The Subway Turns Sixty  - Subway Milestones - Construction - Page Banner

The first subway was built in 7 sections to ensure the the entire line was completed at approximately the same time, and to minimize the impact on surrounding businesses and street traffic.

Photo: Pile Driver Yonge and Adelaide, March 22, 1950
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Pile Driver Yonge and Adelaide, March 22, 1950
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-676, 9508-15005
Archives of Ontario, I0016077
Photo: Subway Construction, November 8, 1949
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Subway Construction, November 8, 1949
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-652, 9508-13183.6
Archives of Ontario, I0016076
Photo: TTC Subway Construction
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TTC Subway Construction
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-677, 9508-15021
Archives of Ontario, I0016078

The type of construction used for much of the Yonge Street line was called cut and cover. The street was opened up so material could be removed then it was covered temporarily to carry traffic while work continued underneath.

Then, after the section was complete, it was covered up permanently and new pavement was installed on the road.

The advantages of this method of construction included lower overall cost and the ability to build the subway much closer to the surface to improve rider accessibility.

Photo: Subway construction, 1950
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Subway construction, 1950
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-682, 9508-15253.1
Archives of Ontario, I0016080

Photo: Yonge St. during subway construction, 1950
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Yonge St. during subway construction, 1950
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-691, 9508-15010.6
Archives of Ontario, I0016082

Some disruption of activity in the immediate area of construction was inevitable, and rerouted traffic caused congestion on alternate routes. But, every effort was made to ensure that shops along the street were able to remain open.

Photo: Subway construction, 1950 (1)
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Subway construction, 1950
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-681, 9508-15145
Archives of Ontario, I0016079

Photo: Subway Construction, 1950 (2)
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Subway construction, 1950
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: C 3-1-0-0-687, 9508-15445
Archives of Ontario, I0016081

Photo: Subway excavation in front of Union Station, 1959
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Subway excavation in front of Union Station, 1959
Department of Travel & Publicity, Publicity Branch
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: RG 65-35-1, 2-M-159
Archives of Ontario, I0016117

Construction in front of Union Station
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Subway excavation by Dominion Government Building
Gilbert A. Milne
Black and White Photo
Reference Code: RG 65-35-1, 3-M-159
Archives of Ontario, I0016118