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The TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) carries 525 million people a year and 1.6 million people on a typical weekday, meaning that more than half of Toronto’s 2.8 million people use public transit to navigate the city during the week. Contrast that to the 1.75 billion passengers served per year in New York City and you get the picture, but Toronto Transit Commission subway stops have a rich history and incorporate elements from several periods of design. Today we’ll be looking at the unique design of the system’s stations, similar to what we did with New York City and Montreal.

1. Yorkdale Station

Yorkdale station, which connects via skywalk to Toronto’s largest mall, the Yorkdale Shopping Centre, once featured Michael Hayden’s Arc en Ciel light installation that was subsequently dismantled in the 90s although the developer of the mall’s recent expansion promises to bring the Hayden installation back.

2. Eglington West

Global architect and master planner of over 500 projects, Arthur Erickson designed both Eglington West and Yorkdale stations.

3. Mural at College Station

Canadian contemporary artist Charles Patcher was commissioned to create the Hockey Knights in Canada mural inside College station.

Toronto’s transit system offers commuters three options for travel throughout the city. Although grossly under developed in comparison to other major cities, commuters can catch the subway on one of two subway lines (with a glorified third and fourth line) or travel above ground on one of 11 streetcar routes or 140 bus routes.

 

4 & 5. Art Deco Stations: Dupont and St. Patrick

Keeping in line with the Art Deco style’s smooth lines, geometric shapes and streamlined forms, Dupont and St. Patrick Stations are perfect examples (Dupont’s mosaic is breathtaking).

Commuters-Isolation-Transit-Toronto-Untapped Cities-Glenn Pritchard23Photo by Glenn Pritchard for Untapped Cities

6. Artifacts at Museum Station

A Toronto favourite, Museum Station connects riders with the Royal Ontario Museum and features many artifacts one would expect to see in the Canadian museum.

 

7-9. Open Concept Design: Old Mill, Roseville, Davisville

Several subway stops feature open concept design and allow commuters to breathe some fresh air while remaining covered from the elements of nature. Old Mill, Rosedale and Davisville Stations all feature partial or complete outdoor components.

Commuters-Isolation-Transit-Toronto-Untapped Cities-Glenn Pritchard26Photo by Glenn Pritchard for Untapped Cities

It seems likely that social interactions would be sparked and facilitated by the myriad of talking points in these public spaces. However, through his navigation of the city via public transit, 24 year-old photographer Glenn Pritchard is on the fence. Over the past two years he has been compiling photographs of Toronto Commuters in order to convey his feelings of both the connectivity and isolation fostered throughout the TTC.

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Pritchard makes the following statement about his work: “Have you ever felt like an isolated stranger in a space you visit everyday? Do you ever feel alone when surrounded by others? Have you ever felt a shared experience between yourself and someone you have never met before? Sometimes the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) conjures feelings of complete isolation from everyone around, sometimes there are feelings of unification. We are all commuters, we are all humans and we are all in direct proximity to one and other, yet our interactions seem bound to our relationships as strangers. Toronto Commuters come from all over the globe, we are all unique, yet our differentiated population becomes united through our navigation of the city by means of public transit. These unifying features are often ignored while our status as strangers become embedded in the mind. We are different but we are one. We are strangers but we know each other.”

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Glenn Pritchard is a 24 year-old photographer and student from Toronto, Canada. You can view his full body of work here: www.glenn-pritchard.com

 

 Toronto Transit Commission

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