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A TTC etiquette guide, vintage edition

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 11, 2012

ttc subway cards advertisements wife change husbandDelving into the archives this week, I came across a stack of TTC public service announcements that used to be displayed inside streetcars among adverts for Sunkist lemons, tubes of Ben-Gay pain lotion and Adam brand fedoras to help the socially oblivious coexist peacefully with regular transit users.

Flipping through the manilla archival folders, it seemed good TTC etiquette - moving down the streetcar, having exact fare, keeping feet out of the aisle, exiting via the rear doors - has always had to be explained to some people. And even then, it doesn't seem to have made much difference. Many of the problems faced by TTC riders of old are the same ones we deal with today.

Often featuring recurring themes and characters - most obviously the two shipbuilders and the angry/awkward fat man with glasses bumbling and yelling his way around the streetcar - the colorful cards were last century's attempt at keeping the transit network civilized and efficient.

The problems might not have changed much (OK, the female shoppers during rush hour thing seems to have been quietly dropped) but the presentation style has certainly evolved - the TTC definitely couldn't get away with the Mrs. McTush poster now. That said, charming cartoons like many of these would still be a welcome presence on the streetcar or subway today if you ask me.

My personal favorites are the reference to a "ten spot" and the bizarre "Missed a streetcar? At least you're not drowning" drawing near the end. Would you like to bring any of these back to the TTC?

"HATS OFF" SERIES:

ttc subway cards advertisements hats off bill morettc subway cards advertisements hats off heddyttc subway cards advertisements hats off mctushttc subway cards advertisements hats off weir rear

"WE ALL LIKE" SERIES:

ttc subway cards advertisements drape feetttc subway cards advertisements exact fare manttc subway cards advertisements signal earlyttc subway cards advertisements woman shopper rush hour

"SHIPBUILDERS" SERIES:

ttc subway cards advertisements daddy changettc subway cards advertisements big helpttc subway cards advertisements farettc subway cards advertisements lookit empty carttc subway cards advertisements forget changettc subway cards advertisements shipbuilders

"BUMBLING MAN" SERIES:

ttc subway cards advertisements fares readyttc subway cards advertisements move down streetcarttc subway cards advertisements my stopttc subway cards advertisements use rear doorsttc subway cards advertisements ten spot billttc subway cards advertisements tracks

MISCELLANEOUS:

ttc subway cards advertisements birdsttc subway cards advertisements elephantttc subway cards advertisements move away streetcarttc subway cards advertisements kids play roadttc subway cards advertisements remember sawttc subway cards advertisements sinking troubles missed streetcarttc subway cards advertisements sudden stopImages from the City of Toronto Archives

Discussion

160 Comments

Anti-fatty / July 11, 2012 at 01:22 pm
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So is the elephant one implying that fat people should not use the TTC during rush hour? I mean the 400lb chick taking up 2 seats is no different than a shopper taking up 2?
Ziggy Strawczynski / July 11, 2012 at 01:25 pm
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This is amazing! The TTC should still be using these!
T-Ru replying to a comment from Anti-fatty / July 11, 2012 at 01:31 pm
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Agreed.
Plus only good looking people should use it.
Suzette Jones / July 11, 2012 at 01:37 pm
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What's interesting is how keen they were to stop "shoppers" aka housewives from using transit during rush-hour. Hard to imagine that being a huge problem.

Also interesting to see that some problems were the same (moving to the back, exiting by the rear doors), whilst others that are frequently discussed today (giving up seats for the elderly, not taking up seats with bags, etc.) are not.
To-Cub replying to a comment from Anti-fatty / July 11, 2012 at 01:37 pm
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Thats why the mayor doesn't take TTC
Vic / July 11, 2012 at 01:38 pm
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The style of dress has changed, but the farebox hasn't!
vvvvvvvv / July 11, 2012 at 01:42 pm
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times have changed.... definitely should not be using these
Anti-Fatty replying to a comment from To-Cub / July 11, 2012 at 01:45 pm
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Probably. Did anyone else notice that the fat man in the yellow jacket looks strikingly similar to our beloved mayor? Seems to have a similar mentality too.
Mark Dowling / July 11, 2012 at 01:46 pm
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Perhaps the TTC could commission some updated ones in advance of All Door Boarding of streetcars when the new longer ones go into service.
Plens / July 11, 2012 at 01:46 pm
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The only TTC user in those ads that isn't white is the elephant L0L
Michelle / July 11, 2012 at 01:50 pm
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I love these. They should do a whole retro thing and use these again to give people a reminder and a smile. I actually really wonder when I see people travelling during rush hour who are obviously not on their way to or from work. I'm talking about seniors and so forth. Sure, people should be able to travel when they wish, but why would anyone choose to travel in rush hour if they don't have to? People just don't think and I don't see anything wrong with a "avoid rush hour if you can" campaign to lower congestion on transit.
Pk / July 11, 2012 at 01:53 pm
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I wish they'd bring these back instead of the shiteous graphics they use today. But then PETA'd get mad 'cause we put an elephant in a suit.
The Fonz replying to a comment from Pk / July 11, 2012 at 01:59 pm
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Yes. Because THAT'S the most offensive thing about this series of ads.
Al / July 11, 2012 at 02:01 pm
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TTC drivers used to give change?
Kins / July 11, 2012 at 02:05 pm
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These actually still apply today.
James / July 11, 2012 at 02:09 pm
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The "Hats Off" and "We All Like" series' should be put into rotation on today's streetcars. It would really appeal to today's 'loving-all-things-vintage' riders (aka 90% of TTC customers).
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Suzette Jones / July 11, 2012 at 02:13 pm
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Another one I'd love to see similar to these ones: 'Before you travel, please check with TTC Information to see how long it will take to get to your destination.'

@Suzette: Shoppers should be-

1)Shopping near where they live (if possible)

2)Shopping and using the TTC before or after rush hour, not DURING it. The truth of these old ads is, it's still a problem in 2012, and people haven't got that through their heads yet. Rush hour should be reserved for workers/students coming to and from work/school, not the ordinary guy/gal shopping or doing nothing loaded down with goods and/or a baby carriage. Either do this, or shop on the weekend like people are supposed to do.
Den Wah / July 11, 2012 at 02:27 pm
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Mr Bill More form the Hats Off series looks strikingly like Jack Layton.
Jane / July 11, 2012 at 02:30 pm
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AMAZING! Loved all of these! And I agree, the ship sinking one is hilariously odd. I guess they are supposed to be soldiers fighting the war overseas? As in "...the boys are at war so we can't afford new cars right now"/"...you are sacrificing nothing compared to our boys in the war" type of thing??
Jacob / July 11, 2012 at 02:33 pm
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So, that thing where there's two streetcars and everyone crowds onto the first has been a problem all along, I see.
rick mcginnis / July 11, 2012 at 02:48 pm
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Re: the "shipbuilders series." Toronto once built ships. It's like we were Liverpool or Belfast. Come to think of it, we were once a lot LIKE Liverpool or Belfast. Those days are gone, but then again, Liverpool and Belfast aren't much like they were anymore.

But I guess the lesson you can draw from these ads was that the TTC has always been a miserable experience, but people used to dress a whole lot better.
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from Al / July 11, 2012 at 02:55 pm
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It was beginning in 1975 that exact cash fares were introduced. You could only buy tickets and passes at TTC agencies or Subway stations, from 1975 on.

There used to be a time at there were drivers and conductors on streetcars (2 employees). Drivers just drove, conductors sold and collected fares. With trailers, there were 3 employees, driver and 2 conductors (one in the lead car and one in the trailer).
Welshgrrl / July 11, 2012 at 02:55 pm
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And people didn't pick their noses, clip their nails, huff glue, throw up, curse, eschew deodorant, or talk loudly and endlessly on their personal devices either apparently ...
daddy warbucks / July 11, 2012 at 03:00 pm
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When I go to buy tokens later tonight, I'm going to whip out a 10-spot and really add to the worries of the collector!

"Sorry - smallest I have!"
Idea Guy / July 11, 2012 at 03:09 pm
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I say we fund 'One City' and support Toronto transit by selling these vintage pictures. If not, than more taxes please!
Hillary / July 11, 2012 at 03:14 pm
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Now if only they would bring these back but issue some new ones about:

-not plucking any kind of facial hair on the TTC
-not cliping toenails on the TTC
-not eating McDonald's or other smelly/messy food while on the TTC
-not picking dried skin off one's body while on the TTC
-how it's inappropriate to being a double-wide baby stroller on the TTC
lost / July 11, 2012 at 03:20 pm
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For whats it's worth, the 'Elephant' and 'Playing Games in the Street' posters are in the style of a the British poster artist Fougasse, of 'Careless Talk Cost Lives' fame. If you try to read the tiny type at the bottom, it says (I think), 'With acknowledgements to the artist Fougasse'. They were probably done during WW2, when his style of drawing was extremely well known throughout the UK and Canada.
cathie / July 11, 2012 at 03:24 pm
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Thank you Hillary. Couldn't agree more. Don't get me started on those baby carriages - they're the size of golf carts.
Shey replying to a comment from Hillary / July 11, 2012 at 03:34 pm
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"How it's inappropriate to being a double-wide baby stroller on the TTC"

That's not fair at all. What if the parent has no other way of getting around? Also, having a stroller block your way is only a minor inconvenience to you. Think of how difficult it must be for parents with small children to get around the city without a car.
sarah / July 11, 2012 at 03:34 pm
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I disagree that folks not commuting should avoid travelling during rush hour. Just because they don't work the same hours as everyone else doesn't mean that they don't have important business to conduct during the day. What if someone is doing some shopping after going to their doctor or accountant? We have more buses and shorter headways at these times for a reason!
Ashleigh / July 11, 2012 at 03:59 pm
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The Halton train museum has several TTC cars and buses that still had similar ads up along the top row.
har / July 11, 2012 at 04:04 pm
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God help us. Nothing has changed.
Al replying to a comment from Shey / July 11, 2012 at 04:11 pm
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There are small strollers that can be folded up to the size of an umbrella. There's no reason to bring an SUV sized stroller onto a TTC vehicle.
amero replying to a comment from Shey / July 11, 2012 at 04:14 pm
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Yes maybe not all parents have cars, but people with baby carriages could at least not park them right where everyone is getting on (at the very front). There's that little indent right in front of the second doors you can park. If people are standing there, kindly ask them to move. Same with the bus; parents are always parking right between the two front tires! No one can get on or off! Kindly ask the people sitting in the wheelchair access seats to move, and put those seats up. Problem solved.
that'swhatisaid replying to a comment from James / July 11, 2012 at 04:18 pm
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agreed! the "we all like" are good to repost as is!
Mr Cellophane / July 11, 2012 at 04:30 pm
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Hey! Let's all get offended by a thing that happened in the past!
Toronto sounds good podcast replying to a comment from Suzette Jones / July 11, 2012 at 04:38 pm
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Wonder if peoples shopping habits have changed...or if in 30 years we'll think it odd that once upon a time you couldn't bring a bicycle during rush hour.
the lemur replying to a comment from daddy warbucks / July 11, 2012 at 04:42 pm
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You have to adjust for inflation and make it at least a 50.
the lemur replying to a comment from lost / July 11, 2012 at 04:45 pm
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Yes, and they also acknowledge the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company, which presumably also used the ads.

What I don't get is why the people in the line-up are miffed at the elephant when she is arguably not that large and doesn't have any shopping with her ... yet.
Ratpick replying to a comment from amero / July 11, 2012 at 04:57 pm
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amero: "people with baby carriages could at least not park them right where everyone is getting on (at the very front). There's that little indent right in front of the second doors you can park."

Yes, except that not every stroller fits through those narrow rear doors.

The UTDC streetcars were (are) a really awful design. It's like they simply updated a PCC.
duder / July 11, 2012 at 04:58 pm
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I agree with those who say that nothing's changed. In fact, I heard somebody say "Another 'wrong way' corrigan!" just this morning.
Jellyfishattack replying to a comment from Anti-fatty / July 11, 2012 at 05:22 pm
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Actually, no one fits into one TTC seat if they're over 8 years old - or have things changed in the 2 decades since I last rode the TTC?
Stroller replying to a comment from amero / July 11, 2012 at 05:46 pm
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when i brought my suv stroller on board i flipped up the handicap seat and placed the stroller there on the buses. Out of the way of everyone, but i am sure you would still bitch about it.
dave / July 11, 2012 at 06:00 pm
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These are beautifully designed. I agree with 'Idea Guy' - let's sell reproductions of these posters and fund new transit!
Erica / July 11, 2012 at 06:13 pm
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The 'shopper' ones are still relevant as long as they're not gendered. It's common courtesy to avoid hauling your weekly grocery load on the subway when you know there are going to be rush-hour travelers packed in there like sardines. Also regarding the stroller comments above...they seem to have been gradually increasing in size over the years. When I was a kid there was room in the stroller for me, and maybe a bag underneath or attached to the back. I still occasionally see strollers like this, but they are the exception...soon the average stroller will be the size of a Smartcar...
Tommy replying to a comment from Ratpick / July 11, 2012 at 07:06 pm
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If your stroller doesn't fit through the doors maybe, just maybe, you should reconsider your choice of stroller. It's like if I was to complain that my giant foam novelty hat doesn't fit through the door. Perhaps I should forgo wearing it, and choose a better suited hat for the occasion.

It doesn't matter that the current generation of streetcars doesn't conform to YOU. Until we get the new streetcars, we are stuck with what we have, and the sane among us will try to inconvenience each other as little as possible. Wont you join us?
amero replying to a comment from Stroller / July 11, 2012 at 07:23 pm
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Didn't I just say to flip the handicapped seat? Read the comment all the way through next time.
Amy / July 11, 2012 at 07:32 pm
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I've noticed a lot of SUV strollers just barely make it through a standard door frame. if they get any bigger, they'll simply outmode themselves!

I really enjoyed seeing these poster series, by the way, really fantastic. I agree some of them would look great on the TTC today in a limited edition campaign. I think they'd definitely sell if made available, too.
a / July 11, 2012 at 07:48 pm
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Every shopper was female and every patron was white.

No to these ads. NO.
a replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / July 11, 2012 at 07:53 pm
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Doctor's appointments are common for people with strollers who (without the luxury of a car) require public transit. Your comment is classist. Check yourself.
a replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / July 11, 2012 at 07:54 pm
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And misogynistic, to boot.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from a / July 11, 2012 at 08:03 pm
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Maybe they are, but those appointments shouldn't be during rush hour.
cathie replying to a comment from amero / July 11, 2012 at 08:19 pm
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Are you saying that those 3 people who may be sitting in the handicapped/elderly seats should move, so that you can flip up the seat to accommodate your gargantuan baby carriage? So not only are you then taking up 3 seats, but valuable floor space as well? For what? a 10-lb baby? Gimme a break. If you can afford those huge strollers, then you're not poor. Go buy something more appropriate for use on public transit and stop expecting everybody to be inconvenienced for you.
Mr. Lazy Susan / July 11, 2012 at 08:25 pm
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Mr. Weir is holding a newspaper with a Libya headline: things really haven't changed.

My personal favorite tough is the last one: "AVOID SUDDEN STOPS" with the legs sticking up in the air. Bring that one back.
Sean / July 11, 2012 at 09:04 pm
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The first picture, the woman with actual shopping bags, wow! If only the TTC riders had a chance to view the future, say 2013 when shoppers won't have any bags.

Interesting pictures.
v79 / July 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm
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They should definitely bring these back, but add a few to the list:

1) Student's who don't remove their backpacks while riding
2) Parent's who bring their over-sized baby strollers on during rush hour, blocking the aisles and making it difficult for seated passengers to get off.
3) People who find it necessary to share their horrible taste in music with the rest of us
frustrated TTC user / July 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm
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What an absolutely hellish night using the TTC, just to get to and from BMO Field:
- as a result of "signal problems" on the Yonge line, it took me 25 minutes on the subway just to get from Sheppard to Lawrence
- a streetcar driver on the 509 line was allegedly "assaulted", resulting in all passengers having to walk. I walked from York to Bathurst, where I was able to get on a passing streetcar coming south.
- an interminable wait at the stadium after the game for a streetcar to appear
- arriving at Union station, there are announcements of yet further subway delays

I've used a number of transit systems all over the world, and the TTC is definitely one of the worst.
James / July 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm
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AHHHH! FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!!!
Kat / July 12, 2012 at 01:05 am
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I don't care how many packages/shopping bags/Big Macs/bicycles/cat carriers I have with me. I paid my $3 and I am coming on the bus. Especially at rush hour.

But really, I think we can all agree that the strollers should stay at home with the housewives where they belong.
Packing Heat / July 12, 2012 at 03:50 am
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"Hat's off to Mr. Rock for not pulling out his Glock!"
KitCat / July 12, 2012 at 07:44 am
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All these complaints about strollers are from people who probably don't have kids. That being said when they do you better believe everyone will have to get out of their way.

People with kids need to get around. I ride the TTC, mostly streetcars and my life doesn't seem to be as hindered as eveyrone on here by strollers. Stop complaining about everything in life and be happy you aren't in a country where they physically have to jam you into the subway.

Everyone pays their fare and unless they cause physical harm to you or your senses... ie the non deoderant wearing riders... than just suck it up.
Paul / July 12, 2012 at 08:07 am
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Some additional context around these ads would help. A lot are from the WWII period when there was severe overcrowding on the TTC because of a huge increase in ridership (soldiers, war production, restrictions on private automobile use) but no additional buses or streetcars available. So, in that context the idea that shoppers should restrict their trips to outside of the rush hour makes some sense (e.g. Is your trip really necessary?). The poster with the sinking ship is a direct reference to the issue - your problem of not being able to get on a streetcar pales in comparison to the problems which the people fighting the war are having, so suck it up (so to speak).

I love the vintage look, would be great to see new posters done in this style, though I'm not sure if they would appeal to the majority of people today.
Ryan / July 12, 2012 at 08:43 am
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The biggest problem I have with strollers is that people with them think they should be getting on the bus first.

Let every other person at the stop (especially busy ones) get on first so they don't have to squeeze by you and create a jam at the doors.
W. K. Lis replying to a comment from Sean / July 12, 2012 at 08:54 am
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PAPER shopping bags? What a concept! Paper instead of plastic.
Pk replying to a comment from a / July 12, 2012 at 09:03 am
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shrill.
Marc / July 12, 2012 at 09:32 am
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So accumulating some of these comments, it seems that Torontonians in addition to not wanting to pay for transit, have increased fares for transit, or accept existing service-levels, they also don't want to follow some form of etiquette to make existing transit more efficient.

Alex / July 12, 2012 at 10:08 am
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They should definitely put etiquette posters back up on the TTC. Even just simple stuff like move to the back would be helpful.
Annoying / July 12, 2012 at 10:20 am
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You know what I miss? The time when kids knew what headphones were. You know the ones I'm talking about; those who think blasting music through their phone speaker is the cool thing to do. I'm sorry, but we don't feel like listening to your stupid rap music with lyrics about killing people or doing drugs....
Annoying / July 12, 2012 at 10:20 am
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Although watching you do some stupid half-assed "dance" while you listen to your shitty music is somewhat amusing.
M / July 12, 2012 at 10:26 am
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I've taken TTC every day for 15 years and have never been ticked off by an SUV-sized stroller. I don't even have kids but I get that parents need to cart them around, which takes up space. Deal with it. Living in a city leads to tight spaces. If you haven't paid an extra token for your bag, it should not get a seat but have some humanity. Kids aren't packages.

And all those seniors who enjoy taking sardine-type transit for pleasure...they are surely to blame for congestion and overcrowding! No one takes rush hour transit for fun. Why the hate for seniors or parents? They could be going to appointments with doctors/lawyers/the bank/city hall/taking kid to daycare or are going to work for all you know. Seniors work too. To the person saying seniors shouldn't book early appointments: you expect doctors to twiddle their thumbs between the hours of 9 and 11?

I think there should be more disdain for able-bodied people who don't give up their seats to the elderly/disabled/on krutches/pregnant, Etc. That I see every day as I reach for a pole and try not to get my elbow in someone's eye.

As for reprints of this: They are fun, but aside from a few hundred transit lovers or dorm room dwellers, no one would buy them
Proletariat replying to a comment from Jane / July 12, 2012 at 10:27 am
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Actually I think it's more like these
Guys got blown up and aren't complaining so why are you??
agentsmith replying to a comment from a / July 12, 2012 at 10:30 am
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You're ignoring the context of the era that these ads are from. These were probably pretty accurate at the time, as Toronto used to be much more "white" than it is today, and women used to have much more "traditional" roles in family and society.

Funny how everyone knows and admits that even today women generally do more shopping than men, but as soon as you put that in a negative light such as shopping bags taking up space on a bus, then someone cries misogyny.
agentsmith / July 12, 2012 at 10:31 am
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FYI, "Wrong Way Corrigan" is an old-school pop culture reference to a pilot who flew in the wrong direction.
http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Explorers_Record_Setters_and_Daredevils/corrigan/EX16.htm

The more you know!
jer / July 12, 2012 at 10:56 am
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Found this really interesting. Guess people were rude back in the "good old days" too and didn't understand common courtesy like moving to the back, etc.
opensource / July 12, 2012 at 01:18 pm
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What exactly is an SUV/oversize stroller? I am picturing a double or triple passenger stroller, with diaper bags and groceries attached, and an open umbrella, and maybe a small DVD player mounted in front. Is that what people are seeing? What I see is usually a Bugaboo type single baby stroller. If you are thinking the collapsible umbrella type strollers are the norm of what parents should have, you don't have kids, no question. Saying that a stroller type is a preference akin to choosing to wear your enormous foam hat is ridiculous. Again, proves the writer doesn't have kids. Is being a parent relevant to the discussion? Yes, because parents have been on BOTH sides of the situation, and are uniquely able to make the judgment of what is more important.
Mark Dowling / July 12, 2012 at 02:04 pm
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Judging by the ridiculous behaviour this blog chronicles on the GO, some posters are needed there too: http://www.thiscrazytrain.com/
HeavyHolly replying to a comment from Kat / July 12, 2012 at 02:18 pm
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Wow. I am a "housewife" who is raising a child - I am amazed at how much contempt this arouses in people today like you! It's an incredibly difficult and wonderful thing to have a baby and I sure don't think I should be forced to stay at home, if only for the sake of my child. Why would you say such a nasty, demeaning thing?
HeavyHolly replying to a comment from M / July 12, 2012 at 02:19 pm
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Hear, hear! If only everyone was as empathetic as you.
ps / July 12, 2012 at 02:38 pm
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.. so many white people ..
Macey / July 12, 2012 at 03:07 pm
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people are so quick to hate on this blog it's unreal...can't imagine how miserably tedious you all are in person. pretty sure these retro images were posted for a quick read, don't really believe blog or the ttc are considering their use again. and yes adverts as well as all media was quite racist, homophobic and inappropriate in this era - doesn't mean they're promoting it now. i suggest you take life less seriously.
Macey replying to a comment from ps / July 12, 2012 at 03:08 pm
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it's historical - they're not coming back. calm down!!!
Macey replying to a comment from James / July 12, 2012 at 03:11 pm
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agreed - what a tragedy it must be to live in this city and have access to this site as well. maybe we should initate a protest of sorts....
rahl replying to a comment from James / July 12, 2012 at 03:14 pm
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all else aside - what would help most people in this city; the simple use of the word "excuse me." anywhere in this city, i'll be standing somewhere to learn that someone's been waiting for me to move ie. retail store, grocery store, ttc etc. and instead of saying 'excuse me' politely, they wait? i've lived here for over 10 yrs. now and am still confused by this.
I dunno but ... replying to a comment from agentsmith / July 12, 2012 at 03:55 pm
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... I think "a" must have wandered in here from rabble.ca (aka the Toronto Sun of the left)
peg replying to a comment from HeavyHolly / July 12, 2012 at 04:23 pm
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Wow, seriously? That was obviously sarcasm. Try interpreting a comment properly before getting all offended.
Blair replying to a comment from peg / July 12, 2012 at 05:08 pm
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i don't think it was sarcasm, but maybe the original poster can clarify...
HeavyHolly replying to a comment from peg / July 12, 2012 at 05:30 pm
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Unless one goes about assuming every comment is sarcastic (maybe a fair assumption!), I'm not sure how it's obvious that one was. But if I'm wrong, I apologise. Given the context - a lot of negative comments about women and strollers - I don't think it's too surprising I'd get offended. Sorry to have disturbed you.
Don't Bred replying to a comment from cathie / July 12, 2012 at 05:32 pm
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spoken like a true idiot who hasn't bred yet. Please don't bred, you would be doing the rest of us a favour.
Kat replying to a comment from HeavyHolly / July 12, 2012 at 05:57 pm
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It was sarcasm. You paid your $3 just like I did. Just don't run over my toes.

Seriously though, I agree with the above comment about strollers getting on first. I understand that it's polite to let moms with strollers on first, because clearly they have a shitty deal having to lug their child on the bus. But don't stop right at the door. If you are going to be getting off soon and want to remain near the door, let everyone else on first. Then when you get on the bus, you are near the door and no one hates you. Everyone wins.
Nibor / July 12, 2012 at 06:01 pm
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The amount of time that people spend rebutting each other on the blog is baffling. You're arguing via blog posts! Seriously! Enjoy the blog, but reevaluate the amount time you alott to complaining on the interweb. Go do something meaningful!
HeavyHolly replying to a comment from Kat / July 12, 2012 at 06:28 pm
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My bad! Sorry :)
Kat replying to a comment from HeavyHolly / July 12, 2012 at 06:37 pm
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One more thing..
I think it's pretty safe to assume that most, if not all, of these comments are meant to be sarcastic. I find it hard to believe that all these people actually think that moms and seniors should be banned from the TTC because they hinder the able-bodied riders like myself. It just comes down to being considerate. Have to take your stroller? Move it out of the way. Have to bring your shopping bags on the subway? Sure. Just don't put them on the seat if you can avoid it (and you can't always avoid it).

I don't know what to say about the seniors because they don't seem to be too much of a nuisance to me...

Just don't assume that because you are with child/cane/stroller that everyone is going to jump to accomodate you. Say please and thank you. Be polite.

And I don't care if you are 107 years old, if there is a seat next to me, I'm not getting up to give you my seat. If I am somehow so offensive that you don't want to sit next to me, you sure as hell can't have my seat.
Kat replying to a comment from Nibor / July 12, 2012 at 06:39 pm
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Disagree. It is very important to me that strangers on the internet know my feelings about the TTC, which I rarely take.
Busman 75 replying to a comment from Shey / July 12, 2012 at 06:52 pm
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Those "SUV" strollers cost several hundred dollars. . . If you can afford one of those, you can afford an umbrella stroller as they cost as little as 20 bucks and are more transit friendly.

I grew up in Mississauga in the 80's and my folks didn't have a car so it was Miway all the way(this was before low floor buses BTW when buses actually had space!) We were on a fixed income and my parents managed to have 2 different strollers: one for transit and one for walks! If they could do it, ANYONE can!
Busman 75 replying to a comment from Shey / July 12, 2012 at 07:11 pm
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BTW I love these! They should definitely use these on TTC today with some updated ones and make the people in these more reflective of todays TTC.
Rodesco / July 13, 2012 at 12:48 am
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Love how in the "bumbling man" series the well-to-do man and woman are the ones with the least civility. I wish I would have seen these before I did my own project on public transit courtesy about the CTA in chicago. http://www.rodescodesign.com/portfolio/print.html
amero replying to a comment from cathie / July 13, 2012 at 03:15 am
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You definitely have a point here. Smaller carriages do exist, and probably for this reason.
Ratpick replying to a comment from Tommy / July 13, 2012 at 09:41 am
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"If your stroller doesn't fit through the doors maybe, just maybe, you should reconsider your choice of stroller. It's like if I was to complain that my giant foam novelty hat doesn't fit through the door. Perhaps I should forgo wearing it, and choose a better suited hat for the occasion.

It doesn't matter that the current generation of streetcars doesn't conform to YOU. Until we get the new streetcars, we are stuck with what we have, and the sane among us will try to inconvenience each other as little as possible. Wont you join us?"

You don't have kids, do you?

Let me give you a lesson in strollers: Compact, useful, affordable -- pick two.

Let me give you a lesson in people: the ones who CAN afford nice compact Euro-strollers, or who use big jogging strollers, don't load their kids onto filthy streetcars in the first place. Ever. They take the Subaru or the pricey bike trailer.

So think of that when you feel like you want to sneer at some cash-strapped Parkdale mother with an cheap, bulky stroller who's busting her ass to get the kids to a clinic for a doctor appointment. Cut her some slack and offer to help her out (I do it all the time).

Spare me the lecture, friendo.
RCGUY / July 13, 2012 at 11:24 am
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I have kids, and when we do have to take the TTC with the baby, we try to avoid rush hour or times where it may be busy. That is not a luxury all parents have. I feel so embarrassed and anxious when the stroller is blocking the aisle, but there is only so much I can do. At the heart of it, though, more important than my own discomfort or even the discomfort of others, is the safety and comfort of my child. She depends on me to protect her, and not do something to jeopardize her safety (like cramming her into the middle of a busy streetcar, away from the one exit that can accomdate the stroller; or trying to juggle her on one arm, folded stroller and bag on the other, and squeezing past people and out the narrow back steps). I am a full grown man, and I can just handle this physically with only minimal under the breath swearing. Image a mother with one or two children on her own. If the response from some people to this is "That's not my problem," then that is a selfish response, that invites and deserves an equally selfish approach from the riders with children. Even when I ride without my kids, I always help other parents with them, and so do most parents. At the end of the day, if the choice is between the comfort and saftey of a child (any child, not just one's own), and the comfort of an able bodied adult rider, I think that's an easy choice for most parents.
Steve replying to a comment from KitCat / July 13, 2012 at 11:24 am
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How about making the kid walk for once? They have legs. Everyone is turning their kids into a bunch of fucking bubble babies.
lisa / July 13, 2012 at 11:58 am
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i love some of the food old-fashioned racism and prejudice in these ads
lets bring them back and watch the PR office at TTC get a lynching just for the helluvit
Ace McNugget / July 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm
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I remember when people used to take their child out of their pushchair and fold it up- often one handed while holding the child. Now people expect to be able to take their SUV pushchairs with solid chairs (often meant to double as child car seats) straight onto buses or streetcars to get in everyone's way. Now- what with TTC service being cut, the downtown area becoming more densely populated with no sign of anything other than more TTC cuts- these parents/carers need to stop being so selfish. Fold up the pushchair, don't block up the whole place. If it's an SUV one that doesn't really fold up- get one that does (at a fraction of the cost) and show some courtesy to your fellow passengers!
M replying to a comment from Steve / July 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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Yeah, we should totally get those infants to get off their lazy butts and make them walk for once. By the time they're 6 months, they should already be in the sweat shops too. I really hope most people on here are being sarcastic or else it's no wonder the TTC is in the state it's in
Ace McNugget replying to a comment from M / July 13, 2012 at 01:03 pm
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fyi, not being sarcastic. Don't think many other comments are either.
Ratpick replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / July 13, 2012 at 01:06 pm
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"Fold up the pushchair, don't block up the whole place. If it's an SUV one that doesn't really fold up- get one that does (at a fraction of the cost) and show some courtesy to your fellow passengers!"

So let's see. You've got your bags, your stroller, your child, and you're now supposed to pull the child out, fold the whole thing up in a crowded, moving streetcar? And if you're lucky, the floor is dry?

Or do it all beforehand and hold the streetcar up as you try to get everything aboard?

And then repeat the whole process when you get to your stop?

This attitude, Ace my friend, is why transit is choice #2 for those who can afford alternatives.

Have you ever thought of HELPING someone with a stroller? I propose that doing so makes this city a better place than sitting back behind your Wayfarers and wishing that the families would go to the suburbs where they belong.
Alex / July 13, 2012 at 01:13 pm
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I don't mind a stroller on the bus or streetcar (how else would they get around with one?), but what bugs me is when I or someone else is sitting on those sideways or a seat near the front, and we get up for the parent to sit down, but the parent just stands at the front by the door with the stroller blocking the entire entrance. That's just stupid and dangerous and it pisses me off. If there is an empty seat at the front and you have a stroller then you have to sit in the seat and move your stroller there, blocking the entrance to the bus because you don't want to sit next to someone is just selfish.
W. K. Lis / July 13, 2012 at 01:19 pm
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Kids under two years old ride free, but over two they can walk. Don't like the family with kids nearly three years old or over four years old still using the strollers.
Ace McNugget replying to a comment from Ratpick / July 13, 2012 at 01:45 pm
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Yes, I expect parents to do that before the streetcar comes. It's exactly what people did in a pre-SUV stroller world. That way you can enter at the front, move toward the back and exit using the rear doors as all good passengers are supposed to.
Valentine Makhouleen / July 13, 2012 at 02:20 pm
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These are fantastic. I made a more modern set a year ago: http://new-media.ca/projects/transit-fail/
Ed Kobayashi / July 13, 2012 at 06:45 pm
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Musta been nice back then. No crack-head Somali kids with guns on the TTC,
Random Reader / July 13, 2012 at 07:05 pm
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Brilliant piece.

I dunno, Mrs McTush and Mrs Heddy look suspiciously similar. Identical twins, or was this something not to be discussed?
DVDguy / July 13, 2012 at 07:31 pm
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Made the Globe. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/vintage-messages-on-ttc-etiquette-posters-still-resonate/article4416150/ Luv the comment from D Waarheid.
Dom / July 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm
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This is why I drive
Kari replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / July 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm
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What makes you think the people with shopping or a stroller aren't on their way to or from work/school? Lots of people have to take the transit to pick up and drop off their kids at daycare, and many run errands on their lunch break from work. Also, people such as seniors, I'm sure have appointments or just plain want to get out and that often coincides with rush hour, especially since it isn't just an hour anymore, more like 2+ hours every morning and evening, and often randomly throughout the day.
the lemur replying to a comment from DVDguy / July 13, 2012 at 11:13 pm
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That guy is a small-town BC bible-thumper, Toronto-hating rube and all-round prick rolled into one annoying package.
lee replying to a comment from opensource / July 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm
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opensource I cried of laughter just picturing your description of the SUV baby pram. Funniest comment I read in this thread. Thank you.
clive replying to a comment from ps / July 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm
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I know! Isn't it great what white people built? Too bad it has all gone grey and now falling apart due to multiculturalism.
Jbass replying to a comment from v79 / July 14, 2012 at 12:19 am
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Haha.totally
Jbass replying to a comment from v79 / July 14, 2012 at 12:30 am
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TTC could use a series of etiquette posters for the surly grumpy ill mannered staff who delight in leaving passengers stranded at transfers all hours. Could they perform their tasks any slower? No. Hate the TTC. Its summer. Walk.
Midge / July 14, 2012 at 06:02 pm
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In reply to Suzette Jones. They didn't need posters to tell people to give up their seat to the elderly because it was common manners to do so. The same applies to bags on empty seats. Forty years ago you wouldn't dream of taking up a seat with bags. How times change!
Adrian / July 15, 2012 at 03:04 am
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I agree about the golf cart sized baby strollers getting in the way. Why can't they simply flip up the seats in the handicapped area and park the damn stroller in there?
jan / July 15, 2012 at 07:44 am
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people love commenting on the ttc
u should just have ttc stuff on ur blog
Frank / July 15, 2012 at 05:53 pm
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People with huge strollers should pay an extra $5 fare. Those things are outrageous!! It should incentivize people to go for the $20 stroller. Or take a cab, this is much worse than the nail clipper people. Accessible buses were made for people in wheelchairs and they've been hi jacked by those awful strollers with screaming kids!!
Mina Torres replying to a comment from Frank / July 15, 2012 at 07:30 pm
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Oh yeah, I totally agree with you. Those people with strollers should be able to afford cars and therefore should never be burdening people on the public transit system with their stupid spawn walking devices. If they can't drive, they should of never had babies in the first place, right?
Joel replying to a comment from Mina Torres / July 16, 2012 at 10:19 am
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I hope that you don't procreate. We don't need any more 'stupid spawn' like you.
ganzaii replying to a comment from Hillary / July 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm
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I love babies. But I hate the Rolls Royce strollers that congest ttc vehicles and sidewalks. Let's be reasonable people. Taking your baby on a ttc ride as if he/she were Cleopatra among the plebes just isn't cool. And especially during rush hour. And talk about taking up space and causing whiplash....BACKPACKS. Parents =======> please....teach your children to take their backpacks off when they enter a ttc vehicle. I for one am sick and tired of being smacked across the head while I try to read my paper or being blocked from exiting at my stop by a teenager who's backpack has thirty pounds of books in it.
I recently noticed that the Mississauga Transit posts a sign on all their vehicles instructing their citizens to remove their backpacks and not eat stinky food while travelling. The TTC seems to just ignore bad behaviour. It translates into bad transit.
webpossum replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / July 20, 2012 at 02:38 pm
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golly yes because everyone in the world works from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday so they're all on the exact same schedule... Wake up. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to shop in off hours or juggle multiple collapsing strollers. For some people, the TTC isn't the better way, it's the only way.

psyche replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / July 24, 2012 at 12:48 am
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RE: Shoppers should wait for the weekend. Not all of us work 9-5 Mon - Fri jobs and often times our weekends are in the middle of the week. So sometimes we finish shopping around rush hour. The real problem is that we need better transit with more options. TTC should look like a spider's web instead of a cross.
Julia / July 25, 2012 at 01:18 pm
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How can I get in touch with Chris Bateman!? I'd like to talk to you about these images please!
Martin in Toronto replying to a comment from Pk / July 28, 2012 at 01:12 pm
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Pk wrote "...'cause we put an elephant in a suit.

That's not an elephant, it's Da Mayor. but what's he doing on the TTC?
Chris Bateman replying to a comment from Julia / August 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm
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Hi Julia. My email is "chris" followed by the "at" symbol then "blogto dot com". Sorry to be cryptic, even writers aren't immune to the spam filter.
Adrian replying to a comment from Anti-fatty / September 20, 2012 at 01:32 am
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It's just Rob Ford in disguise.
Goldielover replying to a comment from Al / January 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm
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Yes, up until about thirty years ago they gave change. They thought it would speed up the process if he didn't need to deal with cash, and also make it safer.
Goldielover replying to a comment from RCGUY / January 3, 2013 at 10:57 pm
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If you're one of the ones who parks their stroller in the narrow area between the front wheels of the bus in order to be close to the door, then there is no more unsafe place on the bus for your child than that. I've seen a small baby get injured there when a senior, trying to exit past the stroller, tripped and landed on the baby. Using the back door was not an option for the senior as she needed the lowering front step. I'd never risk my daughter there - better off a little further back pulled in close to the single seats.
Transit360 App - I save so much time! / January 9, 2013 at 09:59 am
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This is awesome! I love vintage - they should still use these. I find the online times inaccurate or hard to reach when I'm on the go ... so I use the COMPLETELY FREE Transit360 app for iOS. They have nothing but 4-5 star reviews in the app store. I'd definitely give Transit360 a try if I were you. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/transit-360/id350572383?mt=8
thankful / March 29, 2013 at 05:31 pm
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There needs to be some reminder regarding rider etiquette on ttc vehicles. People take ttc not because the like it but out of necessity. Who really joy rides at rush hour and what mother wouldn't prefer to drive small children to and from day care, medical appointments and to stop off and pick up groceries. Seniors have a life too that may involve rush hour travel.

While the retro style of these posters are fine, the images do not reflect the demographics of Toronto in 2013. Update characters, backdrops and costumes. I would love to see reminders regarding courtesy and cleanliness. No feet, dogs and bags on seats - they don't pay a fare and are not entitled to a seat. Take your garbage with you - they can't throw out themselves. Move back to make room for others. These are some messages that I would like to see on ttc vehicles.

Meanwhile, ttc needs to improve vehicle cleanliness. I often take a newspaper with me to sit on as seats are often messy, particularly on certain bus routes.

Maybe if ttc charged fines for littering and poor behavior on vehicle it would generate money for improvements.
Margie B / April 5, 2013 at 09:07 pm
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As a frequent user of the TTC, I would welcome and support
TTC Etiquette Champagnes on a regular basis. They're much needed reminders for all TTC passengers. We all need reminding every now and then.

Reminders include:

Throw out your garbage. Pick-up after yourself.

Using the back door of the streetcar or bus to exit the vehicle.

Moving to the back of the streetcar or bus to allow passengers to enter.

Not blocking the doors of the subway, while passengers try to exit.

Not blocking the doors of the subway, while passengers try to enter.

Not putting your feet, your children's feet or your dog's paws on the seats.
Not putting parcels that have come into contact with the ground on seats either.

Keeping your purse, briefcase, newspapers and parcels on your lap, not the empty seat next to you.

Women, do not comb your hair, apply make-up or cut your fingernails in public.
That's what restrooms are for.


I could go on and on, but these are some of the major issues I experience or observe on a daily basis when I use the TTC. What has happened to our society? Where has all the fundamental knowledge of using public space gone? Where is the respect for others and your environment? Where is the etiquette?



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d / October 15, 2013 at 04:09 pm
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Thanks for posting that ... nice :) (See? Old Canadian manners still survive ... somewhere!)
p replying to a comment from Shey / October 15, 2013 at 05:42 pm
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about as difficult as trying to get to the back of a streetcar with a 4 ft. wide stroller in your way?
gayle b / October 15, 2013 at 07:45 pm
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I love these, thanks for posting!
D / October 15, 2013 at 07:45 pm
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I'm simply blown away by the sheer ignorance regarding baby strollers. If you have never had to commute with a baby in a city like Toronto then you are just plain ignorant of the situation and should shut up, period.

I had to use the TTC to go everywhere with my kid, rain, shine or snow. Infants are not as portable as a 4 or 5 year old. You need the larger strollers to tote the huge amount of stuff you need for your baby (food, blankets, diapers, toys, etc). Umbrella strollers cannot hold all this stuff and are not appropriate for walking around town all day. Kids cannot sleep in them very well, infants cannot sit in them properly and they are not good in the rain, wind, direct sun, or snow.

I can tell you that it is hard to deal with (i.e. not punch them in the face) inconsiderate commuters cutting in front of your stroller in the station, lazy asses that think they deserve to use the elevator more than people with wheelchairs or strollers or people that will not move out of the way so you can actually get on a bus or streetcar. Oh did I mention the idiots that wear their backpacks on the TTC, which you have to watch out to make sure their backpacks don't smack your baby in the face. A number of parents do have to commute during rush hour when you have to take your kid to daycare before you go to work. It's a real challenge to do this.

Get a car you say? Give me a break. These people are probably the same idiots that complain there are too many cars in the city. If you live in an area of the city with good TTC access and limited parking options, does it really make sense to get a car (whether you can afford one or not)?

Finally, there are reasons why people with strollers sit near the front of a bus or streetcar. 1) They can't get to the back because people will not move out of the way. Moving a stroller is not the same as squeezing by without one and you need to have people will to do more than just squeeze in closer to the seat in order for you to get by. 2) Unless you can get all the way to the back doors of a bus or streetcar, it is very difficult to make your way through the people to get to a door in time to exit the bus at a stop.

Yes, I have seen a few clueless stroller pushers out there, but I don't think the proportion of these people are enriched compared to the usual crowd of riders.
mike replying to a comment from Macey / October 15, 2013 at 08:10 pm
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Um no. you calm down. there was nothing not calm about that comment. sure its historical like you quickly jumped to defense.. but the person simply said white people.. with no indication of bias.. but stating fact ;)
Daniel McIntyre / October 16, 2013 at 02:49 am
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I LOVE how real WHITE Canadians once dominated Toronto before it was a landing strip to all the world's garbage. Those were good days.
Abo / October 16, 2013 at 08:34 am
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I LOVE how ABORIGINAL Canadians once dominated Toronto before it was a landing strip to the white man with their greed and disease. THOSE were the good days!
Bruce replying to a comment from Daniel McIntyre / October 16, 2013 at 08:45 am
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Daniel Mclntyre are you really that racist...What's real white Canadians your ignorant. Real Canadians are natives. Go read a book if you can.
Abo replying to a comment from Daniel McIntyre / October 16, 2013 at 08:50 am
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I LOVE how ABORIGINAL Canadians once dominated Toronto before it was a landing strip to the white man with their greed and disease. THOSE were the good days!
KateW / October 16, 2013 at 10:37 am
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I think if the TTC wanted to bring back ads like these, they should commission someone like a manga artist to draw fun but informative cartoons reflecting the diversity of modern Toronto. We could have the fun tone of the old ads, but images that better reflect the current city.
Carly replying to a comment from rahl / October 16, 2013 at 11:01 am
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The underuse of excuse me is absolutely the #1 thing to be addressed. Why doesn't anyone say it. And yeah, waiting for me in a huff isn't going to make me move. Asking me will. Even telling me, or bumping me AND THEN saying excuse me is totally acceptable. Please, thank you, excuse me, and sorry. It's so much easier to "communicate" and "work together" than work up an angry sweat and start lashing out because people have no confidence in manners.
Henry Marshall replying to a comment from Michelle / October 17, 2013 at 09:44 am
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How do you know they don't have to? Are they wearing a sign that says as much? You don't know where they are going or why or even if possibly they *are* going to a job. Assumptions about others and our perceived importance over their interests seems to be a far bigger problem.
Miss / October 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm
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I just want to print some of these out and hand them out or stick them around.
Amanda / October 17, 2013 at 01:10 pm
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We should make new ones for today. That, plus teaching common sense to kids in school since it's not so "common" any more.

My vote for the first new one to unveil is one that involves the importance of personal hygiene in public. Something like: "Going to ride the street car for a half-hour in 32 degree weather, with your arm proudly above your head to hold the grab bar? Maybe you should put on some deodorant first."
Kerri / November 23, 2013 at 08:55 pm
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Vicki replying to a comment from Suzette Jones / July 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm
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That's because people back then had something called "Common Courtesy"
vicki replying to a comment from Mr Cellophane / July 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm
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That's people for you.
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Amanda / July 17, 2014 at 07:46 pm
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If I can get a single seat or aisle seat, I always take my backpack off and sit it on my lap, as long as there is room to get it off my back safely. but honestly, I absolutely do wear my backpack when standing on the TTC. I am extremely aware of my "turtleback" when I am moving about or turning while wearing it. The reality is that my back is much stronger than my arms. I could not hold my backpack in my hands for more than a couple of minutes, whereas I can carry it on my back for an hour if necessary. I will not put it down on a wet floor, which is any given time for half of the year. Taking it off or putting it back on in a packed train, streetcar or bus means swinging it around from front to back or vice versa in a way that makes me much more likely to risk hitting or hurting someone than if I simply wear it! And I cannot take it off BEFORE boarding a streetcar or bus (or put it back on AFTER disembarking) because I need my hands to manage the stairs safely. Especially on the aforementioned wet-floor days!
Morgan / July 18, 2014 at 01:05 am
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While I agree with 99.9% of everyone's complaints about TTC riders, some of them are ridiculous. I work 6, sometimes 7 days a week and the hours can change which means I must do my shopping whenever I can, and sometimes during rush hour (although I do my best to avoid it just because it is frustrating for me). Now, do I get on the bus with a week's worth of groceries to feed a family of four? No, but I may have 2 or three bags with me. People complaining about others shopping during rush hour is nonsense, you don't know what their schedule or life is like and this may be their only opportunity. And when it comes to strollers, I understand that sometimes they can take up quite a bit of room, but the reality is mothers need to travel just like the rest of us. When there are so many more infuriating people on the TTC, complaining about shoppers or mothers is just silly. They have the right to be on the TTC when they choose, not when it's most convenient for others.
Jenny / July 20, 2014 at 11:52 am
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How about those strollers with kids big enough to bloody walk/stand? I was on a busy bus once and this kid was huge! Not only was he not using the stroller that was taking up room he threw a fit because he didn't even want to sit in it and ended up taking up a seat too. And yes, strollers are frickin HUGE these days. With coffee cup holders, baskets with room for half your groceries, not to mention their all terrain wheels. Whatever happened to making kids walk? Or backpacks for babies? That's how my brother and I got around when we were little. Kids are small, so why do their strollers need to be 5 times the size of the kid?
Chad Gendron / August 5, 2014 at 02:57 pm
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What a great collection. Our wheels are turning.

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