Building Magazine


Toronto Museum subway station named to top ten list

A Toronto subway station designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects has been named among the ten most beautiful metro stations in the world by The Guardian newspaper.

The survey showcases elaborate and inventive place making in these quotidian spaces that are often overlooked in a rush hour commute. “Underground stations are often filthy, noisy and festooned with litter and rodents,” the newspaper states. “Here are some that buck the trend.”

Museum Station was re-imagined in 2008 based on artifacts from the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum, which are directly above the station. A sequence of archeologically inspired columns lines the platform like so many commuters waiting for their train. These iconic symbols of Canada’s First Nations, Ancient Egypt, China’s traditional culture, Mexico’s Toltec culture and Ancient Greece also represent load-bearing artifacts from their era, lending authenticity to their role of ‘supporting’ the train station’s ceiling.

“To be rated among the top ten most beautiful subway stations in the world is an honour for Diamond Schmitt Architects and our partners, notably the Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Foundation and the cultural institutions that participated in creating this dynamic space to engage the public in an innovative way,” said Gary McCluskie, principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects.

The renewal of the 45-year-old station included updated way-finding, lighting, custom seating and a wall finish with hieroglyph inscriptions embedded in durable metal panels to create a contemporary backdrop for the signature column display. The robust station design helps to orient subway riders by providing visual clues about activities above ground.

To view a 10-sec video of Museum Station:

To view images from the list of beautiful metro stations, visit:

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