You can now pay someone to stand in line for you at Toronto's busy passport offices
Toronto residents love to wait in line, if the mobs that form outside new ice cream and brunch joints for weeks on end are any indication.
But not all lineups lead to ube soft serve, good concert seats or some freshly-dropped Jordans. Some are more like... the queuing equivalent of grudge purchases — all of those practical things you need to buy but get little enjoyment out of, like winter tires and bug spray.
Service Canada, Service Ontario, Passport Canada and all of the other chronically busy, permanently understaffed government offices we must occasionally visit for bureaucratic reasons are not things people are excited to queue for.
And yet, Toronto residents have been forming lines that snake around full city blocks in recent weeks to access these beige rooms where the people inside can renew their expired or expiring passports.
Travel restrictions have finally just relaxed enough post-pandemic for most people to start travelling again after two years of kicking it in Canada. This rush on passport renewal services makes sense, but it's still frustrating as all heck for people with international trips planned soon.
Some folks have identified a unique opportunity out of this passport office overload — one that could eventually translate over to, say, general admission concerts and (dare I dream?) airport baggage checks.
"I stand in line for you at Service Canada/Service Ontario/Passport lines and other things that require alot of time to wait for etc.," reads an ad posted on Kijiji this past weekend.
"I am in the Caledon area and have access to a vehicle. The rate is $50/hr. Min. deposit of $100 is required done through etransfer."
The self-described "freelance line stander" says that while the first two hours of standing are $50 each, everything after the first two hours will be billed at $30 hourly. Not a terrible payday for simply existing in line.
"Line waiter in Brampton," reads another post from last week. "If you don't have time to stand in lines at the airport office or service Canada etc. then this is the ad for you because we offer a professional line waiter to wait in line so you don't have to."
Not only can you make some extra scratch waiting in line at a government office, you can pay someone to avoid the boring task yourself.
"Willing to pay $20 an hour for someone to wait in line at the Victoria street passport office," reads a listing posted to Kijiji on Monday. "Starting at 3 a.m. — 8 a.m. ($100 total) until I'm able to arrive. Anytime this week (week of May 3.) Cash or etransfer. Please message if interested."
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