For young Torontonians, many an evening foray to the Entertainment District involves passage through Osgoode station, named after William Osgoode, the first chief justice of Upper Canada.

Osgoode station pylon
Osgoode: gateway to Queen West and the Entertainment District

Opened on February 28, 1963, Osgoode’s central location at the corner of University and Queen places it in close proximity to numerous landmarks, including:
  • Osgoode Hall (housing the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Divisional Court of the Superior Court of Justice, and the Law Society of Upper Canada)
  • New City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square
  • The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
  • The U.S. Consulate.

Merry-makers heading west for the night-life often transfer onto the 501 Queen, a major arterial streetcar line; their tipsy return hours later fills the station with shouts and stumbling laughter.

Osgoode station identification - inner wall
Osgoode tiling (platform walls). Is this a happy yellow?

The depressing interior of Osgoode fails to invite or engage—almost as if it were intended to subdue and diffuse the emotions. It’s disappointing for such a heavily trafficked station. A mid-1970s remodel covered over the original Vitrolite tiling at platform level with easily-stained vertical slats and dank ceramic tiles (though you can still glimpse the Vitrolite in a few spots). And in the mezzanine, the visual palette doesn’t seem to match anything. It’s not a station in which I care to linger.

Perhaps it looks better with beer goggles.

Osgoode station mezzanine corridor
Brown and... pale green?

Osgoode station mezzanine
The one tolerable wall, left, marred by extraneous signage.
Note the recently installed elevator.

Bonus observation: A different style of subway station entrance pylon is used at each of the 4 corner entrances.

Update: In 2015 the slats that I bemoaned were taken down and replaced with clean, crisp (and atmospherically sterile) new pale-yellow metal panels. We were treated to a brief glimpse of the glorious original yellow Vitrolite tiling during the process—check out the end of the photo gallery! As well, all of the entrance pylons were subsequently switched to the new style.

Photo Gallery

Tour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past (including some lovely bonus photos of the initial Vitrolite tiling!) :
(hint: turn on the captions)

Osgoode station photo gallery

Osgoode station transfer
Osgoode station transfer

More about Osgoode

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Osgoode

My next stop: Greenwood
Previous station: St. Patrick

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