When TORONTO’s subway opened in the 1950′s, a distinctive lettering style was used exclusively throughout the system. “It was as if it was designed by an engineer and not a typographer”, says type and graphic designer David Vereschagin.“To see the Toronto Subway lettering fall into disuse and being absolutely eradicated is really sad.”
Well, take heart. The TTC is slowly polishing up several older stations, and reinstating the 1950’s lettering style. St. Andrew station, in the heart of the financial district, is getting a $275,000 wall cleanup, plus improvements to the ticketing hall. Osgoode, St. Patrick, Queen’s Park, York Mills, Kipling and Finch are in line for upgrades as well.
Several examples of TORONTO’s subway typeface have been collected by DOMINION MODERN, a non-profit charitable organization founded in 2003. Lacking a permanent gallery space, this volunteer organization mounts pop-up exhibitions, maintains a website, archive and an oral history project on Canadian architecture, engineering and design. <PHOTOS – 1950 era Dundas station, City of Toronto Archives; Eglinton station’s original Vitrolite tiles>