Thursday, September 28, 2006

162 Lawrence - Donway: Useless route, or tourist attraction?

After class let out, I hopped on a northbound Yonge train and headed up to York Mills to catch a GO Bus back to Brampton. Running about an hour-and-a-half early, I decided to try my luck to ride a new route. I got off at Lawrence, and as luck was on my side, I was just in time to catch the 162 Lawrence - Donway bus.

162 Lawrence - Donway runs from Lawrence Station, and goes east on Lawrence, north on Bayview, east on Post Rd, south-east on Park Lane Cir, south on Glenourcy Rd, east on Suncrest Dr, north on The Bridle Path, east on Lawrence, and finally looping around Donway and returning.

This route should not exist. York University (Glendon) is on Bayview at Lawrence, but more frequent service is offered on the 124 Sunnybrook route. The central section of the route has no ridership at all - a point I will return to. The only real ridership comes east of Leslie, but other routes are already in place to cover those stretches. 54 Lawrence East is already there, and if a new branch of the 25 Don Mills were created to run on Donway, that section would be covered more effectively. Adding to all that, the route runs hourly, which makes it pretty much useless to anyone using it in a daily routine. I'm a big supporter of more public transit, but even I cannot think of a reason to justify this route's existance. Having said that, I am very happy it exists.

It's a generally accepted fact that Toronto, like all cities, has areas where working class families and people with low incomes tend to cluster. However, we often forget that Toronto has some areas where people with extremely high incomes tend to cluster. Rosedale and Forest Hill tend to come to mind, while the Kingsway, Lawrence Park and Bedford Park get honorable mentions. However, the Bridle Path tops them all. This neighborhood is where the rich of the rich reside. Sometimes called "Millionair's Row", this is where the big names like Conrad Black, Moses Znaimer and Price have homes (yes, THAT Prince).

The reason why this area has so many large houses is because of its exclusiveness. There are only two entraces to the neighborhood, and it's surrounded on three sides by ravines. Traffic is non-existant, resulting in a quiet, peaceful area. If you want to call this area home, be prepared to shell out the big bucks. One house for sale at 83 The Bridle Path (visible from the bus), is an 18,000 square foot home built to modernist, minimalist, contemporary and extravagence style. It has 6 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and has three destinct components: An entry "pavillion", a family "tower" and a public "wing" (I did not make that up - it's on the MLS website). Add an indoor basketball court and an indoor pool, and it can all be yours for $16 million. This is the most expensive house in the city.

While it is one of the most desirable areas of the city to live in, it's strictly residential. Save for a park and a school, there's no services nearby. With the bus running hourly, only between about 7 and 10, Monday to Friday, a car is necessary - a luxury car, to keep with the neighborhood status quo.

If you've got hundreds of millions burning a hole in your pocket, there are several houses in the area up for sale, many in the $10 million plus range. For the rest of us, the 162 will be our sneak peek on the lives of the rich and famous. It may not make any sense for this route to exist, but I'm sure glad it does.

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At 10/27/2006 11:01 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the purpose of the 162 was so that the "help" for all of these rich families could get to work. Hence the sparse service. The route wouldn't have a lot of ridership in the middle of the afternoon, but would most likely see more passengers during "rush hour".

At 1/20/2009 6:04 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in the area (not on the Bridle Path unfortunately) and it is a great route to have. It used to run once an hour but now runs every 30 minutes.
Keep in mind that the city collects HUGE amounts of property taxes in the area and to not offer a bus service would be robbery!

At 1/20/2009 7:15 p.m. , Blogger Andrae Griffith said...

It's good to know that this route gets some ridership. I can think of a hundred communities in the 905 that would fight tooth-and-nail against a bus route, arguing that it will bring a seedy element into their neighbourhoods. Unfortunately I live in one of those communities but it's refreshing to know that one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city at least tolerates a bus route.


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