Kill Me Now

ttcThe TTC has agreed to study the feasibility of selling corporate naming rights to subway stations as a way to raise money.

The controversial request for a study of practices in other cities came from commissioner Peter Milczyn, who cited an ad from the Middle East city of Dubai inviting corporations to "Turn your brand into a destination" by buying rights to two new transit lines and 23 stations being built there.

"If one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the world is looking at doing this, we should at least look at it," he said.

Saying "beggers can't be choosers," Milczyn noted the TTC is embarking on an ambitious expansion while struggling to raise operating funds.

Boy, do I hate this idea. Does absolutely everything have to be corporatized? I don't want to take the subway to Home Depot station or McDonald's station.

Here's hoping this idea dies a quick death. Better it than me.

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Comments (17 - click here to join in!)

Jason |

Subway platforms are often totally plastered with one ad as it is... I'm sure you've seen examples... Global has done it, Pizza Pizza and many others... on one hand yeah.. it's public space.. don't corporotize it... on the other hand where do you think the TTC is ever going to get the money to make the changes it needs and keeps fares down?

April 24, 2008 @ 2:54 PM


Sad, but it's all about the mighty buck right.

Sorry, I had to laugh @ your "Home Depot or McDonald's station".

April 24, 2008 @ 3:33 PM

Toronto Mike

There's a difference between re-naming the stations after corporations and plastering ads for Global shows inside the stations.

Why stop at stations? Why not change street names? Sony would pay a mint to change the name of Yonge Street to Sony Street, wouldn't they?

April 24, 2008 @ 3:40 PM


Yes, there is a difference and who knows where this would stop. And yes, Sony would probably pay a mint for that.

Maybe I shouldn't be commenting on this because I took Creative Advertising in college. :P I wanted a "recession-proof career". In my defence, two years for the program and two Co-Op courses is all I did. :D

Hey, what if they built retail locations at their respective stations?! ;)

April 24, 2008 @ 4:04 PM

Toronto Mike

A good recession proof business is funeral director. We're always going to die, and old religious customs dictate how most of us will be buried.

I'm exploring eco-burial options a'la Nate on Six Feet Under.

April 24, 2008 @ 4:07 PM


Yes, thanks Mike. I've considered that too.

Good luck with your eco-burial exploring.

April 24, 2008 @ 4:40 PM


At least it will be a business/retailer name. Somehow it's less tacky to me than from a family who's given a million bucks and then expects to have the station named after them. A very disturbing trend at hospitals.

April 24, 2008 @ 5:24 PM


It's not like the City of Toronto has not done this all ready. Direct Energy Centre, Ricoh Coliseum, BMO Field. I'm sure when they finish renovating the Automotive Building, that name will change as well.

As for the TTC don't forget the travelling billboards on buses, street cars and Subway cars, for one product.

Hell if the TTC goes for this maybe I'll save my pennies to change a station to Millers A. Richard Corp.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:00 PM

Jason |

city dwellers always want it both ways.. i don't really get it.. i doublt it would be anything more than "McDonald's presents Bloor Station" and yes, that makes me gag... but at this point if that's what it takes to have a decent subways system that isn't broken down.. if that is where we can get the money to pay the salaries of these demanding folk... then i can't see it as much worse as having to go to the "rogers centre" or "Hummingbird centre"...

I'm not clearly on one side or the other, but the idea doesn't bother me as much as some of you.. you clearly think money for the subway is going to come from some generous politician... it won't.

April 24, 2008 @ 7:16 PM

Jason |

P.S. what is the differnce, really? At the end of the day, I pull up to the station, see the Global branding one way or the other..

April 24, 2008 @ 7:17 PM


There's a bit of culture in real names that's so much more satisfying that corporate names. I believe that corporate names degrade our civic dignity, something that few understand until it's gone.

I've heard of an interesting idea. Corporations could fund some projects. They could get a plaque that celebrates their generosity. But I think that we need to save and build our own stations. The difference between the current mass advertising is that it's temporary and eventually disappears. But naming rights last for a lot longer.

Forget about corporate names. Let's name future stations after Canadian heroes and neighbourhoods.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:47 PM


...and intersecting streets, of course.

April 24, 2008 @ 9:48 PM

Jason |

People rearely pipe up about this stuff but somehow when a dommed subway system is involved, that's the time they choose to talk about "preserveing culture". Sorry, not even I see the point. There's no way these stations would be "renamed". If Home Depot wants to "present" Bloor Station, I could honestly care less. Show me the cheque. Like I said, anyone who actually rides the subway nows this already happens. Stations are plastered in ads. So are entire busses. Show me the big difference. There isn't one.

April 25, 2008 @ 7:43 AM

Jason |

Sorry about all they typos. I'm lazy, like our political representatives..

April 25, 2008 @ 7:44 AM


On the bright side, if Jane Subway was called SUBWAY SANDWICHES SUBWAY I may be able to get to my dentist appointment today... but alas, not rattificaton and no TTC.

April 26, 2008 @ 11:49 AM

Jason |

Sorry Ryan, but all of a sudden when it comes to the TTC these people worry about Toronto 'culture' and 'preservation' but when Rogers buys up half the city I don't hear 'em bitch

April 26, 2008 @ 12:22 PM

Toronto Mike

Don't confuse the private with the public.

April 26, 2008 @ 1:46 PM

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