TTC Subway Transfers

On February 10, 1984 with my friend Andre B, we decided to visit every TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) subway stop and get a transfer from each station. Well before the days of easily taking pictures at each stop, our only proof from that day are all the transfers we collected. Our goal was to simply get a subway transfer from every subway stop on the TTC in one day. No more trying to get all the subway transfers by eventually travelling to different stations - we would do it in one day!

The book Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe the author does something like this on the London Underground. The Tube is much larger and the author's quest is to simply take pictures of each station in one day in drive-by fashion (It's a neat book and I would recommend it). With the Toronto subway system, much smaller, we were able to actually stop, get off at each station and get transfers at every stop. Transit enthusiast Adham Fisher did this recently in Toronto, where he tried to visit each station as quickly as possible in drive-by fashion; again, our focus was getting the transfers and not concerned at all about time. Here they are:

The trip started off at Warden, then headed to Kennedy, doubled back, went past Warden to Victoria Park and then to Main Street

Next Woodbine, Coxwell, Greenwood (finally some colour on the transfer) and Donlands. The times on the transfer machines are clearly not in synch as Donlands is stamped before Greenwood. We never cheated, that being he goes to one station and I go to the next. Our goal was to visit every station..

Pape, Chester, Broadview, Castle Frank, Sherbourne (Green!), Yonge and Bay.

St. George, Spadina, Bathurst (already noon - this was taking much longer than anticipated), Christie, Ossington, Dufferin and Lansdowne

Dundas West, Keele, High Park (strange TTC logos on this one), Runnymede, Jane and Old Mill

Finishing of the Bloor Danforth line we have Royal York, Islington and Kipling - then a trek up to Wilson

It takes almost an hour to get from Kipling to Wilson - but the quest continues. Yonge-University-Spadina line starts: Wilson, Yorkdale (Ranee exit), Lawrence West

Glencairn (lots of TTC logos on this one), Eglinton West, St. Clair West, Dupont (we skip Spadina and St. George), Museum, Queen's Park

St. Patrick, Osgoode (time off - out of synch again), St. Andrew (I suspect we stopped for lunch around this time as we must have been getting hungry and there is a gap of about 30 minutes. If I recall, if was at McDonald's), Union, King, Queen

Dundas, College, Wellesley (skipped Bloor), Rosedale, Summerhill and St. Clair

The home stretch - right during rush hour - Davisville, Eglinton, Lawrence, York Mills, Sheppard, Finch

I arrive back at the start point some 7 hours later

I recall that I was somewhat annoyed with the Carousel ads on all the transfers and not the subway line that I was on. I saw differences in the fonts on some transfers, as well as different colouring. Some transfers had the time stamped differently too. I noticed the lines running down some transfers as well and finally made the connection of what it represented. Quite the interesting day back then.

And if doing this once wasn't enough for a lifetime - I did it again in 1986. Click here for the story of that day.

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