St. Patrick

Does it surprise anyone that this station uses green as its primary colour? Unlike the majority of TTC stations which take their name from a cross-street, St. Patrick was titled for the one of the city’s original five wards, and the propinquent St. Patrick’s Church; ‘Dundas Street’ consequently appears as a subheading.

St. Patrick station platform
Totally tubular! The curving walls of St. Patrick station
reflect its tunnel construction via boring machine

Opened on February 28, 1963 as part of the then-newfangled University line, St. Patrick puts on a brave front but has run down in appearance. Its charming tubular platforms are plagued with mild outbreaks of rust-stained walls, chipped and peeling paint, and corroded signwork.

The same misguided folks who spearheaded the chintzy renovation of Museum station also intended to make over St. Patrick (as well as Osgoode), but their optimistic plan for an ‘Avenue of the Arts’ stalled due to lack of funds. As the closest station to the Art Gallery of Ontario, St. Patrick was slated to be victimized by a ham-fisted revamp, but we were spared by the budgetary gods.

What the station really needs is a simple refurbishment—back to the original lustrous condition.

St. Patrick station platform wall
Can one lose a sainthood? That paint’s a-peeling, not appealing.

St. Patrick arched ceiling
At one point this arched ceiling was covered... (compare other side)

During my visit, a polite station attendant approached me and stated that photography wasn’t permitted. After I referred her to the TTC’s actual policy (which merely restricts commercial photography), I was allowed to continue. A much more pleasant staff encounter, than the one I had at Bessarion. Hurrah for civility!

St. Patrick is unfortunately notorious among true crime aficionados as being the site of the grisly Mariam Peters murder on the evening of November 7, 1975. The young student, on her way to see her sick grandfather at Mount Sinai Hospital, was stabbed 16 times, and was found on the escalator. Her killer was never arrested.

These white walls were put up to "eliminate potential hiding places for lawbreakers". The secluded cross passage was originally designed to preserve space for a future staircase, as well as allow movement between the northbound and southbound sides.
An innocuous reminder of a shocking murder.

A four-month safety review of the TTC was spurred by the homicide, and as a result one of the cross-passages on the platform (and a similar one at Queen’s Park) was sealed in 1976. The white tiles that seal off the alcove are slated to be replaced by the tiles for Barbara Todd’s Many Little Plans art installation.

Did you know: St. Patrick station was almost renamed by the TTC, at the AGO’s request, to ‘Art Gallery station’ in 1978, but a public outcry—and an emphatic phone call from the chancery office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto—prompted the AGO to withdraw their application.

Photo Gallery

Tour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past:

St. Patrick subway station photo gallery

St. Patrick station transfer
St. Patrick station transfer

More about St. Patrick

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: St. Patrick

My next stop: Osgoode
Previous station: Pape

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