Behind the name – The journey to get to ‘Hakimi Lebovic Stop’

Finding a strong name for a transit platform is no easy feat. Those important titles become part of the fabric of the community. In this latest stop on our Crosstown Progress series, we explore the distinguished origins – and status – of the Hakimi Lebovic Stop.

Sometimes, it’s not ‘what’s in a name’, but rather ‘who’s in a name’.

There are many components to station and stop naming for a transit line. Lots of thought is put into it before finally deciding on one, as we saw with the naming of Forest Hill Station.

But what does it take to have a station named after you? Well, you have to be doing some pretty great things for the community.

As we inch closer to the end of the line for this series, our next stop heading east on the Eglinton Crosstown line is located at the intersection of Eglinton Avenue East and Lebovic Avenue. The Hakimi Lebovic Stop will be another surface level accessible platform and will be a far side platform stop. This staggered configuration of the stop means the westbound platform will be located west of the intersection, and the eastbound platform will be situated east of the intersection.

An artist concept shows the platform, as cars drive on either side.

An artist concept of what Hakimi Lebovic Stop will look like.

Similarly to our previous surface stops, the Hakimi Lebovic Stop will have a covered waiting area with benches and automated Presto payment machines to pay your fare before you board.

An artist concept shows customers crossing the road to get to the LRT stop.

A ground-level view of the stop, as seen by an artist.

Construction of the surface stop began in 2017 with utility relocations and the removal of medians down the centre of the roadway. Road widening started earlier this year, with paving and guideway work to start in the early summer. Expect completion of the Hakimi Lebovic Stop sometime next year.

A bed of dirt and lines used before cement is put down, is shown beside a roadway.

An example of the guideway work that will take place later this summer. This concrete slab will contain the electrical infrastructure and LRT tracks.

The stop’s title holds significance – named after two individuals who have done a great deal of philanthropic work.

The stop is called Hakimi Lebovic to recognize the street changes name as it crosses Eglinton Avenue. Originally, this was to be “Lebovic” station after the older and longer street of the two. It was decided to honour both, so they were combined and used as part of the final stop name.

Last May, an event was held to honour Karim Hakimi, founder of Canadian eyeglass chain Hakim Optical, and Joseph Lebovic, Toronto businessman and developer, for their contributions to the community and to recognize them as namesakes of the future Hakimi Lebovic Stop along the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line.

Joseph Lebovic and Karim Hakimi are shown posing next to an artist concept of the stop named after them.

From left, Joseph Lebovic and Karim Hakimi were both honoured by Metrolinx in May 2018 for their contributions to the community. Both were presented with a plaque of the future Hakimi Lebovic Stop on the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line.

So as platforms go, this one carries a prestigious title that’s a combination of two great names.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications specialist.