commuters,  transportation

transportation in t-dot – part 3: STREETCARS, COMMUTER DONS, and WALKING

hey all,

welcome to PART 3 of aska’s roller coaster of a series about transportation in the city (here’s part 1 and part 2 in case you missed them).

today, we come to the NAIL-BITING CONCLUSION, which resembles so many TV shows in that it is not so much a coherent resolution than it is a random mish-mash of loose ends that i haven’t had a chance to wrap up yet.



1. streetcars

most people who have to use streetcars to get to school have been using them all their lives, and don’t need a guide. just in case you’re brand new to them, here are the basics:

  • you can use your Presto card on streetcars, but you cannot use Metropasses (EDIT: there has been a lot of discussion on this on twitter/tumblr/facebook/the comments section. it is my experience that i have used Presto, but many are saying that they’ve only ever used metropasses. i think the source of the confusion is that there are some new streetcars being transitioned in which take only Presto. in any case, if you have a Presto and a metropass or change, you should be fine).
  • if you’ve never used one before: streetcars stop in the middle of the road, since they can’t pull over to the side of the road for stops. be prepared to cross half the street in order to board a streetcar. (but do noT WAIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD).
  • here are all the streetcar routes in Toronto.
  • here is the TTC’s systems map.

2. commuter dons

some colleges within the faculty of arts & science have commuter dons. they provide community in exactly the same way a residence don might – by organizing events, meeting regularly with their residents to help them resolve any issues (and just to hang out), and giving commuter students a home base within the university. they are super helpful and definitely worth your time.

here is some more information about commuter dons/services from colleges who have them:

3. walking

walking sucks, especially when it’s cold and windy outside and deathly icy on the ground. but until we get the funding to build completely enclosed, insulated overhead tunnels to connect all the buildings on campus (my ultimate dream), we will have to continue to brave the elements.

if you’re not familiar with the campus, i’d recommend locating your classes on the uoft map (just type in the building code you see on your personal timetable on ROSI) before classes start. do a practice walk to the buildings, if you can. it’ll help you locate the rooms, and also measure how long it takes to get from one class to another.

if you can’t get to campus before school starts (or if you’re just LAZY), i’d recommend seeing how long Google maps estimates it will take you to walk from one building to another. it’s usually fairly accurate.

that’s it, that’s all, folks. i hope this guide has helped calm the first-time commuter jitters. and remember, if you have any more questions, just send ’em my way. i promise i’ll only complain a little.




  • Melissa

    I think your first point is supposed to be the other way around- you can use your Metropass on streetcars but not your Presto car. Although I guess the new fancy street cars are different, aren’t they?

  • Tokens

    Presto will only be accepted on the new-model streetcars and only starting around November. Tokens, passes, cash for everything else.

  • aska

    hmm, in my experience it is only Presto? But perhaps it is different since they are changing the streetcars. Can anyone verify?

  • Christine

    You’ve never been able to use presto on a streetcar, and you’ve always been able to use mteropasses. I don’t know about the new ones but for the regular ones this has always been the see case.

    As well, Trinity has a committee committed to non-resident students and they do quite a bit too for them. It’s called NRAC (Non-Resident Affairs Committee).

  • Sylvia Jennings

    Metropasses absolutely are fine with streetcars, you just show it to the driver when you board. Don’t frighten people like that !

  • aska

    Very sorry! Like I said, I think there’s been some confusion because they’re transitioning in new streetcars which only take Presto.

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