On my way to work this morning, I noticed something dramatically different but pleasantly suprising. Museum station had work done, in that reconstructive surgery, face lift kind of way.
The pillars on the platform had been covered up with hieroglyphs, First Nation house posts and Doric columns, representative of the Royal Ontario Museum above the station.
The updated design was much needed for the station, which like many TTC stations in the city look like “the same design scheme as a public bathroom,” Councillor Joe Mihevc, a TTC commissioner said in a recent National Post article.
This is the first of many station transformations. The TTC plans to spend $275 million on modernizing many of their 69 stations. My fingers are crossed in hopes that the city will stick to their promise. I have visited many international metropolitan cities with public transit systems and Toronto’s could use some updating. Many of the stations are drab and have similar colour schemes and layouts, therefore I think a fresh coat of paint and twenty-first century design should be a priority.
Which stations should get a make-over first? What would they look like? Here are my suggestions. The stations should be a reflection of the areas in the city they are located in. For instance:
Osgoode station – Since it is the closest subway station to trendy Queen St. W., it could use a few colourful murals painted by local artists and maybe some art installations, like in Circa nightclub.
Wellesley station – Only one block from the biggest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community in the city, could have the pride colours splashed across the walls.
Pape station – This station is already on the top of the TTC’s list of major station renovations, but while they are at it they could decorate the subway platform with portraits of people representative of Greek Town. For instance, there could be pictures of people sitting down at a sidewalk cafe, buying bread from the bakery or friends mingling on the sidewalk.
Union Station – College station is now longer the place for Maple Leafs fans to exit and enter the TTC from, but the portraits of old hockey players still adorn the station’s walls. The new Maple Leaf Gardens is now the Air Canada Centre and Union station is now what College station used to be, so shouldn’t we spruce up the place with photos of old and new sports heroes, maybe even display some banners or trophies?
It should be interesting to see how different the TTC will look in a few years when some of these renovation plans are complete. Until then we will have to settle for pastel bathroom colours.