Ride our subways and there?s little in the way of design or signage to delight the senses. But a few subterranean spaces have elements worth saving. As the TTC rolls out plans for station modernization, transit advocate Joe Clark takes us on a guided tour.
Lawrence West "The most obscure station on the system and by far the ugliest: concrete walls don't look very nice, and the floor looks like hell. But the circular tile pattern makes the place slightly less miserable."
Main "A time capsule of every era of TTC signage. You won't find the white-on-silver that's outside the station very often any more. But try to find the wheelchair pickup point - there's no sign, just a Post-it note."
St. Patrick "Here you can see that the TTC cares about Westjet ads but it doesn't care enough to repair the original letters painted on the curved walls. Presumably, that's what the enamel panels (pictured) are meant to cover up. We could use these panels on curved walls in other stations."
Eglinton "The original Yonge subway line used to be entirely lined with giant-format glossy Vitrolite tiles. Now Eglinton is the last remaining stand of Vitrolite tiles in the system as well as retain the lighter weight TTC typeface."
Rosedale "No other station has these unique textured-looking, diamond-shaped tiles. If the TTC were to renovate, what would it do? One option is to use old TTC typeface on enamel panels as at St. Patrick. That would add uniformity at low cost without busting up all these unique tiles."
Dupont "This station has mosaic tile artwork the likes of which is not seen anywhere else in the system. There are few right angles. And the orange colour is interesting. The effect is of one flowing, seamless unit that furthers the organic theme."