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.

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 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.

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.


  1. Jeff Skybar said...
    Oh, you linked me! How wonderful!! I'll do the same after I'm back from lunch. Got some shit to stir with someone.
    Threnody said...
    Sweet I love doing that!

    Anyhoo, I hand out links when links are deserved. So congrats! :P
    Anonymous said...
    I told you Montreal was a better city! Where did Tokyo place on that list?

    Incidentally, my plan at the moment is to show up on your doorstep around the third week of May. Does that work for you?

    ps. I hope you don't accidentally fall and penetrate me, but if you do well... we're both adults.
    Danifesto said...
    This list was really interesting to me! I can't believe the Tube made #1. Super loud (as in you can't carry on a conversation inside) and felt kinda small- even for me!
    The other places looked beautiful!! Wow. Yeah Toronto is no comparison athestically...
    Tokyo subway is super confusing and super expensive. The lines aren't all run by the same company and so when changing you have to get out, PAY AGAIN and switch. DUMB. A big reason why I hated Tokyo.
    Seoul has an amazing subway system and I'm really glad they made it on here. CHEAP and QUIET. Less than a dollar took for my hour long commute back home each night! One stop in particular was really cool. I'll send you the link later...
    New York- scared me. Rats visibly running around. Looked run down and old to me...
    Beijing- had only two lines when I was there. I'm really glad they are expanding it. At the rate they are buying cars, it won't matter that we are reducing emmissions over here!
    Great post!
    Threnody said...
    Tokyo was #5. Are you planning a trip I don't know about or something? And I know Montreal is better. Teach me French and we'll move there and live happily ever after.

    Show up whenever you want. My roommates are afraid of me, so maybe if I bring in a fellow artsy type they won't be so scared anymore.

    "Accidentally" eh?
    Threnody said...
    You've really been around, haven't you Danifesto. Well at least we don't have rats here...that I've seen.
    Anonymous said...
    They're afraid of you? You're like the least scary person I know!

    Ce n'est pas difficile d'habiter a Montreal sans connaitre beaucoup de Francais, et c'est du fun!

    Were you sketchy when you called on Sunday or something? that was hella early!

    Anonymous said...
    Also, Toronto may not have rats, but I have most definitely seen cute little mice and shrews running around under the rails.

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