This photograph depicts the Davisville station of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) subway system, which was celebrated as “Canada’s First Subway” when it opened in 1954. Discussions about building a subway in Toronto began in the early 20th century, but it was not until 1949 that construction began on the Yonge Street line, with additional lines started in the late 1950s. The subway system was one of the major reasons that people throughout the world lauded Toronto transit in the post-war years.
Davisville station is located next to Davisville Subway Yard—the first maintenance and storage yard for TTC trains—and TTC headquarters in the William McBrien Building at 1900 Yonge Street (shown to the right of the train in this photo).
The subway train pictured was part of the initial fleet produced by the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. While not evident from this black and white photo, these trains were called “red rockets” for their bright red exterior. Retired in 1990, their name lives on in the TTC advertising slogan, “Ride the Rocket.”
This photograph is part of series RG 74-9, comprising correspondence records related to citizenship education programs provided by the Ontario government to new Canadians living in Ontario.