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Fortieth Anniversary of Bloor-Danforth Subway Passes (Almost) Without Comment


Accompanying photograph by Marc Dufour

Forty years ago this past Sunday, the public boarded the first revenue trains operating on the Bloor-Danforth subway. The line, running between Keele and Woodbine station, was the only east-west subway line in Toronto until November 2002 when the Sheppard line opened.

Toronto celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Yonge subway in 2004 but, since opening in 1966, the Bloor-Danforth subway has carried hundreds of millions of commuters and local residents to and from Etobicoke, Scarborough and midtown Toronto. It’s opening almost literally decimated Toronto’s streetcar network. It is a workhorse of the TTC just like the Yonge subway line, and it very nearly found itself operating beneath Queen Street, where its impact on Toronto’s remnant streetcar lines could have been much harsher.

Why not read up on the history of the Queen and Bloor subway projects here and have your own thirtieth anniversary celebration? And, while you’re at it, consult this alternate history of Toronto’s streetcars, speculating on what would have happened if the crosstown subway had been built beneath Queen instead of Bloor-Danforth.

(Update): Reader Mary alerts me that the anniversary did receive a brief mention on page 22 of the Toronto Sun yesterday.