I may have mentioned the Runnymede Runaround before – the Toronto Script Frenzy/Nanowrimo crew meets every other Friday evening, year-round at a Starbucks Coffee near Bloor Street and Runnymede road, if the date is an odd number. They call it ‘Odd Fridays at Runnymede,’ or OFAR.
When I first found out about OFAR, during Script Frenzy, I plugged the Starbucks address into Google maps to see how I could best get there by public transit from work, and then how to get home. The routes I got make up the basis of the Runaround – an unusual loop-the-loop that takes me through Burlington, quickly across Oakville and Mississauga to Toronto, and back to Hamilton – without much retracing, particularly because of the way the GO train and bus routes work out.
So, I thought that yesterday, as I went on the Runaround, I’d take some pictures on my iPhone and show you a bit of what it was like.
First off, the morning commute goes more or less as normal – get out of my apartment, catch a bus across the street, which takes me into Burlington along the lakeshore. Then transfer to two other buses in Burlington, one which goes up Maple street and to the Burlington GO train station, and then another quick ride a few blocks to my office. (I didn’t take any photos during the morning.)
Left the office at twenty after four or so.
I walked down the road, taking in the scenery, until I got to the train station:
Paid my fare with the Presto card reader, which has given me grief in the past:
And headed through the tunnel to the train platform to wait:
Once on board, I took a few pictures out the window, in between working on critiques for critters.org:
I got off the train at Mimico station, in southwest Toronto.
The Mimico station is on Royal York road – and just as I got there, a TTC bus came by, and I couldn’t beat it to the bus stop. So I took a picture of the bus instead!
Made my way to the bus stop, and there was another bus in a few minutes.
Along the way, I took a few more photos, as we crossed the Gardiner expressway and headed up toward Bloor street, and the subway line.
At the subway station, I headed down to the Eastbound train platform.
After just a few stops eastward along the Bloor line, I was at Runnymede station, and made my way back up to the street.
Since I was early and hungry, I grabbed a combo at McDonalds before going to the Starbucks.
I had a great time at the Starbucks – submitting several critiques, doing some reading for the Rule of Three blogfest and leaving comments. There were only two other Nanowrimo people, and we didn’t chat that much, just worked on our own things in silent fellowship. I left around quarter after eight, hoping to get a head start on the trip back to Hamilton.
Back to the subway station, and another eastbound train – this is where the runaround part comes in. Because the trains don’t go all the way to Hamilton, it would actually take me longer to retrace my steps to Mimico station and home that way, than it does to take the subway downtown and take a Go bus on the QEW express route from there – at least in theory.
Changed subway lines at Saint George station – and found that I’d just missed a train going south. The fancy digital sign read ‘Next train: 8 minutes.’ Sigh
Finally got my southbound train, and hurried out at Union station. I had a few minutes to catch the 9 o’clock bus, if I hurried:
I got to the bus platform at two minutes to nine. The bus saying ‘Hamilton QEW Express’ was still waiting. There weren’t very many people in line.
Then I realized that nobody from the line was actually going up to the open bus doors.
Then I saw a lot of people standing in the aisle all down the bus. Oh no! I hadn’t taken into account how many people would be leaving Toronto on the Friday night before the Thanksgiving long weekend.
So I stood there as the bus left, and waited in line as a ‘Toronto QEW Express bus arrived, dropped off passengers, sit there locked for a while, and finally started boarding passengers for Hamilton.
After an hour-long bus ride, finally I was back in Hamilton. There was no King street bus waiting for us at the Hamilton GO center at 10:30, but it showed up five minutes behind schedule.
And so, finally, I made it back home. Quite a runaround, huh?