I have a soft spot in my heart for ugly ducklings, and misbegotten underdogs. So you might find my visual treatment of brutish Warden undeservingly sympathetic. Alas, I have my doubts that this homely stop will ever transform into a beautiful swan.

Warden station from the north-west
One of the many grey, prison-scape vistas at Warden 

I choose to interpret—but not necessarily to excuse—Warden as the paragon of a particular brand of suburban ambivalence and recalcitrance towards public transit (mirrored by Islington at the other end of the line). An unadulterated product of the time and place in which it was designed, Warden offers us an invaluable window into our own social, political, and geographical attitudes from the past.

Warden station bus concourse
The bus concourse: a dated concept of passenger flow and movement, writ large in concrete, glass and tile. Don’t forget to have a beef patty on your visit!

The station’s exterior hostility to its surroundings and to pedestrians reflects the automobile-commuter-focused mindset of its planning origins. The physical layout assumes that you will drive to the station (or arrive by bus). Who in their right mind would walk there?

Warden station drive-thru
Warden’s dismal passenger drop-off drive-thru.

Warden station elevated pedestrian walkway
Raw indifference to the ravine

For each station on this adventure, I’ve tried very hard to find what I mentally deem the ‘architect’s render’—the vantage point that portrays the facility in the best light possible. Despite my best efforts, I had a tough time searching for it at Warden.

From almost every angle, this former terminal station defies easy capture.

Warden station entrance
Warden’s main street entrance. Was this really in fashion, ever?

Warden station exterior wall
An inhumanly-scaled exterior.

The main concourse level at Warden features a large aerial photo of the Scarborough Bluffs. The commemorative photo’s doleful, faded state symbolizes how many critics feel about the station itself. The photo ought to be refreshed. [Update: In 2018 the photograph was replaced with a new version, though the original frame remains.] (For you knee-jerk preservationists who might object—you’re already decades too late; a different aerial photo of the Bluffs was unveiled during the opening of the station on May 10, 1968. Who knows when that version was tossed?)

Commemorative photo from Warden station’s opening
Warden’s faded glimpse of the past [since updated].

Subway train leaving Warden station for Kennedy
An eastbound train bound for Kennedy departs the station. In the foreground, the former GECO rail spur over St. Clair Avenue.

The extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway into the outer boroughs was hailed as a milestone in the development of Metro Toronto. Warden is the menacing legacy of that extension. It’s possible that one day, the station will be re-clad and rehabilitated—perhaps even made barrier-free—as Victoria Park has been. We shall see!

Warden was opened May 10, 1968, and served as the Bloor-Danforth line’s eastern terminus for a dozen years.

Bonus tidbit for you history buffs: Warden takes its name from the Wardin Park subdivision, created in 1912 by the real estate developer Morine & Company, as an affordable place with ample lots for the “working man”. Yes, ‘Warden’ is technically a misspelling.

Photo Gallery

Tour the station, and view captioned historical images from its past:
(hint: turn on the captions)

Warden station photo gallery

Warden station transfer slip
Warden station transfer

More about Warden

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Warden

My next stop: Sheppard-Yonge
Previous station: Keele

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