My biggest challenge at this point was finding a balance between a straight-up schematic map (that ignored the physical shape of the city) or one that vaguely took on the shape of the country. For it to be slightly recognizable I added the Great Lakes. I loved the idea of a city having a series of small lakes in it, but I found them awkward. I also felt that the size and placement of the lakes was limiting the number of towns and cities that I wanted to include in southern Ontario. I didn’t go back to the drawing board, as the say, but I gave the map a series re-think.
If I couldn’t use the Great Lakes as a design element to signal ‘this is Canada’, then what else? Eventually, I settled on a few things: I removed any elements that represented a river, lake, or ocean — instead, I would indicate a ferry connection with an icon and a thin, dotted, cyan line. I also decided to add routes in the north. I realized at the time it was silly not to have included places like Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and many communities scattered through the territories. It also allowed me to use the shoreline of Hudson Bay as the visual indicator that ‘this is Canada’.
The first draft of the map had been, more or less, a subway network and not a true transit network. The map went from having about 100 cities/stations in the first draft to over 200 in the second version. As I worked away on an updated version I began to use some of the population data I had previously gathered. With the addition of so many smaller places, I used this data as a guide to select which type of transit vehicle technology would be used along each route. It went from a strictly subway map to a network that now includes buses, BRTs, LRTs, express subways, commuter trains, funiculars, and a variety of ferries.