A TTC etiquette guide, vintage edition
Delving 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:
"WE ALL LIKE" SERIES:
"BUMBLING MAN" SERIES:
Images from the City of Toronto Archives
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