Official Map: New Toronto Streetcar Network Being Rolled Out

Submitted by Rob, who says:

The TTC have decided to include a streetcar map inside the new streetcars when they start rolling out at the end of this month.  What do you think of the map?  With out any actual street grid information it doesn’t seem very helpful since it gives you zero context of where each route is in the street system.

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Transit Maps says:

I think Rob is being a little unfair when he says that there’s no street grid information on the map: there’s actually quite a lot of reference points, but the map makes it harder to find than it should be. The east-west streets shown on the map – the ones that have streetcar or subway service – pretty much define the major horizontal elements of Toronto’s downtown grid, and the names of the stations on the Bloor-Danforth (or newly-christened “2”) Line help to define the verticals, as they’re mostly named after the north-south streets they intersect.

However, the type used on the map is so abysmally tiny that I feel it’s going to be difficult for anyone to actually be able to find and use this information. The map is 35” wide by 11” tall, and I’m presuming it’ll be mounted above the doors in the vehicles. The type used for station labels on the map is in the range of just 11 to 13 points, which isn’t that much bigger than what you might find used in a standard typeset novel. It’s certainly not legible from any further away than two feet or so, especially in a moving, crowded streetcar! At least the route numbers are nice and big.

Technically, there’s some pretty sloppy work with some of the curves in the route lines, particularly with the dashed Limited Service routes, and the eastern end of the 506 line. I also don’t see why the Bloor-Yonge subway station needs a little pointer from its label to the station: there’s no possible chance of confusing that label as belonging to anything else on the map!

Typographically, I feel that the Helvetica used for the map labels sits very uneasily with the Art Deco “TTC” typeface used at the top of the map: a definite clash of eras and styles there.

It’s also interesting to note that the map’s north pointer aligns with “street north”, rather than true north (Toronto’s street grid is angled about 17 degrees counter-clockwise from north). However, this probably just reflects common directional terminology in Toronto.

Our rating: Seems to be a bit of a missed opportunity for something truly useful, although I’d love some reports from the field to see if it really is as hard to read as my gut instinct tells me it is. At the moment, my instinct gives it two-and-a-half stars.

2.5 Stars

Submission - Toronto TTC Strip Map at St. George Station

Submitted by criacow, who says:

Check out this wayfinding sign at St. George Station in the TTC subway here in Toronto. (My blurry photo, but TTC signage.) Up is north, but *left* is *east*—they flipped on an axis rather than rotating—and ‘eastbound’ isn’t noted anywhere. I’ve lived here for years and even I was confused by this until I looked at the specific station names!

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Transit Maps says:

I’ll agree that this does look odd at first glance, but I’d bet the map points in the right direction (i.e., Kennedy station is to the left of this viewpoint, with the train entering the station from the right). In effect, this is actually a strip map, showing stations in the direction of travel from this platform, rather than a true system map where the cardinal directions point the way you expect.

I think what really throws you (and probably many others!) is the reversal of the distinctive “U-shape” of the Yonge–University–Spadina line (or should that just be “Line 1” now?).

Historical Map: Homeward Passenger Movement During the Evening Rush Period, Toronto, 1915

Beautiful diagram indicating the patterns of homeward peak-hour travel via public transportation (at this time, mainly streetcar) in Toronto. By my rough count, the collection of yellow dots in the downtown area represents some 49,500 people.

Of particular interest are the red-and-white hatched dots, which represent a point where passengers transfer from the privately-run Toronto Railway Company’s (TRC) streetcars to those of the city-owned Toronto Civic Railways. Due to a disagreement over the terms of the franchise, the TRC refused to offer streetcar service in newly-annexed portions of Toronto, forcing the city to create its own service in those areas. In 1921, the TRC’s franchise expired and all transit was consolidated under the new Toronto Transportation Commission, the forerunner to today’s Toronto Transit Commission.

If you look closely (click on the image to be taken to a much larger version of the map), you can see that ridership totals are also shown for the civic railways, just in a fine black hatching instead of the more prominent blue used for the services branching out of the downtown area.

Visually quite similar to this map of the morning peak flow on the New York City subway in 1954.

(Source: Toronto Transit Alliance)

Historical Map: TTC System Map, Guide and Patron, December 5, 1957
Awesome old publicity photos that seem to feature a helpful TTC guide explaining the system map to Betty Draper. Also, the illustrations around the map itself are kind of incredible. The newfangled subway has only been open for three years at this point in time.
Compare to this similarly amazing TTC photo from 1966.
Reblogged from: torontohistory Historical Map: TTC System Map, Guide and Patron, December 5, 1957
Awesome old publicity photos that seem to feature a helpful TTC guide explaining the system map to Betty Draper. Also, the illustrations around the map itself are kind of incredible. The newfangled subway has only been open for three years at this point in time.
Compare to this similarly amazing TTC photo from 1966.
Reblogged from: torontohistory

Historical Map: TTC System Map, Guide and Patron, December 5, 1957

Awesome old publicity photos that seem to feature a helpful TTC guide explaining the system map to Betty Draper. Also, the illustrations around the map itself are kind of incredible. The newfangled subway has only been open for three years at this point in time.

Compare to this similarly amazing TTC photo from 1966.

Reblogged from: torontohistory

End of the Line

Great focus point and shallow depth of field here. Fun angle, too.

(Source: cookedphotos/Flickr)

Fantasy Map: History of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Submitted by just about the entire population of Toronto, I think.

Created by Spacing’s Matthew Blackett in a collaboration with designer Jamie Hodgson, this subway-style map attempts to present a brief history of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team.

Now, as an Australian, I’ll fully admit that my knowledge of ice hockey is a little thin, and I know even less about the Maple Leafs franchise. For me, ice hockey is that one question hiding in the Trivial Pursuit card deck that I have absolutely no idea about… my answer is always, “uhhh…. Wayne Gretzky?” However, this map is well-designed enough that I can piece together the important stuff… especially that the team was once highly successful and now seems to have fallen on harder times. The note regarding the indefinite delay of the construction of the Stanley Cup Line speaks volumes about the team’s long-suffering fans.

What I really like about this map is that the thematic lines are linked when appropriate. A player was a captain and a Hall of Famer? Stops on both lines! There are plenty of other thematic maps out there that just drop names at random onto something that may (or may not) resemble an actual subway map and call it a day, so it’s nice to see some proper thought being put into this one.

(Source: Spacing Toronto)

Mario vs. Mario
So every man and his dog is sending me links to the new Toronto TTC/Mario World mash-up map by Dave Delisle (prints for sale here). It’s definitely well executed, but I couldn’t help but think I’d seen something similar before…
A couple of minutes of Googling later: a similarly-themed (although aesthetically a little different) map of the Boston MBTA done last year by Adam Summerville (prints here).
(EDIT: I’d just like to make it clear that I do not think that Dave’s map is in any way derivative of Adam’s - the aesthetics are quite different in both maps. I just thought it would be interesting to compare how two artists approach a similar concept.)
Both maps are excellently done, although I slightly prefer the Boston map for its more varied terrain. Which one do you like? Mario vs. Mario
So every man and his dog is sending me links to the new Toronto TTC/Mario World mash-up map by Dave Delisle (prints for sale here). It’s definitely well executed, but I couldn’t help but think I’d seen something similar before…
A couple of minutes of Googling later: a similarly-themed (although aesthetically a little different) map of the Boston MBTA done last year by Adam Summerville (prints here).
(EDIT: I’d just like to make it clear that I do not think that Dave’s map is in any way derivative of Adam’s - the aesthetics are quite different in both maps. I just thought it would be interesting to compare how two artists approach a similar concept.)
Both maps are excellently done, although I slightly prefer the Boston map for its more varied terrain. Which one do you like?

Mario vs. Mario

So every man and his dog is sending me links to the new Toronto TTC/Mario World mash-up map by Dave Delisle (prints for sale here). It’s definitely well executed, but I couldn’t help but think I’d seen something similar before…

A couple of minutes of Googling later: a similarly-themed (although aesthetically a little different) map of the Boston MBTA done last year by Adam Summerville (prints here).

(EDIT: I’d just like to make it clear that I do not think that Dave’s map is in any way derivative of Adam’s - the aesthetics are quite different in both maps. I just thought it would be interesting to compare how two artists approach a similar concept.)

Both maps are excellently done, although I slightly prefer the Boston map for its more varied terrain. Which one do you like?