Museum station (Toronto)

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TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg
Museum Platform 01.jpg
Location75 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario
Coordinates43°40′02″N 79°23′37″W / 43.66722°N 79.39361°W / 43.66722; -79.39361Coordinates: 43°40′02″N 79°23′37″W / 43.66722°N 79.39361°W / 43.66722; -79.39361
PlatformsCentre platform
Structure typeUnderground
Disabled accessNo
OpenedFebruary 28, 1963 (1963-02-28)
RebuiltApril 2008
Passengers (2016[1])9,680
Preceding station   TTC   Following station
toward Vaughan
TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University
toward Finch

Museum is a subway station on Line 1 Yonge–University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It opened in 1963 and is located under Queen's Park at Charles Street West, beside the Royal Ontario Museum after which it is named. Wi-Fi service is available at this station.[2]


South of the station, the tunnel can be seen curving to the east.

The station structure was created in the middle of the road using cut and cover, while immediately south of the station the line goes into a bored tunnel to run under Queen’s Park, passing east of the Ontario Legislative Building to reach Queen's Park station. The concourse is located under the roadway, one level above the north end of a centre platform, with entrances from either side of the road. There are two stairways on the west side adjacent to the southern end of the Royal Ontario Museum and two on the east, just south of Charles Street. Pedestrians are encouraged to use the station as a pedestrian underpass to cross Queen's Park, a wide and busy thoroughfare without a centre median. This station does not have an elevator and is not wheelchair accessible.

When plans for the adjacent and now closed McLaughlin Planetarium were drawn up in the mid-1960s, a tunnel that would lead directly to the Planetarium was contemplated, but this plan was scrapped as being too expensive.[3]

The station is rated as high priority in the requirement for a second exit,[4] and in 2005, plans were made to include additional exits at the south end of the platform at Queen's Park Crescent where the "prison" bars are.[5] As of December 2017, construction has not been scheduled.

Connection to Line 2 Bloor–Danforth[edit]

Bay and St. George stations each have four parallel tracks, two above two. Between these stations and Museum is a full double-track, grade-separated wye junction. The tracks to/from Museum connect to the upper St. George and Lower Bay stations, while the tracks along Bloor use lower St. George and upper Bay.

The decision by Metro Council in 1960 to build a wye from the University line to the eastbound Bloor line between Museum and Bay stations was a controversial one. TTC Chairman Clarence Downey opposed the construction, estimated to cost about $10 million, saying that $10 million would build an extra mile of subway on the Bloor–Danforth line. The construction was estimated to cost $3 million for the basic interchange, and $7 million for the “intricate trackage system”.[6]

From February to September 1966, all three sides of the wye were used in regular service: from each of three terminals—Eglinton, Keele, and Woodbine—trains ran alternately to the other two (between Eglinton and Museum via Union). Thereafter, Line 2 Bloor–Danforth became a separate route, Lower Bay was closed, and upper St. George became a terminus for the Yonge–University line until it was extended to Wilson in 1978. The tunnel to Lower Bay is visible from northbound trains shortly after they leave Museum Station.

Architecture and art[edit]

Original cream and blue tiles

The station opened with the same tile scheme which would become standard on Line 2 Bloor–Danforth, whose first phase was completed three years later in 1966. Smooth, unadorned cream-coloured rectangular tiles were predominant, with a strip of narrower blue tiles near the ceiling. The unique TTC font was used for the station name, sandblasted to the wall and painted in the same shade of blue as the narrower strip of tiles.

Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects and constructed by Jeviso Construction Corporation, renovations to the station's platform level were completed in April 2008 to evoke exhibits in the Royal Ontario Museum. Supporting columns have been remade to resemble the ancient Egyptian deity Osiris, as well as Toltec warriors, Doric columns found in the Parthenon, China's Forbidden City columns, and First Nations house posts.[7] This renovation purged Museum Station's original tile scheme from the platform level. Walls were reclad with mauve aluminum plate panels by Ontario Panelization of London, Ontario. They incorporated painted 1/4" fire-rated Lexan into the panels composing the large "MUSEUM" lettering on the walls with a historical hieroglyphic inscription from the ROM.[8]

Before and after
Original platform design with unadorned tiles
Museum inspired columns after the makeover

Nearby landmarks[edit]

In addition to its proximity to the Royal Ontario Museum, other landmarks nearby include the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, The Royal Conservatory of Music, the defunct McLaughlin Planetarium, and the northeast corner of the University of Toronto (which includes Trinity College, Victoria University, St. Michael's College, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Music).

Surface connections[edit]

Museum station's west exit in front of its bus stop

A transfer is required to connect between the subway system and these surface routes:

TTC routes serving the station include:

Route Name Additional Information
5B Avenue Road Northbound to Eglinton station and southbound to Gerrard Street West
94A Wellesley Eastbound to Castle Frank station via Wellesley station and westbound to Ossington station. Board buses at Queen's Park Crescent West.
142 Downtown/Avenue Road Express Northbound to Highway 401 and southbound to Downtown Toronto
Rush hour only, extra fare required


  1. ^ "Subway ridership, 2016" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved July 3, 2018. This table shows the typical number of customer-trips made on each subway on an average weekday and the typical number of customers travelling to and from each station platform on an average weekday.
  2. ^ "There's now free WiFi at over 40 TTC subway stations". blogTO. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  3. ^ Clarke, Thomas, "Stars in the Ceiling", Rotunda, Summer 1982, Volume 15, Number 2, p. 17.
  4. ^ Richard C. Ducharme (April 14, 2004). "Fire Safety and Second Exits at Subway Stations". Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  5. ^ "Fire Ventilation Upgrade – Second Exit Program – Four Stations Conceptual Layouts". Toronto Transit Commission. August 31, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  6. ^ Baker, Alden (September 6, 1963). ""$1,000,000 Subway Link May Never be Used"". The Globe and Mail.
  7. ^ "Revitalized Museum Subway Station unveiled". World Architecture News. April 11, 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  8. ^ "TTC Museum Station Renovation". Ontario Panelization. Retrieved August 1, 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Museum Station at Wikimedia Commons