On Sunday afternoon, more than two hundred Torontonians cast modesty to the wind and gave passengers on the TTC the half-monty as they shed their pants for the third annual No-Pants Subway Ride—a flash mob–style event organized by Improv in Toronto, the urban pranksters responsible for Subway Sing-A-Long, Clue in the Eaton’s Centre, Subway Dance Party, and many other events. Like the world-wide Improv Everywhere event that it’s modeled after, the objective of the no-pants Toronto mission is to take your pants off on the subway and then act normally. If asked why you’re not wearing pants, you’re supposed to say you “forgot them” and then “insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their pants.”
Organizers hoped that No-Pants Subway Ride 2010 would be the largest Toronto event yet, but compared to last year, attendance was down by almost a third. “I don’t know the reason why we had less people,” Cole Banning, the event’s organizer, told Torontoist. “It could be because we did it on a Sunday. But it couldn’t be because people didn’t want to take their pants off; that just wouldn’t make any sense.”
Despite the cold weather, attendees were enthusiastic, and as the crowd prepared to make its way from the meeting spot at Queen’s Park to Museum Station people cheered: “Death to pants! We’ve been oppressed for too long!” Few participants showed any trepidation about dropping their drawers on the TTC. “I live in res, so this is just my typical Sunday afternoon,” said one female student. “Pants repress the man,” said another young male student. “Taking them off is like rebelling.” Torontoist also met a gentleman in a pantless ghost costume who told us that he “never wears pants,” and happily noted that he had “scared a couple of peoples’ pants off” over the course of the afternoon.
While most commuters laughed along with the pranksters, a few bystanders were less than impressed. “There’s no respect in this country anymore,” snarled one elderly man as he pointed at a young woman’s underwear-clad behind. “How can I respect that?”
Others were more vocal. “I don’t want to sit on these seats now,” yelled another male passenger. “I might get the herps [sic]!”
While TTC riders may have been disarmed, those who travel across longer distances may want to accustom themselves to the pantlessness of others. As one Twitter user pointed out, Sunday might just end up being “a test for the way we will soon have to fly.”
Photos by Nick Kozak/Torontoist.