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The Yonge line

On September 8, 1949, Toronto held a groundbreaking ceremony at the intersection of Yonge & Wellington to celebrate the start of construction for its very first subway line. (Formerly known as the Yonge line, now called line 1.)

The scene looked like this:

Some of the buildings in these pictures still remain, but many do not. The first picture is looking north. And the second one is looking south toward the lake. You can see the rail corridor in the background.

There’s something very urban about these images. The storefronts look active and the streets are full, though no one appears to be live tweeting the event and this clearly pre-dates Toronto’s transformation into the most diverse city in the world.

But my favorite bit of these photos is the people hanging out on the exit stair, watching the march toward modernity. It’s an image that no longer correlates to Toronto.

Images: Toronto Archives

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