On Saturday, over three hundred Torontonians dropped their trousers on the TTC as part of the second annual No-Pants Subway Ride—an event organized by Improv in Toronto, the volunteer prank group behind Finish Line Marathon, Subway Dance Party, Dinosaur Protest, and Where’s Waldo in the Eaton Centre. The event began at Queen’s Park at 3 p.m., as hundreds of cold Torontonians huddled around awaiting instructions. The original plan was to board at Museum Station, but scouts reported that TTC constables were out in full force, so the event was diverted to Queen’s Park Station, and from there the group travelled south around to Eglinton Station, then back again. The objective was simple: remove your pants and act casual—you don’t know any of the other pants-less individuals, and they don’t know you. (Still confused? Then check out this YouTube clip of the trouser-less mayhem.)
Everyone had a different reason to take their pants off. “We want to bring a little excitement [to the TTC],” explained two young participants named Derrick and Johnny. “We want to shake people out of their routine.” “No, it’s all about liberating oneself,” explained another young woman. “We’re here to express ourselves. People are too self-conscious about their bodies.”
The event, part of a larger worldwide event organized by Improv Everywhere, was a resounding success, and commuters were annoyed, mystified, entertained, and brought to hysterics by the sight. “I think organized ridiculousness is just what this city needs on a cold day like today,” explained one commuter. “This is funny,” said another man to his friend. “Are they protesting the war or something?” But not everyone was happy. “This country doesn’t have any morals anymore,” fumed one woman at St. Patrick Station.
Despite a few unhappy commuters, and one elderly gentleman who hurt his pride when he when he tripped over his own feet while staring at group of young ladies in lacey undies, the event went smoothly. “We were worried about rioting and vandalism,” explained one TTC constable. “But everyone has been well behaved and the event has been fun.”
“I think it was definitely a success,” said organizer Cole Banning. “First off, we were able to fill the whole train and everyone understood the directions. But more importantly, we got a reaction! I saw tons of people chuckling to themselves, and I was questioned about not having pants three times.”
All photos by Stephen Michalowicz/Torontoist