Accordion Despacito TTC

Someone with an accordion keeps playing Despacito on the TTC

A Toronto-based accordion player with an apparent fondness for the 2017 hit song "Despacito" has been simultaneously delighting and infuriating subway riders around the city for roughly three weeks now.

News of the young man's unusual hobby started surfacing on Twitter in late March, although he's not the first TTC busker to cover the annoyingly catchy Luis Fonsi track.

It's not even clear if he's actually a TTC busker. Little is known about the accordion guy at this time, aside from the fact that he can often be found riding the Bloor-Danforth line and sometimes wears a red coat.

Some reports suggest that there may even be two TTC accordion guys.

The second musician appears to have a beard, wear a black coat, and plays for passengers on Line 1 Yonge–University.

If this is the case, what are these men up to? Why are they doing this? Are they teammates or rivals? Heroes or villains?

All that I can say about for certain at this point is that the act of playing Despacito on an accordion aboard a TTC vehicle has proven almost comically divisive.

For every tweet praising the "very talented young man playing Despacito on his accordion," there's another one pleading for the music to stop.

"Hey TTC, what’s the point of suicide prevention posters if a busker with an accordion can just get on a subway and play Despacito on a loop for four stops?" joked one rider last week.

Just two days later, another rider hailed the accordion show as the highlight of her TTC experience.

"Everyone stopped what they were doing and just listened," she wrote. "Even in a busy city, on a crowded subway train, magical moments still exist."

Many of the riders pictured in these videos seem... less excited about the sweet, soothing sounds of an accordion after a long day at work.

TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said that those customers — all TTC customers, in fact — "have the right to expect a relatively peaceful ride."

"We realize this looks innocent enough, but the reality is that everyone hates that song," he joked, noting that the song was a massive international hit. 

"One of the most common complaints we get is people listening to music without headphones so we can’t condone this kind of impromptu performance."

"To be clear, the TTC is a big supporter of local musical talent done right," he continued. "Aspiring Weird Als and other musicians must restrict their public transit performances to the authorized subway musicians program, Underground Sounds."

Lead photo by

Dylan Hayden/Twitter


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