Davisville Yard

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Davisville Yard
Davisville TTC McBrien Building d83.JPG
North view from the Beltline Trail bridge
LocaleChaplin Estates, Toronto
SystemToronto subway
Operator(s)Toronto Transit Commission
Track gauge4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm)
ElectrificationThird rail, 600 V DC
Route map

BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg to Finch
Lola Road
Imperial Street
Davisville Avenue
Davisville station
William McBrien Building
Beltline Trail
BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg to Union

The Davisville Subway Yard is a rail yard on the Toronto Transit Commission's Yonge subway line. The train maintenance and storage building is referred to as the Davisville Carhouse.[1]


The yard is located adjoining the Davisville station, between Eglinton and St. Clair stations. The yard is next to the TTC headquarters at 1900 Yonge Street.


Davisville Yard under construction, c. 1953

Davisville Yard acted as the main maintenance and storage yard for Toronto's Yonge subway, which opened between Union Station and Eglinton Avenue in 1954.[2] The first two subway cars (5000 and 5001) were delivered to the TTC's Hillcrest Complex, but subsequent subway cars were delivered to Davisville yard via the Toronto Belt Line Railway. Before the opening of the subway, there was a temporary interchange track between the Yonge streetcar line and the Davisville Yard on the north side of the Belt Line bridge for the interchange of rail equipment with the streetcar system.[3] In 1953, subway cars 5000 and 5001, after being displayed at the Canadian National Exhibition, were mounted on shop bogies and towed at night over streetcar tracks by a Peter Witt motor to the Davisville Yard via the temporary interchange. (The two subway cars had arrived at the CNE from Hillcrest via the Bathurst streetcar line. At the CNE, the two cars were displayed on their own bogies.)[4]

The Davisville Carhouse could not handle heavy repair work for subway bogies. Thus, until the shops at Greenwood Yard were opened in 1965, bogies needed to be shipped by truck to the Hillcrest Complex on a specially built trailer. According to rail historians John F. Bromley and Jack May, this was the reason that the subway was built to the streetcar gauge of 1495mm, which is the gauge used for shop tracks at Hillcrest.[5]

There used to be an upper yard having 2 parallel stub tracks plus a shorter stub siding all running parallel to the former Belt Line Railway line (today the Kay Gardner Beltline Park). Another track, located on an incline, connected the upper and lower yards; today, a short stub siding on the west side of the yard is all that is left of that connecting track. Various pieces of work equipment were stored in the upper yard.[6]

Davisville was Toronto's sole subway yard until 1966, when Greenwood Yard opened. Subway car deliveries were also shifted to Greenwood at this time. While usage of it began to wane, it remained active even as the larger Wilson Yard opened in 1978.[7] The yard became deactivated after 1993, when repairs were required to a retaining wall to the south of the yard. Even after this work was completed, the yard remained inactive as the TTC had become quite satisfied with the temporary storage and maintenance arrangement during the closure. The yard was temporarily reactivated during the 1995 Russell Hill subway accident, and also during the retirement of older rolling stock (H-1/H-2, M-1). The subway yard was formally reactivated in June 2002, a few months prior to the opening of Line 4 Sheppard.[7]

In November 2018, the TTC completed the extension the carhouse over tracks 3 and 4 on the east side of the building. Track 3 is the wash track and track 4 is utilized for interior cleaning and floor washing of the vehicles. Before the extension, tracks 3 and 4 were long enough for only four-car trains within the carhouse building, and the overhead doors on the north and south end had to remain open to service six-car TR trains. The open doors also exposed equipment to freezing in winter. With the extension, the TTC can use tracks 3 and 4 for the overnight storage of six-car TR trains.[1][8]

Current operations[edit]

A G-series train at Davisville, c. 1969
Trains at Davisville yard, seen from Davisville station c. 2009

Davisville Yard is home to a small portion of the TTC's revenue rolling stock of Toronto Rocket subway trains which operate on Line 1 Yonge-University and Line 4 Sheppard and some of the Commission's work cars. The facility is used to store, service and maintain subway cars. The yard can dispatch 12 trains onto Line 1, and this minimizes the need to deadhead trains from the Wilson Yard. In addition to exterior storage tracks, the yard's carhouse has 8 tracks to perform safety inspections, unscheduled repairs, floor washing and exterior washing. Many Subway Infrastructure sections including Track, Structures, and Signals are also based at the Davisville Yard.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Davisville Carhouse – Carhouse Expansion" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  2. ^ "A Cavalcade of Progress, 1921-1954". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  3. ^ Baldwin Collection (1953). "Yonge St. looking n. from G.T.R. Belt Line bridge s. of Merton St". Toronto Public Library. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
  4. ^ John F. Bromley and Jack May (1973). 50 Years of Progressive Transit. Electric Railroaders' Association. pp. 83. ISBN 9781550024487. Retrieved 2016-08-31. Chapter 8 - Postwar Change
  5. ^ John F. Bromley and Jack May (1973). 50 Years of Progressive Transit. Electric Railroaders' Association. pp. 85, 107. ISBN 9781550024487. Retrieved 2016-08-31. Chapter 9 - Subway City; Chapter 11 - The Crosstown Subway
  6. ^ Harvey Naylor (8 July 1961). "The Davisville Subway Yards". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2016-12-08. [See photo: http://transittoronto.ca/photos/images/ttc-davisville-yards-19610708.jpg] Here, we see an aerial view of the west side of Davisville Yards, looking north, with a number of work cars in view, including a tunnel gauge car and RT-4, the ex-Peter Witt garbage train. Photo by Harvey Naylor, courtesy the John Knight collection.
  7. ^ a b Bow, James; Lubinski, Robert (19 December 2015). "The Davisville Subway Yards". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Financial Update for the Year Ended December 31, 2018 and Major Projects Update" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°41′50″N 79°23′51″W / 43.69729°N 79.39753°W / 43.69729; -79.39753