I live in downtown Toronto and take the TTC regularly. Luckily, I no longer need to contend with the rush hour commute but the TTC is still my main means of transport around Toronto and the for the most part, I enjoy the convenience and feel pretty safe. What I don't enjoy are the habits of some of my fellow commuters and I've been wanting to call you out on your disturbing habits so here goes...
Here are my top pet peeves in no particular order of offensiveness:
1. picking your nose in public - I get it, you've got something up there and need to get it out but the TTC is not the place for this. Nor do any of us want to see you examine your snot then wipe it all over the seats or poles.
2. brushing your hair on the train - why didnʼt you do this at home?? You could have valid reasons why you didnʼt groom yourself before getting on the train but if that is the case then duck into your office bathroom before you head to your desk. Your fellow commuters do not wish to have your hair all over them or the seats.
3. popping your zits on the train - you read correctly. I have seen someone do this much to my disgust. I have nothing more to say.
4. using your electric razor on the train - again, you read correctly. Do I need to explain why this is wrong?
5. applying your makeup on the train - I have watched more than one woman apply a full face of makeup including foundation right there on a packed train. Call me old fashioned but the TTC is not the place for this activity and a lady does not groom herself in public.
6. sex on the TTC - Toronto, I donʼt even know where to begin with this one! Luckily, I have not been subjected to the sight of my fellow strap-hangers getting busy on the TTC but many of you have and Iʼm sure itʼs something youʼll never forget. And for those of you who think that this is impossible, Iʼm sure you can find video somewhere online to back me up (it was all over the news). A few years ago there was an inebriated couple (I hope they werenʼt sober!) doing the dirty on the platform of Spadina station (this was after foreplay on the train itself) on the University line as reported by blogto.com. More recently, a threesome decided that a packed, rush hour streetcar would be the ideal spot for a little romance according to a CTV News report. Nasty, just plain nasty.
7. excessive pdaʼs - after reading number 6, a little excessive pda might seem tame but itʼs offensive to most of your fellow passengers.
8. clipping your fingernails - I have had to get up and move down to the other end of a car or change cars completely to get away from the offender. Again, I have no idea what makes someone think that the Red Rocket is the right place for this but let me say on behalf of the rest of us - it's not.
9. backpacks - wasnʼt there a TTC campaign at some point reminding us that backpacks should come off our backs to make room for other passengers? I always found it amazing that the TTC thought we needed to be coached on this but they were right, we do. At 5ʼ4” tall I detest being bounced about by someoneʼs massive backpack because they didnʼt have the consideration to take it off their back. So if you feel someone tap you on the shoulder to ask you remove your pack, look down, it's me.
10.taking peopleʼs pics without permission - beyond creepy. Disgusting and creepy.
11.men standing un-neccessarily close to female passengers - see number 10.
This stuff is just too crazy to make up. Other than number 6 I've witnessed all of it on the TTC and nothing surprises me anymore. What I would love to see is more people giving up their seats for pregnant women, the elderly or disabled or for a parent with a small child. I'd love to see people get on the train and get out of the way so as to increase the flow of traffic. Too many of you step in and then stop, as if a seat is suddenly going to materialize. You block the doorway and the rest of us that would have made it before the doors chime get stuck on the platform. Many of us are new to the system in Toronto and don't fully understand "TTC manners". I get it as I was once new too, just do what I did. Go with the flow and watch your fellow commuters. Most of us have been doing this for a while and we understand the unwritten laws of being a commuter. Basically, just be polite, treat others as you wish to be treated, understand that you are not the only who had a hard day. Back in the day, Toronto has been referred to as "dirty Little York' and since the 1900's "Toronto the Good". Don't get me wrong Toronto, I'm okay with you being a little dirty, just get a room. Not a platform, not a streetcar A ROOM!