April 8, 2014
by Katharine Blair
Yesterday I lost my wallet on the streetcar. It actually started six hours before when my youngest hit me on the top of the head and broke my glasses, dropping a lens. Without missing a beat I called for the hot glue gun, fixed them and put them back on, then I called Peter and told him that this day was a little out of control. Too little sleep on the babe’s part mixed with our busiest day of the week is a pretty bad combo. But somehow I was game.
Lunch and dressed and on the streetcar we went downtown to harp where we met Peter and I tried somewhat unsuccessfully to stay awake while listening to the lesson. Then back on the streetcar. Silence, on punishment of no snack, allowed the babe to finally fall asleep then I started digging through my bag for samosas.
Let me be clear, I knew this streetcar would be short turned. It was the first of two 501′s following a third by only minutes so it was bound to be shuttled of onto the Woodbine loop for redirection and sure enough I was right. Fumbling, I managed to carry the babe, still asleep, off of the streetcar and onto another one, awfully proud of everyone for their help.
Arriving at our stop, I sent the middle two ahead and the eldest and I went in search for somewhere warm and dry to sit while we waited. The babe woke just as we say down and I began rooting through my bag for my wallet but it was not there. We went over what had happened and decided it must have been left on the first streetcar, now long gone.
From the dojo phone I called Peter: ‘find it. No, I don’t know how, just try please’. On a whim I flagged another driver who gave me a number to call that led directly to lost and found and was told to wait and call back around midnight when the car would be in. Defeated we went to the park.
When Peter came he has good news. Wallet found. It was being held on the west end and at least some of my id was still in it which meant maybe I wouldn’t have to reapply for health cards and library cards and the like for me and the children. Relief.
After all our lessons were over for the day we drove west and Peter ran into the streetcar yard to get the wallet. All and all our adventure cost us a couple of hours and sixty five dollars in stolen cash and tokens but thankfully the cards were there and Peter’s wedding ring, which lives in my wallet just in case I find a good replacement (his joke, I promise). It also gave us a great excuse to eat poutine and call it dinner.
These are both pictures from inside a 501 streetcar, one of the original six of this model that came new to Toronto when I was a child. My kids are getting a new streetcar for their generation as well. It looks sleeker and more like a train but I have a soft spot for these. In their day they were modern and open where their predecessor was antiquated and cramped. When my kids rode one of the old ones recently they couldn’t believe the lack of standing room or how you practically had to rub yourself against the other passengers to get in and it off the seats. Me? I can’t wait to come back in a few years and see the future streaking along Queen street, my favorite line.