Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rules of the Road in Toronto: VOL 1

The problem with the rules of the road in Toronto is that there aren’t any. Oh, they put up a lot of signs. They look really nice. But no one really pays attention to them (Maybe that’s why there’s been nine fatal accidents in the past nine days around here. Or that there’s been 16 in 2010 already.)

No one pays attention the signs. Especially taxi drivers. If you happen upon a taxi in your daily travels, the best place to be is somewhere else.
You’ll never see a taxi driver wasting time with turn signals, lane changes, speed limits, no parking zones, no stopping zones, or even direction of travel. Watch out for these rogue cabbies; they’ll swerve into oncoming traffic if it will get them around a streetcar.

The chart below represents a blast zone indicating to what percentage traffic laws are followed.

The closer you get to downtown, the more dastardly driving practices you’re likely to see. Following is a list of tips to help you negotiate these streets.

DOWNTOWN (THE RED ZONE): Many major downtown streets are comprised of four lanes, two in each direction. However, when you consider construction, parked vehicles, TTC vehicles and the general stupidity of any driver who isn’t you, it’s really more like half a lane at best.

Which is the best lane to drive in?

RIGHT LANE: If you drive in the right lane, you will constantly be blocked by parked cars and burdened by the fear of accidentally knocking a cyclist to the ground. You’ll also be stuck behind a bus stopping to pick people up.

LEFT LANE: If you drive in the left lane, you'll be stuck behind left-turning traffic. You'll also find yourself stuck behind a lumbering streetcar that stops more often than the bus.

(Question: you’re sitting at a red light in the ‘left turn only’ lane. Is your turning signal on? Or do you turn it on when the light turns green? Or not at all?
If there’s a sign indicating NO LEFT TURNS, then you obviously wouldn’t turn it on until the light turns green. No need to call attention to your illegal maneuvers until absolutely necessary, right?)

SOLUTION: there is no solution. You’re pretty much screwed, whichever lane you pick. The only efficient way to drive is to weave in and out of both lanes.

ON SLOWING DOWN: If you’re lost in the maze of one-way streets and ambiguous buildings with no numbers on them, at no point may you slow down to search for a) an address or b) a parking spot. If you so much as tap your brakes, you will be met with a honking rage not unlike a herd of attacking geese.

If you happen to be behind someone who slows to find their bearings, read a street sign or attempts to parallel park, waste no time leaning on your horn. The best way, I’ve found, is to literally place your elbows on the horn, rest your head in your hands and lean on the horn until the aforementioned traffic jammer ceases to impede your direction of travel.

HIGHWAY DRIVING: If you happen to be driving on the 400-series, the Gardiner or DVP, it’s never a good idea to stay in the same lane. Take a hint from truck and bus drivers. Weaving is more efficient and it shows that you’re a go-getter. No need to signal. One great trick is to drive in the far left lane until 50 feet from your exit, then swerving across three lanes of speeding traffic to make it to the off ramp. That shows the skills of an experienced and intelligent driver.
SPEED OF TRAVEL: While the posted speed limit on these highways may be 100 km/h, it’s perfectly acceptable to go 180 km/h if there is no traffic to impede you. If there does happen to be a slower vehicle in front of you, simply ride their bumper until they move out of your way.

Conversely, in city traffic, while the posted speed limit may be 50, remember that there is no posted minimum limit so you can go as slow as you want. Nobody minds being stuck behind someone doing 30, especially if they’re texting on their Blackberry.

Stay tuned for more rules of the road. Follow them, and you’ll be driving like an asshole in no time.


Barack Obama got a hat from the FBI for Christmas. Look at his face; he’s feigning interest, but he clearly hates it.

"A hat? I'm the President of the United States and you got me a fucking hat?"


This girl sure knows how to hold a fork.


  1. what about driving while looking at the iPhone boob application.... its doesnt work very well.

  2. That photo is an optical illusion. I stared at it for like 4 minutes before I finally saw a plate of food.

  3. Mar - when did you get an iPhone? lol

    Graham - If you stare really hard, some people say you can make out a bald man in the background.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Wow, Anonymous!

    How did you know we've all been wondering how one can manage to receive high yields on investments!

    AND it's my birthday today, so I consider this the best birthday present one could ask for, AND I DIDN'T EVEN ASK!

    How you could feel the vibrations in the universe and know that I needed this information is beyond me, but thank god you have that power!

    Sir, I am forever in your debt and my gratitude for this information of yours, Anonymous (I haven't heard of anyone naming their kid that since 13th Century England! Kudos to your parents for knowing their etymology!) is etched in stone for the rest of time.

    You, sir, came to the right place, and in no wasted anyone's time, and certainly not your own.

    What a nice, considerate person.

  6. What the hell, Anonymous? I told you to leave me alone after I caught you jerking off in my garden.

    Not cool, man.

    (Although now that I've deleted the spam comment, these two from Graham and I will be completely pointless. But nevertheless, awesome.)

  7. You must be from the suburbs.

  8. I'm not, but I'm curious why you'd assume I was.