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Singing about subways

The Story


"Yes, we're gonna have a subway in Toronto;we've got to get the working man home pronto..." This catchy little ditty, called The Toronto Subway Song, captures the excitement Torontonians feel as they anticipate the opening of their brand new subway. Listeners are cheerfully urged to "bear the noise with a smile, and in a little while, we'll be riding in a new subway!"

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio Special
Broadcast Date: Jan. 1, 1950
Guest(s):
Music: Mel Hamill
Performer: Betty Carr, Charles Baldour
Duration: 2:34

Did You know?


• Originally recorded in 1950, the Toronto Subway Song was written by Mel Hamill. Betty Carr and Charles Baldour performed the vocals, backed by the Ozzie Williams Band.
• Torontonians were excited about the subway for a number of reasons, including the effect it would have on the city's growth. The building of the subway stimulated a great deal of new apartment and office construction around major intersections downtown and midtown.

• When the Toronto Subway Song's singers mention "bearing the noise" and the inconvenience caused by construction, they weren't exaggerating. As crews were excavating one downtown section, for instance, they ran into solid rock that stretched from Front Street to Queen Street. This meant that for much of the excavation period, workers had to use dynamite twice each day — at noon and at 4:30 p.m. — which caused quite a noise disturbance for the city.


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Going Underground: Toronto's Subway and Montreal's Metro more