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A Blast from the Past (Original Subway Tiles Surface at St. Andrew)

This may be of interest only to transit geeks, but there has been some debate of late about the original colour scheme of the University subway’s Osgoode and St. Andrew station. Some people know that the current tiles on these two stations were added later, in the early 1970s, when water damaged the original Vitrolite tiles, but when researching the tile design for this article, we were uncertain what the original tile arrangement for these two stations were. Our memories were hazy — if we had any memories at all — and colour photographs of the original stations were almost impossible to come by. Apparently, nobody thought that the station tiles were worthy of photographing.

But we had some luck when a reader, Neil McCarten, donated photographs of the University subway taken as it was under construction (seen here). The shots of Osgoode station challenged the initial recollection of the subway having yellow vitrolite tiles and red trim (the trim would appear to have been blue). More recently, the original Vitrolite tiles of St. Andrew resurfaced as part of a renovation, and readers were on hand to snap photographs (You can view them at the bottom of this article).

I’d like to thank the readers who have brought this to our attention, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that another wall repair solves the mystery of Osgoode’s tiles once and for all.