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Canada’s First Subway Is 60 Years Old Today
March 30, 2014
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1/12 OPEN GALLERY

With the Toronto mayoral race raging on, Torontonians are likely to hear a lot of talk about "subways, subways, subways" over the next few months. Well, it just so happens that today is the 60th anniversary of Canada’s first subway: Toronto’s Yonge subway line. The 7.4 km route, running from Toronto’s Union Station north to Eglinton Avenue, was also the first post-war subway built in North America.

The route officially opened back on March 30, 1954, carrying over 250,000 passengers on its first day. Construction of the corridor, which runs both above and below ground, had begun five years earlier, and the final budget was a staggering $59-million (way more than anticipated). Subways had been proposed in the city as early as 1909, but no plans materialized until 1946, when Torontonians voted overwhelmingly to start construction. 

You can get a good sense of the story from this archival CBC footage about the Yonge line:


And in honour of the anniversary, check out the gallery above for photos of the subway line from opening day to the present.

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