June 8 11

The following events took place in Toronto between 5pm and 7:25pm on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011.

I can vouch for the authenticity of the words you are about to read. I would read this aloud in a courtroom, under oath.

Ali gets on the subway at Queen Street, going north on the Yonge line towards Finch station.

The subway stops at Dundas, then College, then Wellesley, then Bloor.

The doors close at Bloor, leaving a subway full of sweaty people waiting for it to move towards Rosedale. The doors open and some more people get on. The doors close. The doors open again and some more people get on. The doors close.

“Attention passengers on the Yonge-University-Spadina line. We are experiencing some mechanical issues. We have crew members on scene and we should be on our way in a few minutes.”

The doors open again and some more people get on.

“Attention passengers on the Yonge-University-Spadina line. This train in now out of service. Please exit the train.”

About 100 people de-train to stand in the hot Bloor station and wait for the next train.

The next train comes and Ali gets trampled to the ground and then sweaty-sandwiched between several people.

Clowns to the left of me.
Jokers to the right.

The subway makes it two stops to Summerhill.

“Attention passengers on the Yonge-University-Spadina line. We have a medical emergency in car 4. We are going to stop here and send some crew members over. Hopefully it will be cleared up shortly and we can be on our way. We thank you for your patience.”

Ali gets off the train at Summerhill because she can’t breathe and she is fairly certainly that there is a wiener of unknown origin sticking into her back.

The original train goes before Ali has a chance to get back on.

There is no way Ali is getting back in that train.

A new train comes by. It’s too full for Ali to get on.

Another new train comes by. It’s too full for Ali to get on.

Another train comes by. It’s too full for Ali to get on.

Ali finally gets on the 4th train, squeezing in beside a man with THE HOT DOG BURPS.

Ali holds back many, many tears.

The train makes it to Davisville and then stops. And doesn’t move again.

Ali finally gets to Finch station, after never having gotten a seat on the subway.

Ali drives through a lightning-and-thunder storm and finally pulls into her driveway sometime after 7:15pm.

Ali cries. Because she remembers that she has to do this all over again tomorrow.

  1. I sat here trying to find a silver lining to this story but I got nothing. Sorry
    you had to deal with that after working all day


    Comment by Sensibly Sassy on June 9, 2011
  2. Tomorrow will be better.

    Subway = blog fodder, right?


    Comment by Heather on June 9, 2011
  3. This kind of makes me happy San Francisco doesn’t have a working public transportation system after all. Then, I’d actually have to take it, and this would likely happen to me given my luck.

    Loving your new blog layout, if I failed to mention it before!


    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on June 9, 2011


    Rae Ann replied on



    Comment by Rae Ann on June 9, 2011
  5. Ugh. I’m sorry, dude. What a nightmare.

    Even if you and Gav were to carpool, it would still mean stop and go traffic… That really sucks. Where you are there really aren’t all that many options for driving in (nor is it environmentally friendly like public transit). With all this new subway work underway it doesn’t even help the transition from downtown to uptown, if anything it will get even more congested…

    I’m not helping, am I?

    *HUGS* Soon we’ll be together again, if that’s any consolation?!


    Comment by sam {temptingmama} on June 9, 2011
  6. That is just nuts!! And I’m sure that happens more times than the TTC would want to admit.

    Good luck today!


    Comment by mapsgirl on June 9, 2011
  7. Yuck! Yesterday was brutal. Living south of Finch, I’m used to not getting a seat at rush hour (or even when it’s not rush hour) but on a hot, sweaty day like yesterday when the subway was moving at a snail’s pace it’s particularly brutal.

    Getting to and from downtown was a not the worst experience I’ve had but definitely in the top 5.

    In the morning, it took me an hour to travel a typical 20 min. ride. I ended up taking the train north all the way to Finch so that I could get back downtown. Luck was on my side because at least I scored a seat. As for the way home, the TTC had shutdown just as I was about to go into the station. I walked to Avenue Rd. and hailed a cab. I wouldn’t have had a chance on Yonge, hundreds of people were trying to do the same thing. I forgot there was construction and I had to pay for him to drive back to Yonge St. Grr! I made it home around 6:40.


    Comment by Eden Spodek on June 9, 2011
  8. Awwww girl! I am sorry your experience was awful! I hope today is better.


    Comment by Shannon on June 9, 2011
  9. Ugh.. that’s horrible. I hate it when that crap happens – “weiner of unknown origin” is kind of hilarious though, and when else would you get to say that, right?
    Here’s hoping the rest of your week’s commutes are about a thousand times better; I wish you a seat next to a nice smelling person near the door and a good book.


    Comment by Jessica on June 9, 2011
  10. I completely empathize. The TTC is my worst enemy right now, and yet I can’t leave it…it’s a very unhealthy, ugly relationship. Imagine my reaction this morning at 8:20am to see them painting the doors of from the bus terminal to the subway. The only doors…being painted at 8:20am on a weekday. Whose idea was that???!!


    ali replied on

    Hahaha. The entrance to Finch station was closed for about three straight weeks. You can to take an elevator to get down to the subway…an elevator that fit exactly 6 people in it at a time….fun times.


    Comment by Jennifer on June 9, 2011
  11. hope it’s better today! I wish there was an easier way to commute, we have the same problem in Montreal, trains breaking down, metros not working. and it’s hard when your a mom, and just want to get home to your kids! I’m sure it’s easier knowing that you have a nanny to be there for them. It’s still so frustering though!


    Comment by sarah on June 9, 2011
  12. That sounds dreadful! I hope today is better.

    I don’t miss my commuting days on the GO/TTC one bit and reading your post makes me less cranky about the broken air conditioning in my car. At least I don’t have to share the hot, sweaty air with anyone.


    Comment by Danielle on June 9, 2011
  13. UGH! That sucks! I hope today’s commute is better!

    So those crowded trains? That’s my train line every morning and every evening. I’m lucky in the AM, because I get on at the 4th stop, so I get a seat. On the way home? Never. I never sit, unless I’m lucky.

    I hate those kinds of issues. I especially hate when that happens on the subway. It seems like when it happens in Chicago on the elevated lines it isn’t as bad because it’s not as claustrophobic.

    At least you don’t work for the TTC and can complain freely about it. :)


    ali replied on

    Yes. Our trains are typically that congested at rush hour, in the morning and the evening.

    BUT. I get on the subway at the first stop in the morning, at 7am. So, I always get a seat…which is LOVELY. My way to work is usually awesome. I mean, sometimes there are delays…but when I have a seat, I don’t care.

    At 5:08, when I get on at my station, I often have to wait for the second train to get on, and I don’t usually get a seat until the train stops at Eglinton (lots of people get off there) but sometimes I don’t get a seat at all the entire ride home.

    BUt I don’t normally have to GET OFF the train and get back on SEVERAL times.


    Comment by Kristabella on June 9, 2011
  14. Aw, girl. I am so sorry you have to endure that. It makes me extra thankful that my 1/2 hour commute is next to a lake and traffic-free. You guys should move here!

    Also. “Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right.” made my morning. :)


    ali replied on

    I was SO hoping someone would catch that!


    Gav replied on

    Ditto – LOVED the clowns/jokers.


    Comment by Angella on June 9, 2011
  15. Yikes! That was a bad one. I try to avoid the Yonge line as much possible.


    Comment by Tamara on June 9, 2011
  16. Emily feels really sorry for Ali. Emily wishes she could drive Ms. Ali around. Emily does not have hot dog burps, at least today.


    Comment by designhermomma on June 9, 2011
  17. Oh how I remember those days of riding the subway oh how I do not miss NOT living in Toronto anymore. At one point I actually rode my bike from The beach to downtown rather than have to take transit I got super healthy and it was much less stabby. I now live in Edmonton and am totally shocked if I DON’T get a seat on the way home


    Comment by habanerogal on June 9, 2011
  18. I weep for you. Bad commutes are just the worst.


    Comment by Daisy on June 9, 2011
  19. I don’t miss the subway rides either- I grew up at Finch and birchmount!! Thankfully I live in the best place on earth now – Vancouver island!! People here think 30 minutes is a long commute!!


    Comment by Kathy Elder on June 10, 2011

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