The effacement of Museum station


I was there for the unveiling on 2008.04.08.


In 2006, a foundation nobody had ever heard of, the Toronto Community Foundation, waltzed in and proposed that TTC spend its own money, plus some more money that TCF would raise, to renovate three stations on the University line – Museum, St. Patrick, and Osgoode. The project was a tax dodge for TCF’s corporate donors and represented an insult to the subway system: Those three stations were deemed so ugly that an outside organization had to order TTC to spend money fixing them up.

This was a bad idea on any number of levels, the most important of which is that a cosmetic upgrade to three stations simply isn’t a priority when TTC signage is such a mess from stem to stern. To make matters worse, the renovations intentionally obliterate TTC design history, replacing type and tile on all walls with versions that don’t match other stations.

Our first victim? Museum station, a tidy, intact model of TTC subway design that will be tarted up with Egyptian caryatids by Diamond & Schmitt Architects, who were handed $500,000 by the TTC without a tender.

This page offers one-stop shopping for all the information you need about the Museum station redevelopment (and, later, that of any other stations in the so-called University Renaissance project).

A note about the title of this document

I now think that what happened to Museum station was an effacement, not a desecration and not the previous word I used. Hence I changed the title on 2008.04.09.