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Joe Clark (the design guru, not the former prime minister) has been focused on preserving the TTC’s original station design and improving the commission’s wayfinding system. He sends an alert about a vote going before the TTC this coming Wednesday. He is concerned about a motion on the TTC’s agenda that will give the commission carte blanche in redesigning the commission’s older subway stations, potentially obliterating the common architectural look and feel of the Bloor-Danforth line.

The Bloor-Danforth line uses the same wall colours on stations opposite a central axis (Bay and St. George). Yonge matches Spadina, Sherbourne matches Bathurst, and so on all the way out to the far ends, where symmetry takes the form of tile patterns instead of colours. As such, the Bloor line is an intentional design statement with deliberately chosen colours. Nothing is random or “distinctive,” save for the colours of straplines at most stations (and Kipling and Kennedy, whose walls match each other but don’t really match anything else).

TTC staff are trying to get around an inevitable recommendation from the Toronto Preservation Board to preserve the Bloor and Yonge lines. They want approval from Commissioners to do whatever they want. With that in hand, they can ignore any listing of subway stations as preservation properties. They can say they have authorization from their political masters to remake any and all of 63 stations in the name of “diversity.” In essence, TTC staff wants an order today from the Commission that countermands a future order from the Preservation Board.

We need many people, not just the usual two or three, to write in to the TTC, or make deputations at the March 26 meeting, or both, in opposition to the attempt by TTC staff to gain permission to destroy any of 63 subway stations and rebuild them any way they see fit.

The TTC’s meeting takes place this Wednesday at 1 p.m at City Hall. If you feel strongly about this issue, one way or the other, this is the opportunity to have your voice heard. For more details about the meeting, follow this link. You can also read more about Joe Clark’s campaign here.