Transit riders may be on edge lately over a wave of violent crimes on the TTC, but the system is still widely considered safer (and a whole lot cleaner) than some other big-city rapid transit networks.
So, when a couple spotted a fellow rider relieving himself of a full bladder right out in the open on a subway platform last week, they spoke out and reported it.
Maryam Asmai was waiting with her husband on the platform at Queen Station just before 3 pm on December 27 when a man began to use the subway station floor as his own personal lavatory while others (including children) stood by in astonishment.
— M (@M_Asmai) January 3, 2023
Asami said, “My husband and I were waiting for the northbound train, and that’s when we noticed the gentleman in the video walking toward the construction material stored on the [southbound] platform.”
“When he started relieving himself, my husband reminded him that he should not do that in public,” she said, adding that “there were kids in the crowd.”
“My husband notified TTC staff when I stopped recording, and we were told they would take care of it.
Asami suggests that alcohol may have been a factor, saying that “the gentleman in the video had an LCBO bag in his hand when he was sitting.”
She says that after recording the video and reporting it to TTC staff, “we boarded the northbound train.”
The woman says that such incidents aren’t limited to the station platform and mentions that the station entrance on Queen Street, next to the Eaton Centre, “is filthy and covered with litter, urine, and defecation.”
The station entrance she refers to is a spot frequented by persons experiencing homelessness, sheltering them from extreme temperatures in a city facing a critical shortage of housing and support for these populations, particularly during the harsh winter months.
It’s a concern highlighted by the TTC’s Stuart Green, who argues that “rather than recording these incidents” and potentially embarrassing someone who may be experiencing medical or mental distress, “individuals [should] report this to our staff immediately.”
Green explains that “in cases like this, as soon as we become aware, we would immediately close off the area for a cleaning, including washing and disinfecting the area.”
He also says that TTC staff — including special constables — work on the scene to “determine if they required medical assistance and get that for them.”