Profound thanks to the many readers who commented on this item! Based on all this feedback, not to mention my own preferences, the list of new station names is almost complete. Here’s what it looks like now:
Scarborough Junction, Massey Creek, Dentonia Park, East Toronto, North Beach, East York, Linsmore, [Donlands], Ελλας, Riverdale, Playter, [Castle Frank, Sherbourne]
Roy’s Square, Yorkville, Rochdale, Lowther, The Annex, Willowvale, [Ossington], Brockton, [Lansdowne], West Toronto, Parkside, [High Park], Swansea, Baby Point, [Old Mill], Kingsway, Montgomery, Six Points
Finch’s, Willowdale, Lansing, Hogg’s Hollow, Muir Gardens, Rebellion, Belt Line, Avoca, North Toronto, Crescent, Roy’s Square, Rainbow, Carlton, O’Keefe’s Lane, City Hall, Melinda, Royal York
[St. Andrew], Osgoode Hall, [St. Patrick], Taddle Creek, Planetarium, Rochdale, Lowther, Casa Loma, Wells Hill, York, Viewmount, [Lawrence West], Arc en Ciel, Downsview, Wilson Heights.
I am amused that we have two “rainbows” one in each official language. Moreover, the one formerly known as Wellesley has the most boring decor on the system. Just imagine what a few inspired decorators could do!
The original post and comments follow below.
In a recent comment, a reader wryly told of a sign directing him to “Streetcars to Gunn’s Loop”. Quick! Who knows where “Gunn’s Loop” is?
I believe that we should build on the tradition of the alternate subway map with better names for stations, names that are romantic, that speak of history, that will confuse someone who doesn’t know the name of the farmer whose land was once nearby. What it will do for navigating the system, I don’t know, but we need every marketing gimmick we can think of to win more riders!
Stations That Should Have Been Named This But Were Not Because Someone Got Cold Feet
- Hogg’s Hollow
Stations That Deserve a More Romantic Name
- Casa Loma
- Muir Gardens
- Belt Line
- Roy’s Square
Stations That Should Echo Local History
- North Toronto (a former railway station, now a booze palace a few kilometers south of the village of the same name)
- East Toronto (a former town with a really short main street)
- West Toronto (another former town that the station isn’t actually in, strictly speaking)
- Lansing (the name of the Metropolitan Division stop where Dempsey’s Hardware once stood)
- Willowdale (the stop, and the town, destroyed by Mel)
- Finch’s (the original name)
- Six Points
- Todmorden Mills (which is really up the street, but that’s artistic license for you)
- Baby Point (that “ah” for that “a”, and yes, it’s a stretch but no more so than Todmorden)
- Taddle Creek
- O’Keefe’s Lane (or Dundas Square or Kyle’s Folly)
- Planetarium (to be implemented only after the station is redecorated in Museum motifs)
- Arc en Ciel (in memory of the original neon installation)
Just To Give Equal Time
- Carlton (this is also in the interest of making the streetcar easier to find, although since it is called 506, we may still have a problem)
To Keep the Real Estate Folks Happy
- North Beach
Stations With Really Good Names Already
- Castle Frank
- Old Mill
- Osgoode (but we need to add “Hall”) (don’t even think of calling it “Opera”)
- Saints Andrew and Patrick
- Bessarion (but we could probably get big bucks for renaming it “Ikea”)
All Those Yorks
- Royal York (the one downtown)
- Kingsway (formerly Royal York)
- York (in memory of the York subway)
- East York (not quite in the former Borough, but close)
- North York (or Mel’s Folly, or more properly Willowdale)
- Yorkdale (there is no “dale” nearby, but that’s in the tradition we seek to uphold)
And so … this gives us a Yonge line with:
Finch’s, Willowdale, Lansing, Hogg’s Hollow, Muir Gardens, [Eglinton], Belt Line, Avoca, North Toronto, Crescent, Roy’s Square, [Wellesley], Carlton, O’Keefe’s Lane, [Queen, King], Royal York, [St. Andrew], Osgoode Hall, [St. Patrick], Taddle Creek, Planetarium, Rochdale, Lowther, Casa Loma, Nordheimer, York, [Glencairn, Lawrence West], Arc en Ciel, [Wilson, Downsview]
And a Bloor line with:
[Kennedy, Warden], East York, East Toronto, North Beach, [Coxwell, Greenwood, Donlands, Pape, Chester], Riverdale, [Castle Frank, Sherbourne], Roy’s Square, Yorkville, Rochdale, [Spadina, Bathurst], Willowvale, [Ossington, Dufferin, Lansdowne], West Toronto, [Keele, High Park, Runnymede], Baby Point, [Old Mill], Kingsway, [Islington], Six Points
Nominations will be accepted here for the ones that still have their original names in these lists, and maybe someday we will see a new map!
Of course, if we actually renamed the stations, it would take the TTC the better part of a decade to update all of their signage, and we would have the delightful situation of maps that nobody could use, or two maps with different names side by side.
In that spirit, I am going to start a new running observation — temporary directional signs that are hopelessly out of date, but still posted for the edification of customers.