Public space finally gets support
The Museum subway station is in the middle of a $5 million remake that will see its 48 columns transformed into copies of objects from the ROM's fabled collection. And for good measure, there will also be pieces from the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art just across Queen's Park.
These objects include a late 19th-century house post made by the Oweekeno people in Rivers Inlet, B.C., a stone carving of the ancient Egyptian god of death and fertility, Osiris, as well as a Toltec warrior from Central America.
The copies were made in Oakville by Design Plaster Mouldings using a vandal- and graffiti-proof concrete reinforced with glass. When completed, they will be wrapped around the pillars that extend along the length of station at track level. The upper storey is not a part of the project.
As McCluskie also points out, plans call for two more stations on the University line – St. Patrick (Dundas) and Osgoode (Queen) – to be redesigned. Though money must still be raised, the intention is to redo the facilities in ways that reflects the cultural institutions above, namely the Ontario College of Art & Design and the Art Gallery of Ontario at St. Patrick, and the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet Company at Osgoode.
McCluskie imagines the Dundas stop might become a gallery with changing exhibitions programmed by OCAD and the AGO. At Queen, classical music would be broadcast and the station turned into a giant screen for operatic and balletic images.
I'm a big critic of the way Toronto city council spends our money, but this is the sort of thing that'll never get done if we're forever penny-pinching. Running services and keeping the city looking good is about all I'd actually want council to have a mandate upon.