The Bay Lower station was opened in February, 1966, as part of the University Y subway line. It was built directly underneath the known and still-used Bay Street subway station.
This station was created as part of an interlining experiment in the hopes of improving service and reducing wait times when passengers were changing from line to line. In reality, the experiment was deemed a failure as any delay on the system would cascade across the entire subway network, and it was determined that the real savings in time for riders was insignificant while confusion increased drastically.
As a result, in September, 1966, just six months after opening, the Bay Lower station was closed.
Now, the station is used largely for training, moving cars from one line to the other, and as a location for movies and commercials. On the odd instance, it is even used as a venue for parties.
As we descended the steps from the operational Bay station to Bay Lower, we could instantly feel the difference. The lack of "life" to this station that swarmed above us.
The rails on either side of the platform are powered, and the signal lights glow at the ends of the tunnels. The speakers attached to the ceiling still blare out the reminders that this is a non-smoking facility, and for all other appearances, this is an operational station, yet devoid of life.
As we took our pictures, we were jarred repeatedly by the thunderous arrivals and departures of the trains above us. We found the odd reminders of both what this station was, in the name "BAY" etched into the walls, and what the station became, with the remnants of "Grand Central Station" barely visible on one column. Surely this is a favorite for film crews.
The strangely quiet, unmoving escalator at one end was mute witness to the potential this station never met. A passing mechanic told me I should be there at 1 or 2 in the morning. "This place is haunted", he tells me as he continues on his way. I presume he's just pulling my leg.