Virgin Vacations has posted their picks for the top 11 subway systems in the world, and I'm sad to say I'm not surprised to see no mention of dear old Toronto. It was a little surprising to see Montreal on the list at number eight, right behind New York City. Here's what they had to say:
The Montreal Metro is a modern system that was inaugurated in 1966. It is a small (37.8 miles reaching 65 stations on four lines) yet unique and modern system that was inspired by the Paris Metro.The Toronto and Montreal subway systems are the only two I've had the pleasure of exploring, and I have to say there's good reason to give Montreal the nod. As someone who spends an hour on the Bloor line every day, I'll give you one word to describe the experience: depressing. Pretty much the whole subway system is a little lacking in aesthetics, but the Bloor line is especially bland, with the same cream coloured tile everywhere, now covered in filth, and nary a bright colour to be found.
Highlights: Diverse, beautiful architecture and unique station art (each station is designed by a different architect). Pleasant riding experience (smooth rides: the trains run on a rubber surface to reduce the screech of train cars). Trains are frequent and fairly comfortable.
The Montreal subway might not run nearly as often, going down to 15 minutes at night, but it's a hell of a lot more pleasant. The stations aren't so dull and claustrophobic. If you've ever been to the breath of fresh air that is St. Clair West station, that's what the Montreal Metro is like.
The sad thing is it seems the TTC will never, ever bother to make these stations more aesthetically pleasing. Hell, even bringing the Bloor line up to the level of the Yonge line would be a major improvement. The people in this city spend a good chunk of their lives underground for Christ's sake. Shouldn't we make it as enjoyable as possible?
Images courtesy of Duchamp and sillygwailo.