Ah the Toronto subway, otherwise known as ‘the rocket’. It’s been years since I last rode it and you probably think really, is this worthy to be first on the list? After travelling countless cities, the metro is always a good place to start. I get my trusty token and head on down to Union Station. Even though it’s been 10 years since I lived in Toronto, the subway still smells the same. What the hell is that smell? Stale, musty, years of BO, decades of Tim Horton’s engrained into the walls? I sit down on the red chair that once again, has remained the same for at least a decade. Seems that the Yonge line hasn’t changed a bit. I remember the intrigue of the Toronto subway when I was a kid. Seeing the Spoons Romantic Traffic video (for those of you non Canadians…an 80s classic — see below for a special treat) and thinking I’d meet a mysterious stranger with BIG gelled hair and black eyeliner a la Duran Duran or Platinum Blonde. Instead, I’m staring at some scary man with the words ‘Redrum’ tattooed on the back of his neck. Don’t look, don’t make eye contact. I sit back and enjoy the air conditioned ride. Oh yes, after 8 years of travelling on the London Tube with no air conditioning which makes for a sweaty, disgusting journey for someone who is the unfortunate height of the average man’s armpit…this is a luxury.
Ok now fast forward 3 months and as I’m now an official Torontonian again, the subway is now my one and only official form of transport. I get to ‘experience’ both the good, the bad and the down right ugly. The one thing that confuses me the most is why the subway always smells like lunch meat? And with only 3 lines, how many times can there possibly be a passenger alert or a technical problem? But the Rocket has now become famous around the world via the internet when last month, a couple were so drunk they started having sex on the subway and a very unamused fellow passenger hit the passenger alarm. After being kicked off the train by TTC staff, unfazed the couple continued the deed on the platform to the delight of everyone and their smart phone (I won’t link here but I’m sure you can google it). Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Toronto subway.