ttc violence

Man pushed onto tracks at busy Toronto subway station in latest episode of TTC violence

Toronto Police have arrested and charged one man with assault after a suspect allegedly pushed another person onto the subway tracks at Bloor Yonge-Station during rush hour on Tuesday evening.

Two men are said to have gotten into an argument on a subway platform at approximately 6:14 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, according to Toronto Police Service Const. Cindy Chung.

"The argument escalated into a physical altercation," Chung told blogTO. "One man pushed the other man off the platform level onto the tracks."

Fortunately, police say the victim was helped off the tracks before a train approached — which is lucky, given that TTC trains run more frequently than normal during rush hour, arriving at least every two to three minutes between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

TTC Special Constables who were on the scene managed to arrest the man and turn him over to police, who in turn charged the individual with assault.

Toronto Police and TTC officials are working together to investigate the incident.

While this particular incident was sparked by a fight between two men, as opposed to a random attack involving strangers, Toronto residents were spooked this morning to learn of yet another violent outbust on the local public transit network.

An alarming series of bizarre and unprovoked assaults have taken place on TTC vehicles and at stations in recent years, some of them proving fatal or life-altering for victims.

In June of 2022, a 28-year-old woman was lit on fire by a man she did not know at Kipling Station and later died in hospital. Police said the incident was random.

Last month, in December of 2022, a 31-year-old woman was fatally stabbed aboard a train at High Park subway station — one of two victims who were said to be randomly attacked by a 52-year-old stranger at the time.

Even more recently, six people were attacked with a weapon by a single female suspect while riding TTC's busy Yonge–University line during the morning commute. The bloody aftermath was captured on camera.

Pushing incidents, specifically, have proven scary for Torontonians who worry about crowded platforms amid a growing sense of social instability.

In June of 2018, a 73-year-old man was famously pushed in front of a train on the Bloor-Yonge subway platform by a random stranger and killed. 

A 39-year-old woman sustained serious injuries during a similar random pushing attack at the Finch GO Station in April of 2022. Her assailant was charged with attempted murder.

Toronto Mayor John Tory addressed the recent rash of violence last month during a press conference, stating that the TTC remains a "very safe system" despite all of its recent high-profile troubles.

"What we have to do is make sure that they are reminded of the fact that we have a very safe transit system and that the understandable anxiety that comes from a tragedy like this is addressed," said the mayor. "Like having some increased physical presence of people on the trains and in the stations."

To that end, Tory proposed this week that the 50 additional Special Constables and ten outreach workers be hired by the TTC to address violent crime in 2023.

The transit agency itself has many safety features and programs in place to deter violence, listed in a recent news release as follows:

  • Transit Special Constable strategically patrolling the system to deter and respond to security incidents 
  • Working with Toronto Police Service to increase their presence across the system 
  • Cameras and emergency alarms in all stations and vehicles 
  • Two-way communications systems on platforms in the Designated Waiting Areas 
  • Uniformed staff through the system who can contact transit control directly to assist customers 
  • The SafeTTC app to report suspicious incidents in real time 
  • Transit control centre has a direct line to 9-1-1 to respond to emergencies 
  • Modernizing stations to add more cameras and have more staff visible to deter criminal acts
Lead photo by

Adam Moss

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