Dundas West

My ex-girlfriend—who lives in Roncesvalles—was flipping through the photographs for this project. I guess we’re still friends, after a fashion. But sometimes it can be rocky.

Dundas West subway station exterior
Dundas West station. Or a McDonald’s restaurant?

“These photos are like a microcosm for why we broke up,” she told me. “Look at them, look at what they show. You’re such a misanthrope. Where are all the people?”

“That’s a bit severe,” I replied.

“This is a complete misrepresentation of Dundas West, of what passengers truly experience. You’ve fetishized detachment and emptiness—but where’s the human element? The animating spirit?” she asked.

Stairwell to mezzanine, from streetcar platform, Dundas West station
Red tiling and green accent stripe

Perhaps she has a point. My intent, with every gallery, is to convey the instantiated station design (whether positive or not, remarkable or non-descript). People are visual clutter. But it’s entirely fair to argue that our assessment of a public space must be informed by an awareness of how people use, interact and move through it—we mustn’t lose track of its prime functional purpose, after all.

Dundas West mezzanine corridor
Below ground, Dundas West is a grey warren. 

Dundas West is the third subway station to be built on Dundas Street (though one can make a plausible case that Kipling also serves Dundas).

It was originally named Vincent—after a small local street erased by the adjacent Crossways apartment block, and also the name of the loop which had been the western end of the King streetcar line—but the TTC decided to begin its convention of ‘[Street-name] West’ (a practice it had avoided with the University line stations). The Vincent designation was instead applied to the subway yard constructed immediately south-west of the station.

Dundas West opened on February 25, 1966 as part of the Bloor-Danforth line. It serves as the western endpoint for the arterial 504 King and 505 Dundas streetcar lines. At the time of writing, it still lacked a direct connection to the Bloor GO transit / UP Express platforms, due to decades-long squabbling between the TTC, GO/Metrolinx, and the Crossways owners (Update: On Sept. 1, 2017 Metrolinx filed to expropriate the section of property needed to proceed with the link. The target to start construction is... 2020 2022 TBD? A recap. Update 2: Contract awarded!)).

Photo Gallery

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

Photo Gallery for Dundas West subway station

Historical note: Dundas West is named for Henry Dundas, a powerful Scottish politician who was a key figure in the debates over the transatlantic slave trade in the 18th century. Interpretations differ on whether he slowed down the path to abolition, or pragmatically supported legislation that had the best chance of succeeding. The City of Toronto is looking into renaming various civic assets bearing his name, in which case the two TTC stations named for Dundas will probably also be renamed.

Dundas West station transfer

More about Dundas West

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Dundas West

My next stop: Bloor-Yonge
Previous station: Dundas

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