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The Christie Station Fire Subway Diversion (October 15-17, 1976)

Text by James Bow

On October 15, 1976, near the end of the service day, an arsonist set fire to a bundle of newspapers in an empty car at the end of a train heading eastbound on the BLOOR-DANFORTH subway. When the fire was detected by the crew, the train was stopped at Christie station and everyone on board evacuated. The fire burned out of control and did tremendous damage to the train and Christie station. Ten passengers and three TTC employees had to be taken to hospital.

It took two days for over 200 TTC personnel to repair the damage to the station and clear the debris. During that time, subway service was shut down between St. George and Ossington station, forcing the TTC to rely on shuttle buses to ferry passengers between the two segments. This was one of the first times the TTC had to replace subway service for such an extended period of time. Richard Glaze and other photographers were on hand to capture a number of scenes over these two days as many buses plied the route.

Christie Subway Fire Diversion Image Archive

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