Aiman Ghori and Faiza Akbar with an introduction by Oren Baum

Infrastructure projects like subway extensions are once in a generation in most parts of this country. They help connect all citizens and expand our knowledge of the place we live. As part of UpOnline's Canada 150 activities, we decided to send staff to visit the new Line 1 subway extension in our hometown, and take a different perspective: Instead of all the great sights, sounds, and other benefits that commuters now have in getting downtown (or anywhere along the way) quickly, what do midtown and downtown Torontonians, many without cars, now have access to by going NORTH on the new extension!

You might even find some new destinations for you and your families this holiday season. Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year from everyone at UpOnline!
  1. Downsview Park Station
  2. Downsview Park is the first stop on the new line one extension. Surrounded by an industrial area it is located in Canada's first national urban park of the same name. Its design uses a unique combination of colors and textiles to creating a dynamic atmosphere that reflects the surrounding area.

    There are several family friendly activities that you can now visit thanks to the construction of this stop.

    Downsview Park Merchants Market - 40 Carl Hall Rd, North York, ON M3K 2C1 Downsview urban park's 240 hectares are located just a few minutes' walk away from the station and there you can find the Downsview Park Merchants Market. There you will find clothes, antiques, and food produced by local farmers. If you are looking for a day to enjoy the park, the Merchant Market is a great place to go with family or friends.

    Route: Take the TTC 101 bus to 35 Carl Hall Road.
    Estimated Travel Time: 6 minutes

    True North Climbing & Archers Arena - 75 Carl Hall Rd #14, North York, ON M3K 2B9 &
    - 1140 Sheppard Ave W Suite 3, North York, ON M3K 2A2
    If you're looking for a more physically challenging activity, True North Climbing and Archers Arena are just two of the several places near Downsview Park station. Both just one short bus ride away, and offer a variety of fun activities for the whole family. At Archer's Arena, you will find Combat Archery, designed to safely experience archery in its original form. Visitors are able to explore variations of the game including capture the flag, siege, elimination, or even take lessons. At True North Climbing, you can find recreational and competitive rock climbing options for everyone.

    Route: True North Climbing - Take the 101 Downsview Park west towards Downsview Park to 75 Carl Hall Road
    Archers Arena - Take any of the TTC 84, 106, 107 or 108 buses east to Yukon Lane

    Estimated Travel Time: 7 minutes (both)

    Le Montmartre - 911 Sheppard Ave W, North York, ON M3H 2T7 For lovers of French cuisine, Le Montmartre offers a classic and cozy dining experience. Located just a few minutes walk from Downsview park station, Le Montmartre's charming atmosphere will make you feel like you're in the heart of 19th century France right in the heart of North York. Enjoy an afternoon lunch with friends or a romantic evening with a loved at this lovely establishment.

    Route:Walk north towards Sheppard Ave West and turn right Take the 84 Sheppard West towards Sheppard-Yonge Station to Wilson Heights

    Estimated Travel Time: Walking - 5 minutes Bus - 2 minutes

  3. Finch West
  4. The second stop on the new extension line is Finch West station located north of the road it is named after, Finch Ave West. The station can only be described as a large, colourful, work of art among the muted colors of the surrounding roads and buildings. The design is woven into the very structure making the building a spectacle as well as a new subway station. The surrounding area offers a variety of things to do for visitors.

    Battle Sports - 26 Ashwarren Rd, North York, ON M3J 1Z5
    Battle Sports is a sports entertainment arena that offers 4 niche activities: Archery Range, NERF Gun Battle Arena, Archery Dodgeball, and Rage Room. If you're looking for a place to host a private event like a birthday party or want to take some archery lessons with your family, Battle Sports offers both in their arena, located minutes from Finch West Station.

    Route: Take the TTC 107 St Regis south towards Sheppard West Station to Bakersfield St.
    Estimated Travel Time: 9 minutes

    The Vertigo Games - 4501 Chesswood Dr, North York, ON M3J 2V6
    The Vertigo Games offers a new set interactive adventures for you to experience. They offer 3 (soon to be 4!) escape rooms each with its own theme and multiple mysteries for you to solve. It's a great way to exercise your creative thinking skills with family and friends. Best of all, it's easily accessible from Finch West Station.

    Route: Take the TTC 36 Finch West east towards Finch Station to Chesswood Drive
    Estimated Travel Time: 9 minutes

    Mandarin Restaurant - 1027 Finch Ave W, North York, ON M3J 2C7
    If you're in the area and looking to grab a bite, Mandarin is just one bus ride away from Finch West Station and offers an extensive buffet.

    Route: Take the 36 Finch West east towards Finch Station to Champagne Dr OR
    Take the 199A Finch Rocket east towards Scarborough Centre Station Via Finch Station to Dufferin St.
    Estimated Travel Time: 9 minutes (both)

  5. York University
  6. Located right on the York University Keele campus, the construction of York University Station offers students a whole new route to campus. The design of the station reflects the dynamics of the people and trains that pass through it. Along with having access to the York University Keele campus, visitors can now more easily access other activities in the area.

    Reptilia - 2501 Rutherford Rd., Concord, ON L4K 2N6
    Reptilia is Canada's largest fully indoor reptile zoo, home to over 250 reptiles. It's a great place to take your family to see and learn about reptiles and amphibians.

    Route: Take the TTC RT 107 Keele towards Teston to Rutherford Rd, walk north on Keele St. towards Rutherford Rd.
    Estimated Travel Time: 38 minutes

    Archives of Ontario - 134 Ian MacDonald Blvd, North York, ON M7A 2C5
    History buffs will be happy to know they can easily go to the Archives of Ontario from York University Station. Minutes from the station you can access the second largest archives in Canada and take a peek into the past.

    Route: Walking
    Estimated Travel Time: 6 minutes

    Genji Sushi - 2899 Steeles Ave W, Toronto, ON M3J 3A1
    There is no shortage of places to eat near York University Station. York Lanes is a great place to find a variety of food options but if you're looking for something off campus, Genji Sushi is only a bus ride away and offers traditional Japanese and Korean dishes.

    Route: Take the TTC 3, 96, 107 or 107B towards Newmarket Terminal to Steeles Ave West
    Estimated Travel Time: 7 Minutes

  7. Pioneer Village
  8. This uniquely designed station is hard to miss as you pass the border between Toronto and the York Region. The brown and red exterior stands out from the surroundings that will soon be developed further, rendering the station a central hub for connections into and out of the city. The structural panels are meant to embody playfulness and free flowing movement, also mirroring the Pioneer Village attraction of the same name. Fully equipped with commuter parking, YRT and TTC terminals, and just steps away from the York University campus, this station is sure to foster lots of traffic, and is designed to leave room for potential further transit oriented development.

    Black Creek Pioneer Village - 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy, North York, ON M3J 2P3
    If you're headed to Pioneer Village Station, you have to check out the location it gets its name from! Take a step into the past at this 1800s village, featuring period buildings, artifacts, guided tours (by costumed pioneer guides!) and educational programs. There are many hands-on activities for the whole family to enjoy, and even special events for the holiday season.

    Route: Take the TTC 35, 60, or 108 bus to the Murray Ross Pkwy at Steeles Avenue West stop.
    Estimated Travel Time: 4 minutes

    AT Bubble Soccer - 1300 Alness St #3, Concord, ON L4K 2W6
    AT Bubble Soccer is the first full facility in Toronto dedicated to bubble soccer and bubble ball games! It is perfect for a day of family fun, special occasions, or any parties. It's like a normal game of soccer, but with you enclosed in a giant, bouncy ball! This is a fun and safe way to get competitive and have a blast while you're at it!

    Route: Take the TTC 60 (Steeles West Towards Finch Station) bus to Steeles Ave West at Alness St East stop
    Estimated Travel Time: 10 minutes

    Giorgio D Restaurant - 4377 Steeles Ave W, North York, ON M3N 1V7
    Get a taste of authentic Italian Cuisine at this cozy and classy location just minutes from Pioneer Village Station. Halal options available upon request.

    Route: Take the TTC 60 (Steeles West to Hwy 27) bus to Steeles Ave West at Norfinch Dr stop
    Estimated Travel Time: 5 minutes

  9. Highway 407
  10. Getting closer to the end of the Line 1 subway extension is this multi-modal transportation hub, connecting to YRT and GO transit buses, and soon a new Transitway. This station is equipped with many parking spaces, leaving room for commuters to park and venture down into the city. With beautiful colored glass panels, this visual landmark adds a pop of colour and flair into the otherwise relaxed surroundings.

    IKEA - 200 Interchange Way, Concord, ON L4K 5C3
    With only a few IKEA stores across the GTA, this location is very convenient to get to if you're taking the subway from Toronto. Just minutes away from Hwy 407 station, you can browse for some furnishing inspiration, and find practical things to put around the house! When you get hungry from all the walking, the IKEA restaurant will satisfy your appetite with entire meals, or just a quick snack.

    Route: Take the YRT 20 (Jane to Teston) bus to Jane St/Peelar Rd. Head north on Jane St towards Peelar Rd, turn left onto Interchange Way, then left onto Exchange Ave.
    Estimated Travel Time: 13 minutes

    Vaughan Putting Edge - 60 Interchange Way, Vaughan, ON L4K 9S2
    As it gets too cold to golf outdoors, indoor golfing is the perfect place for your next tee time. Putting Edge is a unique, illuminated, immersive mini golf course often described as an escape from reality. Along with mini golf, you can enjoy arcade games, snacks, and drinks as well.

    Route: Take the YRT 20 (Jane to Teston) bus to Jane St/Peelar Rd. Head north on Jane St towards Peelar Rd, turn left onto Interchange Way.
    Estimated Travel Time: 14 minutes

  11. Vaughan Metropolitan Centre
  12. The final stop of the line 1 extension is Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station. It is the heart of an evolving new urban centre. The station is a transportation hub, incorporating many connections to the York Region, including an unpaid pedestrian link, and a large parking lot to accommodate many commuters. The station is spacious and modern, with a vertical grand open centre that links all three levels.

    Dave & Busters - 120 Interchange Way, Vaughan, ON L4K 5C3
    For some food and fun, Dave & Buster's is a great stop. This fun arcade is just a few minutes walk away from the station. Get competitive with some games, win some prizes, and grab a meal while you're at it.

    Route: Head west on Hwy 7/York Regional Rd 7, turn left onto Edgeley Blvd/Interchange Way, turn right onto Hwy 7/York Regional Rd 7, turn left onto Commerce St, turn right to stay on Commerce St, then turn right.
    Estimated Travel Time: 13 minutes

    Legoland Discovery Centre - 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr, Concord, ON L4K 5W4
    A fun filled day awaits the entire family at Legoland Discovery Centre! There are many activities for parents and kids alike, including 2 rides, 10 LEGO build & play zones, a 4D Cinema, a themed cafe and much more. This interactive attraction is located inside the Vaughan Mills Mall, so you can follow up your play with a shopping spree, or go grab a bite to eat from the various food options at the mall.

    Route: Take the YRT 26 (Maple to Brandon Gate) bus to the Vaughan Mills Mall Stop #4308
    Estimated Travel Time: 17 minutes

    Bad Axe Throwing - 171 Maplecrete Rd #3, Concord, ON L4K 2B4
    For those looking to get an adrenaline rush, Bad Axe Throwing is a great option only minutes away from the station. Beginners and pros can visit Bad Axe Throwing to have fun and practice their strength and precision throwing axes at targets! Feel free to bring food or snacks to munch on through the activity as well. The location even allows children to safely participate, if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
    Route: Take the YRT 77 (Hwy 7 to Finch Terminal) bus to Hwy 7/ Maplecrete Road OR head east on Hwy 7/York Regional Rd 7 towards Millway Ave, turn right onto Maplecrete Rd
    Estimated Travel Time: 8 - 9 minutes (both routes)
Of course those hoping that the next Toronto professional sports team can make a go of it in and around Vaughan will now have more reason to cheer. Public Transit is always a huge factor in the determination of whether an area can support a team. Subway rivalries in other metropolitan cities are very well known. There are many in the Greater Toronto Area who believe they can easily support another Hockey, Baseball, or even an NFL expansion. Torontonians should cheer, as we're now one step closer to making this a reality.

We hope you enjoyed this article and hope you are motivated to ride the rocket and see the newest places transit can take you in this great city!