Below the main platform of Bay subway station there is an additional platform which has long since been abandoned. The platform was used for only six months in 1966 when the TTC experimentally ran trains whose routes included portions of both the Yonge–University and Bloor–Danforth lines.

This abandoned platform is sometimes referred to as “Lower Bay” by the general public or “Bay Lower” by the TTC.

A few years ago the station was opened to the public during the Toronto Doors Open event, and there were a ton of interested people – myself included – exploring the station.

At the entrance to Lower Bay Station
Heading down into Lower Bay station

The platform was in service from February to September 1966, after which time it was shelved. The experiment (called “interlining” in transit-speak) was deemed a failure, largely because delays anywhere on the subway line quickly cascaded to affect the entire system. Also, as the stations had not been laid out effectively for cross-platform interchange, trains travelling east from St. George and west from Yonge alternated between the two levels, leading passengers to wait on the stairs in-between the levels, since they were unable to tell which platform would receive the next train.1

A Second Life As A Film Set

Lower Bay and the tracks leading to it still exist and are now used to train new operators, to move trains between the two current lines, for platform-surface experiments, and to allow filming in the subway without disrupting public service. For film sets, the station has been modified several times to make it look like a regular North American subway station.

Notable movies shot at Lower Bay include The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Don’t Say A Word, Johnny Mnemonic, Bulletproof Monk, Mimic, End of the Line, The Recruit, and The Sound. The sandwich boards for the movies shot at the station were prominently on display that day:

Lower Bay did not look terribly different from the regular, upper platform, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.