I found myself out west today. I don’t want to be too obvious about it … just in case a certain someone reads this blog … so maybe I should just say I was reviewing my qualifications with two gentlemen for the purposes of negotiating a regular exchange of services for money. AND IT’S NOT SEXUAL!!
I had to travel to the outskirts of Toronto and just a little bit beyond. International airliners were landing next door.
The trip was a bit too long for my liking but at least it gave me the opportunity to loiter in some of the subway stations on the west Bloor-Danforth line. Most of them are the same drab tile tinted a few mild shades … don’t wanna excite the passengers! Not all stations are like that, mind you. Old Mill is a bit more interesting (big!):
The problem with these open platforms is the winter. When it’s cold, it’s cold. Sometimes the tracks freeze, during storms the snow piles up on the edges and the platform ices up, and the shape of the structure seems to actually accelerate the wind as it passes through. And the ticket collector smiling all smug and warm from inside his little booth with his electric heater doesn’t help matters. Then the storm takes the power out. HA HA. Oh. Except now the trains aren’t running.
But at least the view’s nice. Some stations, like Spadina, are entirely enclosed but still connected to the outside; in this case, it’s because it’s a loop for streetcars:
I imagine that at one time it was probably a pretty grand station. I remember it having two long motorized walkways that connected the north-south and east-west lines. It was so worth it to go one more station past St. George to Spadina to switch lines, even if at St. George the subways are just a flight of stairs away. Unfortunately, the Spadina people-movers are gone and the station’s in pretty rough shape besides. Why would I visit now? To walk down that big hallway? At least have a courtesy vehicle of some sort. Serving mildly alcoholic beverages and perhaps pretzels.
What makes Spadina especially bad is the fact that just a couple of stops down, the Museum stop is decked out to the nines:
They have nubile young women here that bathe and anoint your weary feet as you sit in wait for the next train. Libations flow from faucets in the columns. And if a train doesn’t come regularly every two minutes, they publicly execute the conductor responsible.
It’s a shame they couldn’t use some of that slave labour to fix up Spadina. I mean, if they want to try a passenger carrying service for that hallway, I’d be willing to hop on someone’s back, but I’d rather have the motorized walkway. It was always so much fun to stand there and watch people walking beside the walkway like suckers. You knew you were special then. Now, you’re lucky if they spit on you before they drive that screwdriver into your eyeball. I just wanted a transfer!
The subway could use a whole lotta facelift, is all I’m saying. I know I’ve said it before, but now I have to try to imagine spending three hours out of every day in there, and it’s not terribly appealing. So if there’s no alternative, the two gentlemen may have to discuss someone else’s qualifications.