08/19/2013 05:50 EDT | Updated 10/19/2013 05:12 EDT

Pape station 12-day closure begins today

Pape station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line is shutting down for nearly two weeks starting this morning, but the TTC says that's what riders wanted in order to get extensive renovations done quicker.

The station is slated to reopen Saturday, Aug. 31, allowing construction crews 12 full days to complete work on everything from the flooring to a new bus bay.

"We're modernizing it top to bottom. We're also making it fully accessible," TTC chief executive Andy Byford said in a video the transit agency posted on YouTube.

Byford said the TTC polled customers to determine how they wanted the final stages of construction — renovations to Pape began in 2009 — to proceed.

"Basically what we said was, 'We know this station modernization has taken a long time. We've got three options: We could stick to the original program and finish at the end of the year, or we could expedite the program by either having a 12-day closure and really getting things finished, or doing that over a series of weekends.'

"So 50 per cent of the customers said, 'Take the 12-day closure and get as much done as possible,' " the CEO said. "It's the first time we've done it."

The plan calls for the ceilings to be painted, new tiling installed, the floors redone, the stairs completed and a new indoor bus waiting area finished during the temporary shutdown.

That will get things close to, but not totally, complete. New elevators, bike racks and landscaping are to be finished by the end of October, and a second exit is scheduled to open by the new year.

Martha Nuetzmann, a regular users of Pape station, will have to make other travel arrangements while the work is underway.

During the closure, she says, she'll just have to stay home.

"Well I cannot go, you see, I have a walker, I have a back problem."

The thing Nuetzmann looks forward to most about the station renovation — a the new elevator — won't be functional until October.

"It's better than all those steps," she said.

During the closure, subways will go through but not stop at Pape, nor will buses enter the station.

Instead, buses along Danforth Avenue will ferry passengers to nearby stations. The surface routes that normally serve Pape are being redirected to Donlands and Broadview.

The 12-day closure was originally scheduled for mid-June but had to be postponed owing to a strike by the workers who install wall and floor tiles.

Pape station is used by about 25,600 subway riders on an average day, according to the TTC's latest data.