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Transit Toronto Trivia: What Station is This?


This one stumped a lot of people, many of whom struggled valiantly to identify the location by tile, by platform width, and by placement of the tracks. Here is a sampling of the answers we received:

  • North York Centre station (1) (Nope. The tile colours are wrong, and the scaffolding on the tracks means that no trains are operating. North York Centre was added after the subway line was built, with a minimum of disruption to subway service. Another person suggested Sheppard).
  • Bloor station (3) (No. Although the yellow tiles make the answer seem likely, the trim is wrong. Also, this is clearly a centre platform station, and Bloor station has its platforms along the side. A related answer, also given three times, is Yonge station on the Bloor-Danforth subway, citing specifically the centre platform, and wondering if the Vitrolite tiles were an experimental early feature. A good answer, but incorrect).
  • Union station (4) (A good answer considering the centre platform and the yellow tiles, but the blue trim makes this not-Union)
  • Eglinton (3) (Again, popular because of the centre platform, though most people answering this one expressed doubt due to the yellow tiles rather than the grey tiles now in use).
  • Museum (2) (Close, although the lengthy wall on the platform puts this in doubt, and of course the tiles are wrong).
  • Lower Queen (3) (And close, sort of. But this is Lower Queen. The platform is too high, it’s a centre platform, and no tracks were ever laid on Lower Queen).

So those were all excellent guesses, and this was a popular game. But four people were able to come up with the answer, which was:

Osgoode (southbound tracks, looking south)

The winner, Misha Crabtree explains:

Osgoode station had the old vitrolite tiles that Eglinton still has. Eglinton is a centre platform but the TILES ARE GREY. In the picture the tiles are yellow.

Honourable mention Andrew Geliner adds:

Since there is a wall beside the track, that means that the platform must be a center platform, as opposed to a side platform. Since the tiles on the wall do not look like the ceramic tiles used in the Bloor subway, these must be Vitrolite tiles that were used on the original Yonge & Univesity Lines. This left Union, Osgoode, and Museum stations, since these were the only center platform stations that used this color scheme. Museum Station was eliminated since it used ceramic rather than Vitrolite tiles. The main tiebreaker between Union and Osgoode is that the platforms look much too wide to be at Union Station, so it should be Osgoode.

Finally, Ray Bateman adds:

The photo is taken directly below the mezzanine (flat ceiling) 2/3 along the centre platform station. But it’s the cut-out in the catwalk for the installation of the U73 trainstop at the centre platform station gives it away as southbound Osgoode Station.

Mark Brader, answering late, notes that he picked Osgoode because in the photograph you can see that the track dips sharply beyond the end of the station.

David Cavlovic was the fourth individual who picked Osgoode before the deadline. Greg Northcott also gets an honourable mention for using a similar process of elimination, but coming up with St. Andrew instead of Osgoode.

The photograph was one of twenty-seven donated by Neil McCarten, depicting a tour he took of the University subway as it was under construction in 1962. These rare colour photographs illustrate an almost forgotten piece of transit history: the original appearance of Osgoode and St. Andrew stations. These stations were renovated to repair serious water damage, and the original vitrolite tiles were removed for the current look. Pictures of these stations in their original condition have been extremely hard to find, and we are eager for such shots.

If you have pictures of Toronto’s subway stations in their original appearance, especially the original Yonge subway and St. Andrew and Osgoode stations, please drop us a line. We’d love to add your shots to our collection.