Hurray For Toronto And Their New Subway, Published 23 May 1954The Toronto subway is someming to see. not only is it a great credit to Toronto; it reflects credit on Canada. That we should have such a country that could produce such a city as Toronto reflects honor on us all. It does not seem so long ago that I was trying to steer my Buick around ditches and earth heaps so I could get to the King Edward Hotel. I was annoyed by the detours and it was small solace when the door man said, with a sardonic smile:
"It's the new subway now."
End Justified Muss
When just the other day, I went down into the subway at Davisville and Yonge, my mind went way back to that day in 1947. I could not help contrasting the confusion of then with the perfection of now. I was proud as a Canadian that we could produce such a fine thing. It seemed to me now that my irritation of seven years before was a small affair and had I been inconvenienced a hundred times oftener it was all worth while. What we today call "the end produce" more than justified the muss and muddle.
The cars run through prophylactically clean subways. Moscow may have more art work, but our own Canadian subway is as clean looking as a dairy on visitors' day. Another feature worth knowing is that every station is done in a different color. The tiles, for instance, at Bloor (I think) are garnet and grey. Thus if you are illiterate or just a reporter in a strange city, you could get to know your station by the pigments of the tiles.
Run In Units
The red cars run in units of six, about three minutes apart. They are powered for bigger units but six seems to be their present maximums. If you get on at the north end you are impressed by the numbers the subway can carry. But by the time the cars are downtown they are generally pretty well filled.
Some of the subway is straight underground and some of it is open cut. This sounds funny I know. But the scenery from the subway window north of Bloor is beautiful.
By contrast, instead of grinding along upper Yonge Street forever on one of those slow moving Yonge streetcars, with the motorman eating his lunch, instead of the agony of the beyond-Bloor crawl, the underground really whisks you up town in a trice.
The stations are clean, the cars are clean, the right of ways are clean. I have not, of course, the cosmopolitanism of Bill Boss, and cannot claim to have seen the Moscow or Paris subway system. I was, of course, not disappointed if there was no statue to Boris Godonof, or his conjectural Canadian counterpart. I felt no pangs because Dostoivsky was not there. I did not mourn for a bust of Pioneer Kilowatter Adam Beck or Hydro Head Robert H. Sauners. I pined not for the likeness of Lamport nor Bearded tycoon Timothy Eaton. Finally, no soft sighs for lack of a statue to Lindsay's famous Leslie Frost. I just rejoiced that Toronto had the guts and gumption to get .theirselves a subway.
I have experienced the incredible dirt and unspeakable noise of New York's subway; I have tested the annoymous elegance of London's tube. I have noted the windowless Berlin U-Bahn; even the tunnel trains of Boston and the restricted efforts of Philadelphia came to mind. Finally, Rochester's truncated tracks came to mind. But as far as I am concerned, I liked our own Canadian system the best. Even if it was in Toronto!