By Jessica Aldred and Eyeopener Staff
Toronto’s transit crisis during last week’s snow storms left many Ryerson students and staff feeling anxious as a Bay Street trader stranded at the corner of Bloor and Yonge Streets with a dead cellphone battery. Well, maybe not that anxious, but with so many students and staff dependent on the TTC and GO Transit, the weather created many nightmare commuting stories.
RTA professor John Keeble was prepared for the proverbial uphill battle of getting to and from work Wednesday, but he wasn’t expecting the trudge through knee-deep snow that awaited him when he found out the subway was closed between Eglinton and Bloor.
“I was standing in this giant herd, looking at the miles of people in front of me waiting to squeeze onto a single bus.
“So I just turned around and worked my way out of the crowd,” Keeble says, adding that a “mini-conga line” formed behind him as other commuters decided to follow suit
For Dave Vink, a first-year RTA student, a trip to the streetcar turned into a circus side-show when a bunch of strong men got off the stalled trolley to move a parked Volkswagen off the tracks. “They just picked it up and moved it out of the way,” Vink recalls. “There was about 10 or 12 of them, and it was only a Jetta, so they didn’t have any trouble at all.”
Oshawa resident and third-year business student Steve Orno found himself in a bit of a carpooling crisis on Wednesday morning. Not only did his usual half-hour ride turn into a three-and-a-half hour debacle, but he also had to endure the sight and smell of a baby being changed right next to him twice. “I’d been out drinking the night before, so that was bad enough.”
As warnings of a 25 cm snowstorm intensified on Thursday, students and staff scurried home, leaving Ryerson almost completely deserted by late afternoon. But all did not remain silent throughout the night.
Doors open to abandoned buildings, as security begins to shut down the school. In an architecture building work lab, a knapsack dangles over a drafting board. A lone engineer works in East Kerr on a homemade vehicle. A line of cotton sweatered students tap away in the W-71 computer lab that was to remain open until midnight.
Down at RyeSAC’s offices, president David Steele mans the front desk, unsure if he’ll open on Friday. Jason Power, v.p. administration, steps out for a few hours but will be back to oversee Ram in the Rye’s New Year’s Eve pub night. They expect the rez kids to show up in droves. “At this point, even Mick. E. Fynn’s is far away,” says Steele.
And through it all Dominion never closed its doors.