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Free Presto card giveaway causes total chaos in Toronto

Riding the TTC can already be a hassle in this city, and although Scotiabank just tried to make it easier, they probably made it a bit worse for one day. 

A free Presto Card giveaway at several TTC and GO stations caused some havoc in the streets as thousands lined up to get their hands on the cards.

The promotion was meant to advertise the Maple Leafs' first game at the newly-named Scotiabank Arena.

In addition to the fact that free stuff makes people line up like crazy, Scotiabank decided the ideal time to give the cards away was right at the beginning of rush hour, starting at approximately 4 p.m. 

Lineups formed early, and began to block many sidewalks outside transit stations very quickly.

The good people who run the TTC Customer Service Twitter account spent the day explaining to people why the lines were forming, despite not being involved in the giveaway. 

One person who tried to get a card was Cindy Rossi, who headed to College Station.

According to her, it was unorganized chaos as the TTC staff, police, and Scotiabank representatives were giving conflicting information and mob-mentality set in. 

"You had to look for a hand holding out a pass and push through the crowd hoping you would get it," she says, "It got really hot, congested, and scary." 

The mayhem will probably take place again, as Scotiabank is preparing a second giveaway later this month on October 17. 

Lead photo by

greenbbt


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