It was cold and it seemed the snow would not stop falling, but it didn’t stop Torontonians from taking a break from their rush-hour commutes to celebrate the Bloor subway line’s 50th anniversary at Chester station on Thursday.
The subway line opened on Feb. 25, 1966, and Moe Angelos, one of the volunteers who run the artists’ newsstand at Chester Station, decided the golden anniversary had to be celebrated.
“The Toronto subway system is amazing and I think it is very under appreciated,” Angelos said. “I know everybody loves to complain about the subways but, you know, they’re sort of like our little companions that we have to go with every single day.
“Sometimes they fail us, just like friends, but it is there, it is reliable, it will get you around this town.”
Angelos, an actress, was dressed as a “humble newsie,” sporting a 1960s polyester orange suit as she educated commuters with a performative history lesson about the Bloor line. As she performed, another member of the community Nelinda Antiga, stood by her side, wearing a white dress she had decorated with Metro passes she’s collected since 1997.
“I wore this during Halloween,” Antiga said. “Everybody liked it and they said, ‘Go to the station today.'”
About 20 other volunteers helped organize the party. The celebration kicked off at 4 p.m. and included music from DJ Nick, helium balloons for the children and cake for the commuters. Artist Jackie Lee refashioned the newsstand as a piñata for the party, and Dainty Box performed a PG-rated burlesque.
As Angelos finished her history lesson, she joked about being an amateur subway enthusiast. More Torontonians should take pride in the TTC and their stations, much like those in New York City, Paris and London, she said.