Proposal: Inexpensive, practicable typographic improvement for the Yonge line

Through neglect and intentional blighting, the Yonge line’s design consistency – Vitrolite tiles and original TTC typeface – has been destroyed. The line’s typographic consistency could be improved, though not exactly restored, without elaborate difficulty and at reasonable cost.

Use of metal sign plates

While many Yonge-line stations show their names with typography sandblasted into the walls, there is another form in use on the line – metal plates attached to the wall that show the name of the station. You find them at Queen’s Park and St. Patrick (in enamelled steel and falling off the walls) and at one end of Bloor station (in stainless steel).

Green wall with ST. PATRICK on dark strapline and large metal plate reading ST. PATRICK DUNDAS STREET

My proposal is simple: Use new steel panels to cover up the Univers and other mismatched typography of the Yonge line and replace it with the original TTC typeface. That way, at the level of the visible name for each station, the entire line would be consistent.

Stations that need it include:

We wouldn’t touch the Spadina line, which was designed as a unit to use Univers.

Downsview uses mixed-case Helvetica and doesn’t match anything in the system. It too should be retrofitted.



In the high hundreds per metal sign. They’d probably have to be manufactured outside Canada. They’ll last at least 40 years.