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New Subway Signage Comes to Bloor-Yonge

You'll notice more colour-coded numbers in the station starting today.

A few months ago, the TTC indicated it intended to take a new approach to signage and wayfinding. The new signs would be clearer and more consistent, and feature colour-coded numbers as well as (and sometimes in place of) the subway-line names to which we’ve all grown so accustomed.

Now you’ll be able to put those claims of improved clarity and ease of use to the test: new signs were unveiled at Bloor-Yonge Station today. The new signage will also be rolled out soon at St. George Station, and then the TTC will collect customer feedback and decide how to proceed.

“This isn’t about renaming our lines; this is about enhancing the line names we already have,” says Chris Upfold, chief customer officer for the TTC, in the video above.

But will it ever feel easy or natural to say “I always take line two to get to work?” or perhaps, “I always take the two”?


  • MostlyCivil

    “This isn’t about renaming our lines; this is about enhancing the line names we already have,”

    …by renaming our lines…

    You need communications help, now.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Not just renaming them once, but effectively giving them two names: 1 and Yellow, 2 and Green (and whatever Sheppard is now).

  • MaryL

    The 1 and 2 renaming makes some sense, I guess, but the transition to numbers only will be bumpy.

    The new “You are here” map in the fourth image has been stripped down a bit too much. If the map of 1 and 2 at the bottom was potentially info overload, the representation of the 1 line as a yellow U was welcome redundancy and context.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    The signage is nice. I like the idea of coding the lines with numbers but I doubt if people will ever refer to the Yonge line as the Number 1 line or the Bloor line as “The number two line”.

    • wklis

      Do you refer to Highway 401 as the MacDonald-Cartier Freeway or Highway 401?

      • MaryL

        Who takes an extra syllable to say “Highway” instead of “The”?

      • HotDang

        Like all true Canadians I call it The Highway of Heroes. Support the troops!

        • dsmithhfx

          Somebody forgot to tell Steve!

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        No, I don’t. I just don’t see people changing their habits because the TTC is trying to rename the lines. Harper tried to rebrand the 401 as the Highway of Heroes and still we call it the 401. Habits die hard.

        • OgtheDim

          Point of order – that was McGuinty, and he did it for the section where the body bags were driven into Toronto.

          Harper didn’t want us to notice they were even coming back.

          I’d say something about how the Tories are treating Vets but even for me that’s a bit too much of a tangent from #’s on a subway line.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            I stand corrected. i alway thought that was Harper that renamed it.

          • aylwinlo

            Point of information: That was a point of information, not of order.

      • OgtheDim

        MacDonald Cartier is hard to say.

        QEW, on the other hand…

        • Sean_Marshall

          Some call it the QEW, others call it the “Queen-E” – depends on how you like to shorten it while speaking. Fun fact: the QEW does have a secret number – it’s Highway 451 for internal MTO purposes.

          The “Highway of Heroes” was only an overlay designation for the segment from the DVP/404 to Glen Miller Road in Trenton – not an official name, and apart from some routemarkers, not signed (for example, not included in directional signage).

  • wklis

    The Eglinton-Crosstown LRT will be 5. Currently, 5 is Avenue Road. Also, 6 is Bay and 7 is Bathurst. Other new LRT and subway lines may be given 6 and 7. Will they be renumbered the bus routes? What happens in other cities?

    • HotDang

      I think that 5 and 6 can be reassigned, but the Bathurst 7 is so iconic that they should really never change it. It would be like exploding a great work of art or melting a monument.

    • Conservative Astroturf Brigade

      Same thing that happened to the 4-Annette when the Sheppard line opened.

  • Paul Lloyd Johnson

    I don’t mind the idea of this, but some of the execution is a bit lacking.

    • VictorianShuter

      Did those know-it-all’s even spend money on an external consultant, for a change? Somehow I doubt it.

      • estta

        It’s all in-house.

  • OgtheDim

    The Westbound sign needs an arrow. Unless they think people know which way is west at all times.

  • mariapd

    Do people call it the King Streetcar or the 504? Do people call it the Dufferin Bus or the 29?
    I think they will still be called by the streets they travel.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      I actually hear people refer to street cars both ways. The King car or 504 are used for the same route by the same people. Not so much the buses. The Dufferein bus is simply the Dufferin bus. The TTC might have more luck using a letter (Y for the Yonge etc) but people will still call it what we’ve always called it.

  • OgtheDim

    Are they really going to start saying, “Dear subway passengers on the #2 line…”?

    One good thing about the long names is people can not hear a little bit and still figure out which line has an issue.

    Sometimes, this change seems to be an exercise in making change cause Byford thinks its a good idea, without thinking everything through.

    • dsmithhfx

      TBH I think it’s more about the appearance of making change/’improvements’.

    • Kivi Shapiro

      As of this morning, that’s exactly what they were saying.

  • mookie

    When the TTC loses intrest in this signage will they at least have the decency to take it down? St George station is still half covered in experimental signage from the last decade. TTC would do well simply removing redundant signs.

    • VictorianShuter

      I was at Yonge Station on Saturday and noticed they had also taken down all of the previous signage. At least that’s the way it appeared to me. They even took down signage that could still be useful, like the indicator sign of the direction of the escalator! :(

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Toronto has so many subway lines, and so many transfer points, we just call them by their number now to avoid confusion.

    • dsmithhfx

      we just call them both by their number …

  • Conservative Astroturf Brigade

    Shouldn’t call the B-D #2. Scarborough’s feelings might get hurt by not being #1. Scarborough deserves to be #1.

  • IB

    While recognizing that this should hardly be priority 1 (or even priority 47) for the TTC, I do support the change in signage/numbering. What doesn’t make sense is rolling it out as a pilot. Either do it or don’t, but don’t confuse people with different systems in different places, especially when the whole point is simplification.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    The lines don’t ‘join’ at Union, it’s one continuous line.

  • Ambrose Li

    We need the station names spaced closer on the walls; they need to be visible from inside the train even it’s packed.

  • Rob R.

    New lame signs.. still no sign of improved customer service =fail.