ttc subway

Someone in Toronto just found a TTC transfer from 56 years ago

If you're from Toronto, you're probably aware of the quirky but nostalgic tradition of keeping old transfers from important dates, but someone just found one from a very important date 56 years ago.

Sometimes people commemorate a New Year's Eve or a birthday by holding on to a transfer from that day as a keepsake, but the transfer Mark Kawano's mom saved was from a special time for the whole city.

Scrawled on the old transfer is the number "66" and the note "1st day of Toronto E/W subway." The transfer actually dates back to the opening of the Bloor-Danforth subway line in Toronto now known as Line 2, which opened Feb. 26, 1966. The transfer is dated Feb. 28.

"I don't think she ever mentioned that actual day that she rode on the new subway. Her journal entry for that day only says, 'I rode the subway 1st time, Keele to Spadina. It was 15 min. faster,'" Kawano tells blogTO.

"It was just a typical work day for her. My folks adopted me as an infant in 1967, so by the time I was old enough to hear their stories, something like that would've been long forgotten."

If you're hoping to preserve your memories for future generations, take a page from Kawano's mom's book and keep a journal.

"Nothing super personal or detailed, just writing down daily activities and events in those little diary type books," says Kawano.

His mother kept journals from 1948 up until the 2000s, and he found the old transfer tucked away in one of them.

"The TTC transfer was just tucked away in her 1966 book. She kind of kept everything so it wasn't a surprise to find it, with her hand written note and year added to the date," says Kawano.

"I had gone through these journals before and knew it was in there somewhere. I just thought it would be nice to share the unusual souvenir online. Like my mom, I tend to keep things, so I'll just keep it tucked in the 1966 book for now."

Japanese-Canadian, the journals start just as Kawano's mom is preparing to return to Canada from a nannying job in Japan, which she had started just as WWII broke out. She passed away in 2004 and left all her journals behind for Kawano.

As for whether anyone will ever find anything Kawano himself has kept in the future and be transported through Toronto's history, he doesn't think he has anything particularly remarkable stashed away right now, but only time will tell.

"My own stash of Toronto memories are more like tickets and match books from the 80s bar scene," says Kawano. "Probably the same stuff everyone else my age has."

Lead photo by

Mark Kawano


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