Monday, November 4, 2013

Strange Characters in the City

Living in a large city has its pros and cons. I grew up in a much smaller city halfway between Toronto and Ottawa for about 20 years before going to university (in another small city). I have very few memories of seeing "odd" characters roaming around my hometown. 

Strange Photographs Toronto
An actual street in Toronto
In the past 5 years I have lived in Toronto (I can't believe it's been 5 years!), I have seen my fair share of interesting people. I've learned to just smile/laugh in my head and keep on walking. 

I thought I'd share a few with you today!

Disclaimer, I know that some of these individuals may have mental health issues or have had a troublesome past/life. I do not mean to poke fun at that aspect of their life.

Snortin' George

Friends, I don't even know what to say about this character. I initially saw him about a year ago and since then I usually see him 3-4 times a week at my subway stop in the morning. He will sit in the subway tunnel with all of the other commuters reading the newspaper. When the subway arrives, he will get up and walk over to the doors and get on. What happens next, every single time, basically makes my week. He will start snorting with his nose so loud and sing "MY NAME IS SNORTIN' GEORGE *SNORT, SNORT*, MY NAME IS SNORTIN GEORGE!" The expressions the other riders give are priceless. Sometimes I will be a few cars away and then I will hear him! Just stop and picture yourself, peacefully riding the subway and this happening. Hilarious.

The best part is that I know he is going to do it, whereas most others don't think anything of him and are so confused when he starts. 

George, you are just priceless and sometimes make my Monday mornings that much more enjoyable.

Believe in the Lord guy

Again, I want to preface by saying I am a Catholic and DO believe in the Lord and am a strong supporter of talking about your faith, so I am just putting a disclaimer out there that I am not poking fun at that. 

There is this man who stands at the corner of one of the busiest intersections in Toronto (Young/Dundas). He stands there silent as hundreds of people pass by him. Every few minutes or so, when someone walks by extra close to him, he will SHOUT at the top of his freakin' lungs - BELIEVE IN THE LORD!!!! It startles everyone. I've learned to prepare myself when I walk by him, but even still, startles the heck out of me. 

Girl who walks around with a bald eagle like it's normal.

I saw this girl back in the summer walking down a major street and thought perhaps it was part of some educational series. She looked like an ordinary teenage girl but was carrying the largest eagle/bird/SOMETHING on her shoulder. She had it's foot attached to a leash which she then held onto with her hand. The wing span on this creature was probably larger than my own. I have since seen her one other time and have come to the conclusion that she is not part of an educational series but rather just likes to walk around with it. Is that even legal??? Seriously.

Our Mayor. 

I don't follow politics that much. In fact, I actually really don't enjoy politics but I thought this post wouldn't be complete without putting Rob Ford in it. Even if you aren't from Toronto, I am sure you have heard of how wonderful our city mayor has been lately. He has made headlines all around the world, has had mentions on Jay Leno and every other night show possible as a result of some interesting controversies. 

For a synopsis of all the scandals and controversies, feel free to check this timeline out:

I still don't understand how he is mayor (even if none of those controversies are true). He REALLY bothers me. 

Do you have any strange people you see regularly in your city?


  1. These are funny!! I like the "I Love the Lord!" guy, haha! And yes, your city needs a new mayor!! So much scandal, but it is interesting to follow along with it.

  2. I'm so happy you put our mayor in here. Ford is a joke.

    It's actually, "Praise the Lord." He's been at that corner FOREVER. The first time I encountered him, I was in high school. He scared the crap out of me when I walked by. Now, I've just come to expect it and when I don't see him, I wonder where he is.

    You should write a post about all the annoying people that approach us on the street. I understand they're raising money for charities but they can be very pushy, particularly when I'm trying to rush back to the office (the Free the Children people and the Black History Month guys who are out all year round are the ones I'm thinking of in particular).

  3. That makes for an interesting commute!! I love that snortin George has his own theme song! How is that guy still your mayor?!

  4. Love this post. I've definitely seen my fair share of characters as well, especially when you have the same routine every morning. Mayor Rob Ford... don't even get me started on that guy. I don't think character is the best word of choice for that one. And as for the bald eagle, that makes me really sad. And yep, totally illegal in North America without permits. Any bird that's not a domestic pet is. How she is able to do that is beyond me.
    ps. I want to experience Snortin' George!

  5. I definitely laughed out loud at this! I've met some interesting people on public transit here for sure, which was SO weird for my small town self to get used to. Snortin' George sounds pretty fabulous, I have to admit :-)
    Also, I love that Rob Ford made this list haha.

  6. haha this is too funny, I think Snortin George is my fav tho!

  7. Snortin' George sounds awesome! I wish you could get a video!

  8. Hi Sarah! Awesome post! lol "Believe in the Lord" guy really scares the crap out of me! I always think I'm prepared but when he yells, but I jump every single time. I know he means well but geez. Sometimes I walk on the opposite side of the street. And Rob Ford definitely belongs on this list! I wonder if he'll calm down about after all the global news coverage?! Nah....doubt it.
    - Donna