Yonge-University-Spadina Line

The Yonge-University-Spadina line opened on this date in 1954, the first subway in Canada.

Toronto, of course, was Frye’s hometown from 1929 on, and he regularly referred to the changes he saw there across six decades. Here he is in “Canada: New World without Revolution”:

Some time ago Eric Arthur produced a book on Toronto called No Mean City, full of photographs of its older architecture. If we count the number of buildings that have been destroyed, many of them before the book appeared, we can see that there is something else in the city which is, if not mean, at least reckless and out of control, something that needs strong organizing to resist it. According to John Stuart Mill, there is a liberal and conservative question to be asked about everything: what good is it? and why is it there? If these questions are asked about public, cultural, or historical monuments, the prevailing answer in our day to the question, what good is it? is, no good unless to the present owner of the property it stands on; and the answer to the question, why is it there? is, because it is not yet worth anyone’s while to remove it. Clearly we need more intelligible answers to both questions. (CW 12, 441)

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