Name calling on the TTC

Craig Cal, Spacing’s new transit beat writer starting in the fall, sent along this TTC anecdote.

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After a Spacing editorial meeting last week, I wanted to share an experience that I had on the subway and see if other Torontonians have had a similar one.

Since the Ontario Human Rights Commission convinced the TTC to start announcing subway stops “clearly and consistently” last year, I’ve heard one too many driver’s do so with the least bit of enthusiasm. I guess fun wasn’t part of the mandate.

Thankfully, some TTC employees haven’t lost their sense of humour. Last Wednesday night, stop after stop between Queen and Bloor stations, the driver announced each stop in a super-exaggerated, super drawn out, creaky old lady’s voice.

“D-u-n-d-a-s. D-u-n-d-a-s  S-t-a-t-i-o-n  n-e-x-t…”

All of the passengers looked up with a puzzled look on their face, as if collectively saying “What the hell was that?” As each stop came and went, the passengers smiled and looked at one another with a hint of anticipation. People began chuckling out loud while new passengers looked bewildered with the same “What the…?” face.

This is a big thank you to the driver(s) who add a bit of color to our sometimes monotonous commute.

Craig Cal

photo courtesy of the Toronto Archives 


  1. Once I heard a driver who was calling out each station like Ned Flanders: “Spadina is next. Spa-do-diddly-inaaaaaaaaaaa!”

  2. I have had a similar experience on the subway while riding from Bloor Station to York Mills on the Yonge line, earlier this summer. The female driver announced each station in a sing-song, exaggeratedly chipper voice. It was very amusing, and again, a similar reaction from the passengers as you experienced, Craig. I am pretty sure I had the same driver a couple of weeks later, but this time her announcements were not as exuberent and I wondered if she had been reprimanded by killjoy supervisors for not taking this task seriously.

  3. that lady rocks my world ,duuuuuuuuundaaaaas duuuuuuuuundas station

  4. my personal favourite is once taking the subway home the morning of the Santa Claus parade, and as the train rolled beneath the parade route the train driver “Christmasified” each station. So St. Patrick became “St. Nicholas, I, uh mean St. Patrick” and Museum became “The North Pole, ladies and gentlement! just get off at Museum” It was humourous and deffinitely added to an already festive atmosphere on a child filled subway train.

    It’s a pitty I was hungover.

  5. Just yesterday the woman on the train I was on was getting more sultry and seductive with each announcement…
    I’ll never look at Summerhill the same again.

  6. I’m getting on all the wrong subway trains, then. Even a little enthusiasm or variation would be better than the monotone announcements I usually wind up with.

  7. There has been talk of automated announcements which is both good and bad. Good becuz a station or bus stop’s name will ALWAYS be called out; bad becuz it is really impersonal.

    If the TTC does ever go the automated route, I’d like to suggest they get a mix of local residents and local celebrities to do the name calling. Jow Bowen (or a Foster Hewiit impersonator) could do College St in memory the Maple Leaf Gardens, the mayor do Queen for City Hall, Mike Myers and Jim Carey for the RT stops.

  8. About the automated announcements: I’ve heard those before. I was on the Sheppard subway line… and a really old scruffy guy was driving the train… and when I heard the announcement of Leslie sation with a female tone… I questioned it, a lot because they sounded so monotonous too.

    I’ve also got the ones where they hardly say the name. I want some fun drivers.

  9. I too have experienced this phenomenon on the TTC, I love people who insist on making others simile.

  10. I know that lady. My fellow passengers did the same thing.

    Another driver made the sounds of a train revving up. I love them all.

  11. Or there’s the driver who announces “Br-r-r-r-r-r-r-roaaaaadviiiieeeeeeeeeewwww is neeeeeeeeeeeeeeext!”, starting just about half way along the viaduct from Castle Frank.

    Another driver pronounces Vic Pk as “Victoria Pork”. Yet another used to be alarmingly cheery coming out of Kennedy: “Good morning, TTC passengers, have a great day on the TTC!”

  12. One subway conductor on the YUS used to call them out in an amusing way. Coming to King, it would be “King, King, King, King, King, King”, and then stretching out Queeeeeeeeeeen. Much more fun than the monotonous announcements they have now, with so much redundancy – like how the word “station” is said more than the name.

    Automated announcements can get bornign, but MTA and CTA recorded annoucements were much more tolerable than the clearly annoyed TTC conductor booming out each syllable as if to make a point. The CTA’s announcements go like this “The next stop is Library, State and Van Buren. Doors open on the right at Library, State and Van Buren. Transfer to Brown, Purple and Pink Line trains at Library, State and Van Buren.” Slightly repeative, but very useful, and the male voice friendly and soft (and ignorable if so desired), unlike the sometimes overly harsh announcements of the TTC worker.

    And somebody do something about the annoying, patronizing, nagging woman who comes on the PA and reminds passengers not to charge doors, give up their seat, the woman-only Request Stop program. The CTA has these announcements on trains as well “solitication and gambling prohibited on CTA property”, but there’s no chime before, and the voice, the same as station announcements, soft and much more friendly.

    The TTC needs to rethink its scripts and the voice it uses. The voice on the automated stops on the 11 Bayview buses is pretty good.

  13. Years ago I had a guy who sung out each of the stations. The only one I remember was

    There was a boy who had a station
    and Keele was it’s name-o
    K-E-E-L-E…. etc.

    Everyone on the train was laughing.

  14. Oh, man, I’ve had some spectacular ones. Here are the first that come to mind:

    • A streetcar driver on Queen who jubilantly recounted some of the most entertaining (i.e. gruesome) torture scenes in Hostel

    • A streetcar driver on Broadview who said “Sadnud… We’re coming up on Sadnud. For those of you who don’t know, that’s ‘Dundas’ backwards…”

    • A subway conductor who seemed to finally be cracking after years on the job… “THERE ARE TWENTY-FOUR DOORS, PEOPLE!!! USE ALL OF THE DOORS!!!… WHY ARE YOU CROWDING AT THE FRONT?!?! THERE ARE TWENTY-FOUR DOORS!!!”

    • A combination of the above, a conductor who would sing the names of each stop and lose it at people at the same time… “Sum-mer-hillll…. GET OFF YOUR SKATEBOARDS OR YOU’RE OFF AT THE NEXT STOP!!!… Arriving at Sum-mer-hilll…..”

    • A streetcar driver who would announce the locations of every LCBO and Beer Store within the vicinity of each stop

    • More than once a subway conductor has turned stop-announcing duties over to young children… “Wellsy…”

    and many, many more

  15. I was once on a subway train where the guy sang all the stations Opera-style. And he was really, REALLY good!

    You could tell by the tone of his voice that he was really enjoying himself too. And when I got off the train at Yonge/Bloor, he got applause from alot of the passengers as they left the train. I’ve also had announcers who call out the stations “radio dj” style, doing the stations as a countdown.

    Another time I was boarding the train at Finch early in the morning on a Monday and the guy decided to do a “Welcome to my train” announcement, not unlike what airplane pilots do when your plane is landing at your destination:

    “Hi folks, I’m _____ and I’ll be your conductor for todays subway ride. It’s currently 7:30 am in downtown Toronto, so please set your watches accordingly. I’ve just received word that the Tim Hortons in the ACC should be putting on a new pot of coffee by the time we reach Bloor station. The temperature in downtown Toronto is a balmy -15 today, partly cloudy with a chance of flurries in the afternoon. Our trip to Union station will take approximately 35 minutes today with stops at every station inbetween at a crusing altitude of (can’t remmeber this part) below street level. Thank you and on behalf of everyone here at the TTC, thank you for taking our subway train today.”

    Somehow I always get the best station-announers during the morning subway rides or the late night subway rides…maybe its something in the TTC break-room coffee?

  16. I think I had the same guy as Skye did. He was hilarious, I really didn’t want to leave the train when my stop came.

  17. Oh, there was also a driver who announced the Broadview stop by mentioning the Broadview Inn at Jilly’s strip club … “a good place to put up the in-laws when they come in for the weekend.”

    Jonathan, I envy you.

  18. I like that most subway stop announcing is rather unmemorable. It makes the entertaining ones a really fun surprise. If entertaining subway stop announcing were the norm, the goofiness would get old real quick, and people wouldn’t laugh, exchange smiles or have their days brightened anymore.

    As for automated announcements, I like the ones I’ve heard in the US and in the UK. The voices sound human but robotic (android-like?), making the subway/tube feel like an autonomous machine straight out of a sci-fi novel.

  19. Just yesterday I had a guy who I swear pronounced Eglinton as “Eggleton”. Thank god we’re not really in the habit of naming subway stations after former mayors.

  20. I was on a train once where the driver was allowing a young child to announce the stops. Anyway, a man got on and sat across the aisle from me. When the child announced the next station, he exclaimed: “Good God, there’s a child driving this train!” and hurried off at the next stop.

    I never figured out if he was serious or not, but he seemed to be, and it was pretty funny.

  21. Sometime last week on the way home from work, as the train was pulling into Bloor station, the announcement came: “Now arriving at Bloor Station, the centre of the universe.” Had to laugh at that one.

  22. There is a College streetcar driver who does some weird vocals too… He deepens his voice and sort of whispers in a crackle-y way. He sounds more sinister than many of these other descripts, but strangely it is still very much a smile-inducing experience! I’m only on transit in the winter, so I sure hope he’s still there come November.

    I really like the idea of local talent and celebs doing recordings.

    All fun stuff aside – all bus and streetcar drivers should be reminding people (every stop, if need be – and they can sing it if they want!) that they need to exit at the rear doors. Let’s keep things moving, people!

  23. I’ve noticed the Bloor-Danforth drivers have more fun with their announcements. Weirdest reference: Christie announced as “Get Christie Love”, following by a few hummed bars of “Shaft”.

  24. “Next stop Spadina, Chinatown. (singing) China town… is the place… where you can eat some rice… (stops singing) Somebody cooking?”

    Every. Single. Morning. Dundas streetcar eastbound.

  25. two other memorable experiences travelling on the TTC:

    A few winters ago, a Bathurst Streetcar driver made fun and silly comments at each stop. When we got to College he announced: “College next, for all those who didnt go” lol

    Another time heading to Kennedy station every stop was announced in a different cartoon character voice. It sounded as though the mic was taken over by a bunch of drunk teenagers! classic…

  26. driver’s announcing the station names in fun ways makes the commute a whole lot more enjoyable.

    Now if we can only do something about the color schemes of a majority of the subway platforms. A splash of color changes a room’s “feel” instantly. What would new color schemes, lighting, art and architecture do for the “feel” of the TTC?

  27. I like that idea of letting local celebrities record their voices for station announcements.

    What if the TTC recorded the voices of everyday people for a week or so, chose the “best” ones and used them to announce the stops? Maybe it could be once a year promotion type of deal?

    The TTC is the life blood of the city and both need an injection of energy and excitement. I know that the mantra of most transit advocates is “service, service, service”, but the intangible aspects of the TTC and what it means to Toronto cannot be overlooked or underestimated.

  28. Eastbound on Queen, in the wee hours one December 30th, the driver started singing as we crossed the Don. I think there might have been about four other passengers on board.

    I don’t remember much of what he sang, but it was getting increasingly loopy as we rolled toward Neville Park. Somewhere around Coxwell it was “Roll, roll, roll a joint…”

    “Long night?” I asked.

    “Ohhh yeah,” he said. “Just tryin’ to keep the brain alive.”

  29. I’ve heard many a fun subway driver, but the best has to be an experience on the Dundas Streetcar heading West. We were coming up to Spadina on a very hot, hot day and the driver got on the P.A. and said “Passengers, if you’ll look out the front window, you’ll be able to see the one and only air conditioned street car. Yes ladies and gentlement, write down that number, 4041, and one day you might be lucky enough to ride one”.

    He continued across the line making witty remarks and comments about the rain and other events on our way. It definitely made the commute home much faster.

  30. the first number of times I heard this, I laughed, but after riding the subway at the same time every day to work, I begin to hear the same jokes again and again, its just not as funny the 20th time.

    the most popular seems to be “spa-dee-na” in place of “spa-dine-ah”. sometimes a combo of both.

    I was once on a bus (bathurst blue-night I beleive) and the Driver was announcing every stop, even the small roads. eventually we got to one road and the driver said “Next stop – … Uh… actually I dont know this one… Next Stop, that road right there *points*” there were only three people on the bus and we all had a chuckle.

    announcments in anger are the best
    “Next stop _____, and by the way, last time I checked, there were 24 doors on this train. That means if the one your standing at is crowded, it might make some sence to walk to the next one rather then holding up the train. hummm, something to think about”

  31. also, a few “complaints” so to speak.

    many times no one announces a single thing. I find it distracting, after a stop or two you kinda notice that something is missing. I also find it annoying when after 4 or 5 stops of “nothing” you realize they actually are making the announcement but the volume is turned down so low you can barley hear it.

    I also get frustrated when they make no clarity attempt. apperently:
    something that sounded like “Bumm-Bah” was actually Bathrust
    something like “Goo-Din-Din” was actually Kennedy
    I find “Buzz” is quite often actually Museum
    “Cah” was Castle Frank on one occasion (wonder if any attempt was even made to say it properly)
    my personal favorite was “………..yea” with a pause between the opening click and the “yea”. guess the operator forgot the next stop (the next stop was Warden BTW)

    I notice that it tends to be the same operators who make the half-arsed announcements

  32. we had a great announcer on the yonge line saturday night who tore into someone for jamming the doors at Bloor, ie “The door chimes don’t mean hurry up and pry the door open with yer foot; the door chimes mean…YOU’RE LATE. And I’m warning you now, Rosedale is next, so if you need to get off there, try to do it while the doors are OPEN, i have a train to run.” etc. he kept going like that all the way to summerhill.

  33. Every now and then I’ll get a driver who throws a little extra something into it, but usually its a mumbled monotone or nothing at all until they get near the central downtown stations where they know the supervisor’s are likely to be listening.
    I’m sorry, but for the most part, TTC drivers, conductors and collectors are the most miserable bunch of people I’ve ever come across. If it isn’t a bus driver who refuses to look at me or my metropass when I present it (after spending nearly a hundred dollars on the bloody thing), its a collector who won’t get off his seat to talk to me through his broken entrance side microphone when I need directions or a subway conductor who closes the door on an elderly lady and won’t open it up for two or three minutes while I’m screaming down the platform at him. These are just some of my TTC employee experiences.
    I grew up in Toronto and I can remember a time when TTC employees usually greeted you with a smile and would help mothers up the stairs or the bus or streetcar (which they don’t seem to do anymore)I also remember that some of the bus drivers would not only sing (and I do mean sing) out the names of the streets, they would just plain old sing while they where driving. I used to know the names of some of them and they’d know mine and we’d shoot the breeze while I was with them. None of this happens anymore. I don’t know if its the union or if they get treated poorly by managment or perhaps both, but most of them seem to hate their jobs and some of them act in such a way that I wouldn’t be surprised that that the only enjoyment that they get from their jobs is that they can treat people poorly.
    In my opinion, the TTC should start making the lot of them take sensitivity courses and mandating proper manners. It sounds ridiculous to my ears that I have to write this, but I can’t seem to remember meeting any driver or conductor or collector recently who didn’t leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  34. One of the more creative that I have heard was, “Bathurst station is next, bathurst. The best smelling station on the whole danforth line.”

  35. Unrelated to my previous rant, I’d just like to point out that the city of amsterdam’s subway has a loud clear voice announce each of its stations automatically before and just after the train enters each station. Then it announces the next stop as the train leaves the station.
    As well, just about every employee of that system was exceedingly friendly.

  36. I remember a few years ago on New Year’s Eve, somewhere north of Lawrence on the Spadina line, the announcer changed his voice for each station name. In between each station, he announced, “It’s 12:05. You missed it.”

  37. I definitely have heard the singing subway guy Skye mentioned, but my favorite was one night in early 2004, freezing outside but nice and warm inside the subway. 1:08pm.

    I got on at Spadina going westbound, and everything was normal until we hit Keele station, when the driver announced: “okay, so I know there’s only about five of you on this train, so I hope you don’t mind if I tell you a story. It will help pass the time for all of us.

    It was a short children’s story I have heard before, but the way he told it was so intriguing, there were people who had to get off at Royal York that stayed until Kipling to make sure they heard the whole thing. Magical.

  38. “Dun-da-da-dun-da-da-dun-da-da-dun-da-Duuundaaaaas,
    Dun-da-da-dun-da-da-dun-da-da-dun-da-Dundas West is Next!”

    Same operator as Skye; what a joker. Everyone on the train was in stitches. Screw the automated voices, they have no sense of humour.

  39. while in toronto recently, i had a subway driver whose announcements did not go over so well with the people in my car. granted it was about midnight and folks probably weren’t about to appreciate anything, but her announcements were gratingly high pitched, drawn out, and delivered with a slight lisp – giving them a creepy, deranged-child-from-a-horror-film like quality [part of me wonders if this is the same driver praised in the original entry, interpreted by a different set of ears]. responses ranged from “will this ever stop?!” to one TTC employee who upon exiting at York Mills said loudly, “Good luck to the rest of you. I don’t know how you put up with this. If I had to ride this train any longer I would shoot myself.”

    Unfortunately, in this instance, experimentation with stop announcement style elicited exchanges not of smiles but exasperated sighs, eye-rolling, and muttered obscenities. The celebrities and local residents idea sounds fabulous.

  40. There’s one driver I’ve had a few times on the Carlton streetcar who calls out every stop, church and connecting bus route.

    One of the best I had was a singing driver on the King streetcar north of Gerrard at rushhour- he sang out every stop. Some driver cut in front of us and made him hit the brakes hard quickly. After we started up again he sung out “bad driver” and the whole streetcar laughed.

    I’m looking forward to getting some of the great subway announcers – I haven’t had anything overly interesting.

  41. I will never forget one particular morning riding the Don Mills Road 25 bus, southbound during morning rush hour. The bus was packed to capacity. As expected, everyone was in a foul mood. The bus driver was calling out stops in the normal manner, when all of a sudden, she started singing, “The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round…”

    In an instant, the vast majority of miserable faces turned to smiles and laughter. Some even started singing along.

    This was my most memorable, and nicest rush-hour trip to date.

  42. As the 95 York Mills bus approachs the York Mills station on the Yonge line, it goes down one of the steepest thoroughfare descents in Toronto. The bus driver comes on the PA:

    “We are now making our final descent to York Mills station, the weather is a balmy 22 degrees outside, all passengers please remember to take all your belongings and thank you for riding the TTC”

  43. One Cold Winter day on the 53 Steeles East bus with snow all around. As the bus was preparing to pull into Finch Station, the bus driver announced: “Next Stop: Miami Beach. Just kidding”. Most of us on that bus were wishing that the next stop WAS Miami Beach…..

  44. further to charles duncan’s post, about ten years ago the driver who sings “the wheels on the bus” plied the wellesley route. she provided a particular lift to those travelling to and from jarvis collegiate, the apartments in saint jamestown and the former wellesley hospital. glad to hear she’s still at it.

    i remember once hearing about a male streetcar driver on the harbourfront line who used to do some kind of sci-fi narration in the tunnels. has anybody experienced a ride with him?

  45. about two years ago, the st. clair streetcar driver often called out stops in a buddhist-chant type monotone voice, but stretched it out in a very unique way. i usually had a smile the whole ride, and sad when i got off (caught him on the 501 once too). there was another driver who had a great handlebar moustache, but, that’s purely an aside.

  46. what a great story, this just proves that their are some really great drivers out there, and that sometimes we tend to remember the bad ones more than the good. I think we should not only tell our stories here, but maybe next time you are riding the TTC and you have a great time, take down the number and send in a good comment for the driver. If we all did that, then maybe more and more drivers will do it, because they will know it’s appreciated. Put the driver in a good mood and I bet we will all enjoy our ride more. it’s a tough job, and I think we tend to forget that because they make it look so easy.

    I do have one driver on Finch West that always adds a Y to the end or every major intersection… gets funny when we get to Islington or Kipling… he always gets tongue tied and messes it up. when we get to the subway he always wishes us a good day and says “don’t forget to smile” and I think everyone that gets off that bus is smiling.

  47. I remember on the Don Mills 25 going south from Sheppard in the 1970’s,there was a great driver that was a whistler of birds.Everyone loved it until management found out about him and he was told to stop.The papers wrote about this and shamed the TTC for spoiling a pleasant ride for riders to their work.

  48. One of the drivers on the 123 bus – at least whoever was doing it a year ago – was super-charismatic, to the point where you wouldn’t be able to go on the bus and avoid talking to him. It was impossible. He’d suck you right in. Headphones, friends, whatever you had with you, you’d end up listening to him. I’ve seen him on the 40 bus once since.

    And, let it be said, all of the drivers on the 40 Junction bus, the one I take all the time, are great. I don’t talk to them much but they’re all super-nice.

  49. About the topic of automated announcements, maybe the TTC will have the foresight to install a switch that disables them so the ones who enjoy the job can do their own versions.

  50. Yea I like riding the TTC, sometimes. My favourite station is Wilson (you’ll probably know why). There was once this driver who announced some downtown stations by making fun of them, saying that they are so close together they have to announce it as “next station is King, now arriving at King” (travelling southbound from Queen). The announcer did the same thing from Queen’s Park all the way to St. Andrew’s.

  51. For my last comment, I put “There was once this driver who announced…”. I meant to say “There IS an announcer”

  52. My most memorable/funny driver is similar to Philip’s experience on the York Mills, and Sabrina’s on the subway. In my case, it was several years ago on a packed Lawrence East bus (and I mean passengers standing in both stairwells packed). As we were pulling out of the RT station, the driver thanked us for flying “Sardine Air,” where we would be cruising at an altitude of 3 feet, and an average speed of 25 km/h, or something like that.

  53. Christie St Bus. Used to go to Cub Scouts up on St Clair. We would quite often get the bus on the way home, going the wrong way (to St Clair West Stn) and wait, rather than wait outside for the bus to make its way around (only one bus on the route after 6 or so at night…30 min headway, which was enough to walk 1/2 of the route).

    Anyway, Here Supper Supper…he used to pick up his wife a little further along the route, she would have his supper ready for him (on, IIRC tupperware, or suchlike). Into St Clair W Stn, and he would eat dinner, (~5 min break) then carry on with the rest of the route.

    I’ve only had nasty experiences a very few times with TTC drivers…one clown stranded me at the CNE because I didn’t have my student card with me…that sticks out.

    (thinking about it, we used to walk up to Cubs most nights, rather than taking the bus, saving a token. Also allowed a walk past Wichwood to see what PCC’s were in the yard awaiting rework or disposal. Those long lines of sad looking streetcars, most of them never to turn another wheel, and quite a few sold for a dollar and transport…)

  54. One night on the Yonge line, shortly after stop announcements were made standard, the operator announced each stop differently, usually with a spin on the station name. At King station, he announced it in his best Elvis impersonation, saying “arriving at the King, King Station, thank you very much”

  55. I’m a ttc bus driver. I think your stories are pretty funny. Thanks for notincing that not every employee is miserable.

  56. My son always enjoyed one character who operated the Harbourfront line back in its PCC days. While heading east toward Union Station, he called out all stops eg. “John Street…Skydome…some nice restaurants and expensive condos…next Jays’ game this April…”. One rolling, “We are cruising, in front, showing the movie, ‘Gone With the Wind’, in back serving coffee and donuts and passing the wind”. “OK, ladies and gentlemen, please fasten seat belts as we enter…THE TUNNEL-L–L-LLLL…”. My son imitated that for weeks.

    Let’s not forget the operator working the 505 who could bellow out every stop and be heard without an amplification device even with a crush load on the car.

  57. The best I ever heard – Spadina streetcar, going into Spadina station at rush hour. The car was completely full, everyone squeezed together with not an inch of room, trying like good Torontonians to pretend they weren’t all in bodily contact with complete strangers. As we approached the platform through the tunnel, the driver came on and said “Thanks for riding the TTC. If you don’t have a date on Saturday night, remember this moment.” Only a few people reacted, but it sure put me in a better mood.

    For the automated announcements – they should have more than one set. One could be normal, another could be by a mix of riders, others could be by some of the better and more entertaining drivers. So that every so often, you’d get something interesting.

    Also, some drivers give little tours, telling people connections and local points of interest. That should be incorporated in any automatic announcements too.

    And yes, keen drivers should be able to override the automated announcements if they are feeling inspired. It obviously improves the morale and motivation of some drivers.

  58. Since I moved back to Toronto four years ago I’ve heard plenty of fun announcements over the TTC, some humours mistakes (all stations on the University line being St. Andrew in one instance), and my share of the not so pleasant ones.

    One of my most memorable announcements was on the Bathurst streetcar when they were running out of Spadina station. A woman got on the car by mistake while it was running on Spadina, when it turned onto College she asked the driver where we were going. After the driver explained he started making announcements. In particular when we got to Bathurst he said, “This car will be turning south on Bathurst under lake Ontario and on to Florida.” I remember another passenger, an older woman, laughing in response.

    But I find it is the simple announcements that are the most uplifting and pleasing. Just polite greeting when you board the bus or a good morning announcement on the subway it leaves the terminal station.

  59. Upon hearing that the TTC will automate announcements I was happy to know that rather than craning my neck at each station I would be able to just listen…however the uniqueness of fun announcements would likely be no more… perhaps as Dylan suggested a few posts up the TTC could have a mixture of announcements similar to the 6 O’Canada versions they had when I was in school. Kind of like a see if you can hear each one contest 🙂

    Two of the amusing Streetcar announcers:

    1) On a packed college streetcar mid-day in April as we approached Yonge from the East, the driver announced “coming up on your right is Maple Leaf Gardens. The Leafs used to play hockey here…the leafs used to play hockey” Lets just say it hadn’t been a good season that year.

    2) I remember a Spadina streetcar ride with a visiting good friend. We had boarded at Union station on a Friday evening, and were sitting in a nearly empty car. As we travelled towards Spadina station, the dirver announced all the points of interest and bits of trivia…to this day I think a good chunk of my Spadina knowledge came from that entertaining announcement which is still a memory my friend and I remember.

  60. Two stories. Every now and again on the Junction bus, I think weekend afternoons, the guy driving has anecdotes and historical fun facts about each of the stops. There was even a debate as to how to pronounce Quebec.

    The other, and due to my being 4 and 5 back then, my memory is understandably not completely there, but this would’ve been about 1987 or so, going on the Bathurst streetcar with my mother to work from Bathurst station, there was a driver who would yap, and make everyone chuckle. Can anyone fill in the gap?

  61. It seems to be happening …

    I was on the TTC for the first time in about two weeks today and noticed something odd as we departed from Dundas Station. The voice … a female, sounded to calm and collected to be live, and it continued, flawlessly, but i still wasnt sure. As I transfered to the Bloor line, I thought that I must have been imaginging things because it was some scruffy male voice with a slight tinnge of a scottish accent annocing the stops, however, a different train, on the way back down the Yonge-University-Spadina line sealed the deal. It seems as though they are phasing in an automated stop announcment system.

    Im not sure if they are doing the trains on the Y-U-S Line first, or if both lines are being done. it was an older H6 that i had heard the real voice on during my travels and as those trains will be phased out, perhaps they wont be retrofited with the new system. Ither way it looks like its here, in some of the trains… I just can’t decide if its a good thing or not.

    ~E.J. Allen

  62. My friend and I were taking the subway home on a saturday night and it was fairly empty…
    At one stop, the driver announced:

    “Next station is Bay, Bay is the next station…Aaaaaand you can stop picking your nose any time now.”

    We thought it was funny that someone would be picking their nose in such a public place & even funnier that the driver was witness to this & felt compelled to ask them to stop.
    Everyone else on the car didn’t react, or gave a scowl, but it cracked up my friend and I.

  63. About 20 years ago on the Wellesley bus the driver announced the stops with Spadina being the politically incorrect “Ho Chi Min trail” and Huron being “You’re on at Huron” and similar for other stops. I think that the operators and conductors that inject a little bit of fun into their work are getting more out of the job than just a pay cheque!
    In a unrelated note at the time city counciller Joe Pantalone was a regular on the Wellesley, transferring to the Bay bus… is Joe stilling riding the TTC to work?

  64. Once when I was riding home on an H6, the anouncements were funny: they repeated everything twice. And next week when I was riding the H4, I thought I heard the voice of a sweet girl saying, “the next station is Donlands, Donlands station”, rather than the woman’s voice saying the other stations.

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