Jasmine Norman and dogs in Jimmie Simpson Park

An easier ride for this dogwalker on the Ontario Line

Not just for downtown commuters, it will help this dogwalker to get work near Jimmie Simpson Park.

Sep 5, 2023

Whether she’s going to her job walking dogs in Jimmie Simpson Park or meeting friends downtown, the Ontario Line subway will make the trip easier for Jasmine Norman.

She can walk up to six dogs at a time, and as many of 18 over the course of a day working for KatyK9, a small business. That takes a lot of energy, so once the Ontario Line is built, having a direct, stress-free way of getting from her home in Thorncliffe Park to clients in Leslieville and Riverside will make a difference in her life.

She is proud to use transit but sees three challenges in her commute – connections, crowding and congestion.

After taking a bus from Thorncliffe Park to Pape Station, she must connect there to take bus number 72 into Leslieville, before walking to the home of the day’s first client.

“It can be hard to predict when I can start working, with delays between buses, because I have to take two,” Norman said.

“But if I’m just taking the subway, then it will be a lot easier and more consistent.”

The bus routes through Thorncliffe Park are known to be among the busiest in Toronto, which is one more reason that a rapid transit system is needed there.

Jasmine Norman working as a dogwalker

Jasmine Norman in Jimmie Simpson Park (Mike Winterburn photo)

Norman says the Ontario Line “will definitely help reduce the crowdedness on buses during peak times.”

She has also seen Overlea Boulevard and other streets in Thorncliffe Park become more congested – for motorists and TTC customers alike.

“Especially since the Costco was built, traffic has been a little busier and more people are moving into the neighbourhood so Overlea can get very backed-up,” Norman said.

“If fewer people are driving, and they are going to the subway, that will make traffic better.”

The Ontario Line will solve all three problems by giving Norman a direct route to work, set apart from traffic, and with trains that have the capacity to run as frequently as every 90 seconds during rush hour to prevent crowding.

When the Ontario Line is built, a ride between stations at the corner of Thorncliffe Park Drive and Overlea Boulevard to Queen Street East and De Grassi (next to Jimmie Simpson Park) will take only 12 minutes compared to 33 minutes to make the same trip today.

Jasmine Norman closeup

Iris with Jasmine Norman (Mike Winterburn photo)

Of course, Norman also plans to travel further on the Ontario Line, specifically to downtown to spend time with friends.

“The fact that it’s one train, right to downtown, makes it a lot easier,” Norman said. “I could see myself going out more because of it.”

Compared to transit today, a trip from Thorncliffe Park to the corner of Yonge and Queen will be 15 minutes quicker.

New stations along Queen Street will be a short walk away from Union Station and downtown attractions. That’s good news for both Norman and her friends who live in the suburbs and travel into Toronto with GO Transit.

“I have a lot of friends who live in Aurora and Newmarket, so it will be much easier to meet them at Union,” Norman said.

by Mike Winterburn Metrolinx communications senior advisor