Feel free to prove me wrong but I have a feeling the winning design will be pretty banal and utilitarian.

This is a mass transit project. The goal is to be utilitarian!

I would rather have basic utilitarian stations that match the demand efficiently, rather than the gargantuan stations that were built for the Spadina extension.

Most of the cost of a project is in the station building itself. Take not of the cost that Metrolinx is asking from the city to fund the Drewry/Cummer station for the Yonge north extension.
 
This is a mass transit project. The goal is to be utilitarian!

I would rather have basic utilitarian stations that match the demand efficiently, rather than the gargantuan stations that were built for the Spadina extension.

Most of the cost of a project is in the station building itself. Take not of the cost that Metrolinx is asking from the city to fund the Drewry/Cummer station for the Yonge north extension.
Well the irony about all that is thar the "utilitarian " design will still cost as much as a well designed station
 
This is a mass transit project. The goal is to be utilitarian!

I would rather have basic utilitarian stations that match the demand efficiently, rather than the gargantuan stations that were built for the Spadina extension.

Most of the cost of a project is in the station building itself. Take not of the cost that Metrolinx is asking from the city to fund the Drewry/Cummer station for the Yonge north extension.
There is a difference between having nice/fancy stations, and having gargantuan palaces. Nobody is saying build Moscow, but a lot can be said about replacing some of the monotonous flat architecture with arches, and some nice tiling work.
 
There is a difference between having nice/fancy stations, and having gargantuan palaces. Nobody is saying build Moscow, but a lot can be said about replacing some of the monotonous flat architecture with arches, and some nice tiling work.

Architecture is subjective. Also, no need to go to Moscow. The Spadina stay extension stations are gargantuan palaces themselves. That's what I'm asking to avoid.

There needs to be a balance between budget and architectural extravagance. I'd rather take a utilitarian station that is designed to maximize efficiency in moving people than a station that looks fantastic but with no added value being brought because of the looks.

You are right that some small tweaks to improve general looks can and should be incorporated as much as possible.
 
Architecture is subjective. Also, no need to go to Moscow. The Spadina stay extension stations are gargantuan palaces themselves. That's what I'm asking to avoid.

It's funny because those stations were in direct response to the large number of complaints about Sheppard stations being too utilitarian. The budget difference wasn't very much (~10%); the real savings would be not digging down 30m in the suburbs.
 
At least it's not Abjua...
3l-image-Abuja-Light-Rail.jpg
 
It's funny because those stations were in direct response to the large number of complaints about Sheppard stations being too utilitarian. The budget difference wasn't very much (~10%); the real savings would be not digging down 30m in the suburbs.

Here, you are, of course, referring to the TYSSE stations. I'm not sure if @fanoftoronto isn't referring to the original Spadina line.

Worth saying the TYSSE stations are both over-built, in volume, and too deep; but also, I think, too spare. The bare trackside walls and many other exposed surfaces leave many of the stations feeling both incomplete and 'cold' despite their price tags.

Sheppard had nice designs, what happened there were the Harris cuts, which again, nixed trackside wall finishes, many of the ceiling finishes, and some of the custom light fixtures originally planned.
 
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It's funny because those stations were in direct response to the large number of complaints about Sheppard stations being too utilitarian. The budget difference wasn't very much (~10%); the real savings would be not digging down 30m in the suburbs.

Here, you are, of course, referring to the TYSSE stations. I'm not sure if @fanoftoronto isn't referring to the original Spadina line.

Worth saying the TYSSE stations are both over-built, in volume, and too deep; but also, I think, too spare. The bare trackside walls and many other exposed surfaces leave many of the stations feeling both incomplete and 'cold' despite their price tags.

Sheppard had nice designs, what happened there were the Harris cuts, which again, nixed trackside wall finishes, many of the ceiling finishes, and some of the custom light fixtures originally planned.

I was indeed talking about the TYSSE stations. But forgive me for not knowing that that was in response to backlash about Sheppard being utilitarian.

@rbt do you have any documentation showing station costs comparing TYSSE and Sheppard? I find it hard to believe that it's only 10% difference between the 2, but hey, I've been wrong before!

I think we're on the right track here, something between TYSSE and Sheppard with better trackside finishes to give the station a more completed feeling. I'd rather the external finishes be utilitarian, with more importance given to creating load bearing structures for future TODs on top of the station buildings.
 
Architecture is subjective. Also, no need to go to Moscow. The Spadina stay extension stations are gargantuan palaces themselves. That's what I'm asking to avoid.

There needs to be a balance between budget and architectural extravagance. I'd rather take a utilitarian station that is designed to maximize efficiency in moving people than a station that looks fantastic but with no added value being brought because of the looks.

You are right that some small tweaks to improve general looks can and should be incorporated as much as possible.
I mean, most important for affecting how egregious your architectural design becomes is what’s going on underground, which will be baked into any station design. If you build a station that’s 30m deep with a massive concourse, is over 100m long, and has a massive above-ground footprint, then switching to G+C for your design isn’t going to help much.

Now, you can have a good design that is “utilitarian” too; I’d argue the crosstown stations are nicer than Line 4s, but are still Utilitarian- they are just a bit more conscious of the importance of their visual presence. Minimal structures like we see in Europe however aren’t really an option for the Ontario Line, as it’s already been minimized- stations must often be deep and complex anyway. And honestly, that’s ok for what the project is.

So, when we plan station designs, really we should just consider where they are (in concert with the structural space they fit into)- this is downtown, and while the station buildings can be small and minimal, getting someone who knows how to do that tastefully is not “extravagance” but rather dignifies the buildings. Pound-for-pound, they ought to be the nicest stations on the system in part because they are utilitarian; visual quality with structural prudence shows the public you didn’t blow costs purely on eyecandy or a cavernous behemoth- rather you respect the user, engage their senses, and in turn make them respect you.
 
@rbt do you have any documentation showing station costs comparing TYSSE and Sheppard? I find it hard to believe that it's only 10% difference between the 2, but hey, I've been wrong before!

I recall it being something Giambrone said during design meetings but I wasn't keeping documents in that time period.

The footprint of excavation is required by train capacity and fire code, and is a huge portion of the cost before you even fill the hole with anything. It can cost developers $160,000 (2021, possibly $200k today) to construct a basic underground parking space in downtown Toronto (including ramps and access); a 10% increase in cost could tile the garage walls in granite. Point being, 10% of the cost of the project can still be a substantial amount.

EDIT: Worth noting, if it was true in 2008 then it may no longer be true now. Construction costs have tripled, but not all components of construction have increased in price equally. Mining stations, for example, seems to be quite a bit more affordable compared to excavation than it used to be. Excavation leaves a giant space whether you used it or not, mining doesn't create the space at all.
 
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I recall it being something Giambrone said during design meetings but I wasn't keeping documents in that time period.

The footprint of excavation is required by train capacity and fire code, and is a huge portion of the cost before you even fill the hole with anything. It can cost developers $160,000 (2021, possibly $200k today) to construct a basic underground parking space in downtown Toronto (including ramps and access); a 10% increase in cost could tile the garage walls in granite. Point being, 10% of the cost of the project can still be a substantial amount.

EDIT: Worth noting, if it was true in 2008 then it may no longer be true now. Construction costs have tripled, but not all components of construction have increased in price equally. Mining stations, for example, seems to be quite a bit more affordable compared to excavation than it used to be. Excavation leaves a giant space whether you used it or not, mining doesn't create the space at all.
I think the more accurate way of phrasing this is that the cost of mining has started to be more palatable given we are forcing deep and often overbuilt stations. Projects have gotten more expensive and mining has just become more expensive less quickly.
 
So the other day I was taking a lovely stroll through Grange Park on my lunch break when I happened to come upon a rather lonely picnic table set up by Metrolinx with flyers and info about the OL. Naturally I struck up a conversation with the lone elderly gentleman manning the table, and the guy was rather ignorant regarding even the most basic details (such as referring to an obvious render of Queen-Spadina station as King-Bathurst...) and had to keep correcting him with facts. I'm not really sure what the point of it all was, and the location was a strange choice as well...
 

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