Monday, July 25, 2011

OC Stations: South Keys

When you're commuting day in and day out, it's easy to forget or ignore or simply not think about the stations to which you travel. They are often reduced to a name or a "point A" along your trip home or to work. Through this hyper-familiarity, the unique features of each of the stations get lost.

This week, I want to pause at some of the OC Transpo stations (in no particular order) and really highlight what makes them unique and interesting. Perhaps next time you're out and about, you will also slow down and enjoy these features that you may otherwise not even notice.

South Keys Station

This small, unassuming station at the south end of town has a ton of detail throughout its ground-level tunnel. The designers did away with grey painted concrete and opted for colourful tiles and a matching floor. Blues, aquas, and greens adorn the walls to compliment its nature theme. When the area is clean, it's a very welcoming space (cleaning crews are in there fairly often; it's amazing how sodas from the nearby theatre end up splashed against the walls, floors, and stairs - and make the place, for lack of a better word, gross).

Along both sides are stainless steel panels with words that are spelled in Braille. The massive, larger-than life raised dots spell out English and French words like "blue", "bird", "grenouille", "iris", and "nuage", all kinds of colours and objects you would find in nature.

 For everyone that can't read Braille (admittedly I can't read it, but I do have an app that can help), there are etchings on the wall that translate with words and pictures. I'm fairly certain these are more recent additions, but it's entirely possible they've been there a long time and I didn't notice them right away.

Next time you're at South Keys and have a few minutes between buses, take a gander and try to figure out what they mean. If there are and Geocachers out there, try this cache that uses the Braille dots as a clue to finding its location.

Did you know? South Keys station opened in 2006. It turned 15 years old in June!

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