People with a sharp eye may have noticed that the new Tourism Toronto wordmark has a ring of familiarity. Well that’s because it was designed using the Toronto Subway font. That’s right, the Toronto Transit Commission has a font of its own.

It is a distinctive rectangular font composed of capital letters etched into the tiles of the Toronto subway stations opened between 1954 and 1974. Who the original designer was back then has been lost in the mists of time, so the font was recreated by David Vereschagin in 2004. And because the original designer is unknown and no documentation of the font had been kept, in order to recreate it, Vereschagin visited subway stations around Toronto to take rubbings of the letters from the original glass tiles. He then digitized the font and it is currently being used by the TTC as the font for station names.

Subway poster by Jonathan Guy ( Photos by Linda Lee (@JustOutAndAbout).

A “bold” version of this font can be seen at every station along the Bloor–Danforth line from Islington to Warden. It can also be seen at various stations along the northern part of the Yonge line, the University line and was incorporated into the renovated Bloor and Wellesley stations. The font is used on all Sheppard line stations, as well as on all stops and stations along the 512 St. Clair streetcar line (with the exception of St. Clair West station).

When Tourism Toronto was looking for a new design for its logo, using a unique, made-in-Toronto font seemed like the perfect solution.