Ah, the Toronto Transit Commission. For locals, the TTC.
It conjures up thoughts of different TTC marketing slogans like “Ride the rocket” or the oh so Canadian “The kinder way”.
For those who like to party, we think of the bus that carries drunken wrecks up and down Yonge Street once the subway closes around 1:30 a.m. on weekends. We fondly call it the “vomit comet” for good reason!
We get excited whenever the city is outfitted with new subway cars like this. Ones that rival subway cars in major European cities.
I’ve commuted in and around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for a long time now, taking buses, subways and streetcars to every nook and cranny of the city.
I’ve never thought much of our transit system, always feeling that it needs a lot of improvement. Yet, love it or hate it, I have to use public transit every day to get around my suddenly very cool city.
Instatrip – Toronto Underground
Until this past weekend, I’ve never thought of our subway system as beautiful. I thought it old, ugly, smelly, wet and dirty.
As such, I always dread having to go underground but go underground, I did this past weekend.
Joining local photographers for #wwim9, a worldwide InstaMeet where local Instagrammers come together and photograph stuff, we took to Toronto’s underground.
We toured various subway stations, starting at Museum, then Yorkdale and finally Downsview.
Museum Station opened in 1963, seeing a major renovation in 2008 when new art was added to the station’s platform, featuring pieces mirroring those found in permanent exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Yorkdale Station is a much younger station that opened in 1978. The centerpiece of this subway station is the glass vaulted ceiling which runs the length of the entire platform.
Downsview Station was the newest station we visited that day, having opened in 1996. The highlight of the station is the open concept feeling, as seen through the high ceilings, skylights and a huge mezzanine.
It turned out to be an amazing adventure in urban exploring. Not only was it fun to meet local Instagram enthusiasts who love to take photos as much as I do, it was the first time that I ever felt excited and interested to learn more about Toronto. I saw beauty in places that I’d always thought ugly. I noticed and appreciated architectural details. I felt rejuvenated and inspired.
These feelings that only seem to come alive whenever I’m travelling actually happened here at home. It was a refreshing change and a trend that I hope continues as I make an effort to get to know my hometown even better this summer.