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The University Subway -- Under Construction

Text by James Bow, Photographs by Neil McCarten, except where noted.

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Transit Toronto, being a fan-run website, is entirely dependent upon the resources of its owners and readers in obtaining materials that help log the history of public transportation in the Greater Toronto Area. As a result, these materials tend to be recent. As a result, we have a number of articles detailing the construction of the Sheppard subway, but not as much depicting the construction of older subway lines.

This produces some frustrating gaps in our knowledge. For instance, we know from reading early reports, that the current appearance of Osgoode and St. Andrew stations on the University subway line is substantially different from their appearance at the time they opened. Severe water damage forced the TTC to completely replace the original tiles in the early 1970s. So few pictures exist of these stations in their original appearance that few people realize that St. Andrew and Osgoode stations were changed. What few pictures do exist (in the Toronto Archives) are in black and white.

In our search for old pictures depicting the original appearance of these two stations, we were fortunate to find Ed Treijs, who knew Neil McCarten. Neil McCarten was kind enough to donate twenty-seven slide photographs snapped during a tour of the University subway he took on March 24, 1962, just eleven months before the line opened to the public. These photographs include rare shots of Osgoode station as its original appearance took form. Thanks to Mr. McCarten for making these shots available, and we hope that you enjoy them as well.

University Subway Construction Image Archive

Thanks to Ed Treijs for his help in bringing this article about, and thanks to Neil McCarten for the photographs of this glimpse of early subway construction history. Thanks to Mark Brader for his corrections to this article. To all our readers, if you have old photographs of the Toronto subway network, especially pre-renovation photographs of Osgoode, St. Andrew or the original Yonge subway stations, please drop us a line!

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