Getting around Toronto over the Thanksgiving long weekend could take some careful planning.
The TTC is shutting down all subway service south of Bloor St. The entire downtown "U" will be out of bounds from Saturday morning through the weekend, with service returning to normal for the Tuesday morning rush.
The shutdown is to allow for work on the Yonge-University-Spadina line's often problematic signalling system.
"That signalling system is 60 years old in many places and it needs to be replaced", says TTC spokesman Brad Ross.
But the process is slow and complicated and Ross says it "requires testing in an environment that the regular maintenance window that we have every night does not afford us".
He insists crews need at least three consecutive days at a time to tackle the work. The TTC considered other closures over the Labour Day weekend, but decided it was too busy a time in the city.
Ross says the TTC will be running 90-100 shuttle buses along Yonge St and University Ave over the Thanksgiving weekend to make up for the loss of subways. Streetcar lines that cross Yonge and University are options too.
There will also be TTC staffers on hand to help people find their way.
Partial closures for signal upgrades are far from over, with work on the Yonge-University-Spadina Line not expected to be done until 2018.
But Ross says at the end, will be more a more efficient subway service with 25% more trains.
"During rush hour, for example, we'll see trains about every 90 seconds versus the two and half to three minutes we see today", says Ross.
The TTC is also working on a video to fill you in on exactly what work is being done below ground and to explain the benefits. Ross expects the clip to come out whenever the next big shutdown happens. It hasn't been scheduled yet.