ttc nails bus driver

TTC bus driver delights Toronto with his next-level manicures

The littlest joys can make the biggest difference in an angry world such as this, especially when it comes to unpleasant tasks like riding the bus across town.

TTC driver Michael Maguire knows this well. He sees it on the faces of his passengers every day—or at least on the faces of those who look down when he's passing them a transfer.

His gorgeous, glittering hands are why, and they've earned him a reputation as one of the city's most glamorous bus drivers. With good reason: his nails are dope.

Maguire, 56, is the latest colourful character from Toronto to go viral on Twitter, though responses to recent a thread featuring photos of his nail art suggest he was already well-known among TTC riders.

"I make nail contact with someone before I make eye contact with someone," he joked by phone this week. "If you get on and if I see good nails I'm like 'check out mine!'"

People are usually delighted, if not also a bit surprised.

"Taking the bus can be trying sometimes," he says. "Someone might be having a really lousy day and they know they have an hour and a half to get to the subway... and then all of the sudden they're like 'oh my god look at those nails!' You never see an unhappy manicure."

Over the past five years, Maguire (aka "Nails") has racked up thousands of followers on Instagram with his creative manicures.

He now goes to the salon religiously and is never seen without perfectly polished talons via Vanity Nail Bar in Bloor West Village (he raves about nail techs Jean, Olivia and John, but says everyone there is incredible).

"It's my downtime," he says. "My job can be very stressful in rush hour, so after five days of TTC it's time for nails, Starbucks and sushi!"

This wasn't always the case. In fact, it wasn't until he broke his leg at age 51 that he even considered getting his nails done.

"I slipped and fell and I shattered my left leg," he explains. "My leg was in a really tight hard cast for months on end, and when the cast was taken off a nurse said 'you need to go get a pedicure, your feet are gross.'"

The resulting experience was "life changing," says Maguire. Pedicures led to manicures which led to elaborate nail art concepts that change with the seasons and holidays.

"It's something that makes me unique among 15,000 TTC employees," he says of his nail art. And being a TTC employee is a something he treasures.

"It's the sweetest gig in the city," he says of driving the bus. "You see the entire city on hold."

TTC spokesperson Hayley Waldman says the agency loves Maguire's style right back.

"We think his nails are fabulous!" she said this week by email. "It's wonderful to hear that Michael's manicures put smiles on the faces of so many of our customers."

Maguire says he's proud of how he turned a huge negative (breaking a limb) into something positive, and hopes that all of this internet attention helps him find a date.

"I am single and ready to mingle!" he jokes, once again showing off the cheery demeanour that passengers know and love him for.

Next up on his list of adventures is a trip to Hard Rock Nails near Broadview Station for his birthday. Keep your eyes on his Instagram feed to see how that mani turns out.

Lead photo by

Michael Maguire

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