On New Year’s Eve, this man visited all 75 TTC subway stations in less than 10 hours. (He says Museum is his favourite)

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On New Year’s Eve, this man visited all 75 TTC subway stations in less than 10 hours. (He says Museum is his favourite)


On New Year’s Eve, this man visited all 75 TTC subway stations in less than 10 hours. (He says Museum is his favourite) | The Star

Twelve years ago during his school’s March break, David Burkholder and his father rode the TTC and visit all 69 subway stations in one go.

Flash-forward to Dec. 31, 2018, and Burkholder wanted to honour his father and celebrate New Year’s Ever by making the trip all over again — this time including the six-stop Spadina extension, which opened in 2017 — and tweet the journey along the way.

David Burkholder holds a paper transfer at Sheppard West station, one of 75 he visited on New Year’s Eve.
David Burkholder holds a paper transfer at Sheppard West station, one of 75 he visited on New Year’s Eve.  (David Burkholder)

“I did the whole journey without leaving the subway,” he said. “I ate breakfast and lunch and had coffee all without having to leave the TTC.”

He started his New Year’s Eve trip at his home station, Spadina, just before 8 a.m. He headed west, reaching the end of the line at Kipling shortly after 9 a.m., before retracing his steps back East.

“What a view!” Burkholder tweeted with a video of the trip over the Bloor Viaduct.

At Ellesmere station, the least-used in the TTC network according to 2016 ridership numbers, his video panned across the Eastbound and Westbound platforms, both empty of TTC riders.

“No one got on or off, and I was alone on the platform,” he said in a tweet.

Burkholder reached the end of Line 3 in Scarborough at McCowan at 11:52 a.m.

In just under 40 minutes, he made it back downtown to Bloor-Yonge — the TTC’s busiest station in 2016 — before trekking north to Finch, traversing Line 4 on the way.

Two hours later, now on the west side of Line 1 at Yorkdale, he noticed something unusual: pre-Presto era turnstiles with metal bars instead of the more recent plastic doors.

“Yorkdale seems to be the last station with original turnstiles,” he said in a tweet, tagging the transit agency’s head of customer service, Sue Motahedin.

(Motahedin later responded saying that the barriers will be replaced.)

Burkholder’s adventure ended at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the last stop of the Spadina extension, at around 5:30 p.m. — about six hours before the city rung in the new year.

“The TTC has a general basic shape to it, so it was easy to be able to just knock off a line at a time,” Burkholder said. “The best way I thought about doing it was by completing a whole line and then coming back so I’d have to do less (backtracking).”

In nine-and-a-half hours, Burkholder was able to visit all 75 stations (with paper transfers to back up his feat).

All 75 paper transfers Burkholder collected on New Year’s Eve.
All 75 paper transfers Burkholder collected on New Year’s Eve.  (David Burkholder)

Burkholder said he had to plan out the most efficient route to get all 75 paper transfers, noting certain exits no longer offer the physical tickets due to the TTC’s shift towards Presto.

“There’s an app that I use on my phone called ‘Efficient TTC,’ which showed me exactly what car to be on to be at the escalator stairs at that station,” he said. “I was able to efficiently get up all to the right entrances,” Burkholder mentioned.

As for his favourite station, he said Museum stood out among the 75 for its appearance. More generally, he said the art on the newer stations stood out.

“I think our transit system gets underappreciated,” Burkholder said. In comparison to the network in New York City, Burkholder says the TTC is generally clean and good-looking.

“We only ever hear about when people are having bad days on it … I feel like I’ve learned how great the system actually is and efficient — when it works!”

Burkholder’s regular commute to his job as a communications assistant for Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland’s constituency office in University-Rosedale takes about two minutes, he said.

Ilya Bañares is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @ilyaoverseas

Stefanie Marotta is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @StefanieMarotta

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At Ellesmere station, the least-used in the TTC network according to 2016 ridership numbers, his video panned across the Eastbound and Westbound platforms, both empty of TTC riders.

“No one got on or off, and I was alone on the platform,” he said in a tweet.

Burkholder reached the end of Line 3 in Scarborough at McCowan at 11:52 a.m.

In just under 40 minutes, he made it back downtown to Bloor-Yonge — the TTC’s busiest station in 2016 — before trekking north to Finch, traversing Line 4 on the way.

Two hours later, now on the west side of Line 1 at Yorkdale, he noticed something unusual: pre-Presto era turnstiles with metal bars instead of the more recent plastic doors.

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“Yorkdale seems to be the last station with original turnstiles,” he said in a tweet, tagging the transit agency’s head of customer service, Sue Motahedin.

(Motahedin later responded saying that the barriers will be replaced.)

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Burkholder’s adventure ended at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the last stop of the Spadina extension, at around 5:30 p.m. — about six hours before the city rung in the new year.

“The TTC has a general basic shape to it, so it was easy to be able to just knock off a line at a time,” Burkholder said. “The best way I thought about doing it was by completing a whole line and then coming back so I’d have to do less (backtracking).”

In nine-and-a-half hours, Burkholder was able to visit all 75 stations (with paper transfers to back up his feat).

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Burkholder said he had to plan out the most efficient route to get all 75 paper transfers, noting certain exits no longer offer the physical tickets due to the TTC’s shift towards Presto.

“There’s an app that I use on my phone called ‘Efficient TTC,’ which showed me exactly what car to be on to be at the escalator stairs at that station,” he said. “I was able to efficiently get up all to the right entrances,” Burkholder mentioned.

As for his favourite station, he said Museum stood out among the 75 for its appearance. More generally, he said the art on the newer stations stood out.

“},{“snippet”:”

60/75 – Museum Station is still the coolest station around pic.twitter.com/Wxzi3BDu9m

— David Burkholder (@DavidBurkholder) December 31, 2018

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“I think our transit system gets underappreciated,” Burkholder said. In comparison to the network in New York City, Burkholder says the TTC is generally clean and good-looking.

“We only ever hear about when people are having bad days on it … I feel like I’ve learned how great the system actually is and efficient — when it works!”

Burkholder’s regular commute to his job as a communications assistant for Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland’s constituency office in University-Rosedale takes about two minutes, he said.

Ilya Bañares is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @ilyaoverseas

Stefanie Marotta is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @StefanieMarotta

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