Queen’s Park

The creeping decay of this central downtown station has unwittingly served as a symbolic reminder of the fitful and fractious relationship between our city’s transit commission, and the Ontario provincial government (aka ‘Queen’s Park’) whose Legislative Assembly anchors the Park after which the station is named. Absent, mismatched panels, and progressive moisture damage at the platform level seem to mirror the underlying antipathy of spirit between the two institutions. Where is the collaboration?

Water damage at Queen's Park has been left to slowly corrode the ceiling on the platform. What are our priorities?
A subconscious marker of Provincial alienation with respect to Toronto transit network building?

Yet the station labours on, a key node on the University line since its opening on February 28, 1963. Let us discover what there is to love about Queen’s Park, despite its indelicate fall from grace.   

The platforms at Queen’s Park (like those at St. Patrick) sport a highly recognizable tubular form, that call back to the bored tunnel method used to construct them. Tunnelling was used between Museum and Osgoode, instead of the cheaper cut-and-cover method, to minimize noise and disruption to the numerous hospitals along University Avenue.

The 24-foot diameter tube of Queen’s Park platform, marred by missing panels and a shabby accumulation of grime and brake dust.
Visitors to the Queen’s Park mezzanine are greeted by a large tile mural done in a traditional Portuguese design. The ceramic mural was gifted by the Portuguese government in 2003. Its 735 140-mm square tiles feature horn-blowing mer-folk, exploratory sailing ships battling ocean waves in search of the New World, and desperate emigrants risking their lives on the open sea, whilst fish and other marine-creatures gaze on. (Is there another artwork in the TTC system that features nudity?)  
Ceramic tilework by Ana Vilela, installed in late 2003 in the Queen's Park mezzanine. The piece commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Portuguese Emigration to Canada. Little-known fact: prior to installation, the TTC gave serious consideration to placing the mural in the since-replaced north-west stairwell entrance of Dufferin. Ossington and St. Patrick were also considered.
This breezy tile mural along the far mezzanine wall was designed by Ana Vilela and manufactured by Viúva Lamego in Lisbon. It celebrates the 50th anniversary of (significant) Portuguese emigration to Canada.
Queen’s Park (the station) connects to Queen’s Park (the building complex) via a lengthy underground passageway from the concourse. This pedestrian tunnel occasionally sees usage by politicians and civil servants.
Peering down the tunnel connecting Queen's Park station to the Frost Building
The corridor from Queen’s Park station to the Frost Building / Ontario Legislature / Macdonald Block. Say hello to the bored OPP Special Constable who guards it—imagine this was your post, 8 hours a day.
The station is a useful transit access point for the hospital row along University Avenue, and also has connections to the adjoining MaRS Discovery District and Ontario Power Building. As mentioned earlier, the station takes its name from Canada’s first municipal park, officially dedicated in 1860 in honour of Queen Victoria.

Keep your hopes up for a decent restoration. Work began in 2021 at the platform levels of Queen’s Park and St. Patrick to address wall repairs and water leaks. Whether this is a future harbinger of improved provincial-municipal cooperation on the Toronto transit file remains to be seen. 


Photo Gallery

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

Photo Gallery for Queen's Park subway station in Toronto

Queen's Park Station transfer
Queen’s Park station transfer. Where is the apostrophe?

More about Queen’s Park

TTC Station info | Map | Wikipedia: Queen’s Park

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