Verbal Harassment

Stay Away From : “Save on Tires” on Eglinton West

Annoying cat calls every time I walk by. My advice is to NEVER buy anything here, even if you save money on tires. I am afraid that one day they will attack me since I live close by. For now, I just detour through the neighbourhood to avoid it or get someone big and manly to escort me while I walk to the bus.

Submitted By: Kasey

Location: Save on Tires Store, 1529 Eglinton Avenue West

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Assault, Groping

Hats off to Chris, the TTC employees, and the Toronto police for this one! Way to Hollaback!

I got off the subway at Pape station around 2:30-2:45 pm today and as I was heading off the platform, I felt like I was being followed and that something might have touched me. I brushed it off as nothing and got onto the narrow escalator (facing the front of the station).

Midway up the escalator I felt a hand feeling up the back of my right thigh; dangerously close to my buttocks. Both frightened and infuriated, I turned around and confronted the guy, telling him to keep his hands to himself. The guy looked stunned that I confronted him and told me it was an “accident”.

Once the elevator got to the top, I saw two TTC employees and told them right there that this guy had touched me without my consent. The guy kept claiming it was an accident but the employees told him they were going to call the police. Once the guy heard that, he literally jumped over the turnstile, almost tripping in the process, and fled the scene.

The TTC employees, the security guards, and the Toronto Police were all great and professional when I filed the report. No one brushed me off and they reassured me I had every right to speak up about that guy rather than let him get away with it. If they find this guy, I will be pressing charges, especially after how he ran out like that without further explanation.

Because it happened on the TTC, there were surveillance cameras everywhere and it’s likely the police will release a photo. Ladies keep an eye out for this guy! I’d hate for the same thing to happen to anyone else!

Submitted By: Chris

Location: Pape Subway Station

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Verbal Harassment


This story was a little while ago. Maybe 2 years.
It was early in the morn- maybe 7am- the TTC had a delay so I opted to walk to my transferring streetcar. As I walked along College, two men in their early 20’s drove by in a white pick up truck, screamed at me “HEY CUTIE!”.
I didn’t even acknowledge them, I was half asleep for god’s sake, so kept walking. As they turned the corner to go north on Bathurst, my lack of response obviously ticked them off. As they drove they screamed at me again, “YOU AREN’T EVEN THAT CUTE ANYWAY!”.

Oh. great.

I remember walking along and feeling so many different things. Mainly:

1- What should have been my response?
2-I’m ugly.

When I think back on that day, I feel pretty enraged.
Back then, I don’t remember there being social conversations about how to deal with something like that, or just defining it as wrong and abusive.
This social conversation is so important to have.

Submitted By: Shari

Location: College and Bathurst Streets

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Other, Verbal Harassment

Bullies on the TTC

I was on the 60 Steeles bus on the way to Finch station. I was sitting in the back when two European girls got onto the bus. They started mocking me because of the way I dressed and I look like a typical lesbian. They made kissing noises towards one another and made fun of the fact that I had a cold.

One of the girls got up and sat in front of me while the other girl had her phone out and tried to discreetly take pictures/videos of what her friend was doing. She got up again and sat right next to me and it was obvious that she was taking pictures or videos of this happening. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to confront them or tell the bus driver.

When it was their stop, they got up and kept laughing at me. One of them stood in front of me to see if I would look up. After they left, they waited at the bus stop and mocked me more before the bus left the stop.

I feel powerless and I am constantly worrying about whether they are going to do anything bad with those pictures/videos. What should I do?

Submitted By: Kathy

Location: 60 Steeles bus

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Other, Stalking

Harassed by Authority Figures

In writing this won’t sound so alarming because the offender is actually a fare inspector for York Region Transit. He’s in a position of authority and supposedly protects passengers from harassment, therefore he’s not been stupid enough to commit outright harassment or assault in public. He’s at least in his 50s, tall and well built. He’s typically in the black and grey YRT uniform as opposed to the blue ones. I believe his hair is a combination of grey and black. He wears glasses and has dark brown eyes.

He has been doing this to me for months (I typically encounter him at Richmond Hill Center but have seen him at the Newmarket Terminal and other YRT bus stops as well). Whenever he spots me he starts whistling and nearing me (to the point of invading personal space). Yeah, in writing this doesn’t seem so frightening but in person it absolutely is. What makes this noteworthy is that it’s been happening without fail, every time he sees me, for at least half a year. I know for a fact he does not do this to other passengers. He must know that it makes me uncomfortable, yet he carries on relentlessly; this to me is the ultimate indicator of harassment and that he is very possibly someone who’s carried out assault. The lack of shame he has in disturbing and discomforting me, I find is really telling of his character; it reveals that he himself is comfortable and very well practiced in doing this. As a conventionally attractive young woman, I can definitely tell the difference between a predatorial man and one who’s innocently looking to catch the attention of a girl he fancies.

For the record I never engage with him, I’m always reading a novel and I make all efforts to distance myself from him (including entering the bathroom, surrounding myself by a crowd of passengers, etc.)

Submitted By: Angela

Location: Richmond Hill Center/ York Region Transit

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one comment
Verbal Harassment

Read Emily’s Story

As I was walking towards the bus stop near my friend’s apartment, an older man audibly called me “beautiful” and “gorgeous” upon passing him. I ignored him and continued crossing the street to reach the stop. As I stood there, I noticed him craning his neck to continue scoping me out until I boarded the bus. Thanks for making me feel unsafe at dusk outside my best friend’s place AND for sexualizing a woman less than half your age.

Submitted By: Emily

Location: Summerhill Avenue and Jean Street

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Verbal Harassment


I was at an event at Osgoode Hall; I’m 19 and was going with an older friend. At the reception of the speaking event, I went ahead of my friend to get my coat. A man, by my reckoning at least 10 years my senior, walked across the room from the elevator to place his hand on my wrist and leer, “I just need to say, you’re beautiful,” and wouldn’t leave until I thanked him. The security guard in the corner even laughed when I got upset after he left. Gross.

Submitted By: Meredith

Location: 130 Queen Street West (Osgoode Hall)

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Verbal Harassment

The Ripple Effect

My story comes in a ripple of three public harassment instances.

On my day off last Thursday afternoon, I ventured up to Shoppers World Plaza located in the East end of Toronto at Victoria Park and Danforth Ave. I just needed to run a few errands.

As I exited the Metro grocery store on my first stop, a middle aged man looked me up and down. Holding his glare as I walked passed him he started yelling obscenities. My blood boiled at the fact that I can’t even go on a quick mid-afternoon grocery run free of this b.s. However, I ignored it and ventured into store number two: Shoppers Drug Mart.

Sadly, after leaving the drug store, a second man gave me the head-to-toe eye examination studying my nearly 6′ tall figure, reducing me from a human being to a piece of flesh ripe for (his) consumption. This man waited until I passed to start howling… ‘hey, hey, bebe, bebe’ at me.

This was drawing unwanted attention and naturally it was embarrassing. I wanted to yell back at him…’hey, what the heck is your problem?’ What have I done to cause you to be so passive aggressive towards me huh? Perhaps my presence only re-enforces his insecurity that attractive women are unattainable, who knows.
I couldn’t help but think what his female family members would say if they caught him behaving in such a vulgar way towards a young woman who is a complete stranger to him.

On my way to the last stop I walked by the middle entrance underneath the big red Target sign only to encounter a man standing and leering at me while holding the door wide open and motioning for me to walk through it. Just to be polite I smiled and nodded my head to signal that it wasn’t my intention to enter the mall. This prompted him to begin mumbling something under his alcohol stenched breath.
I have no idea what he was saying and by the time I got to the Bulk Barn, my last stop, I felt like I’d just climbed a mountain, so I no longer had a care left in me.

NOTE: The rather hostile environment surrounding this plaza seems to make it ripe for males to publicly harass women and not be held accountable for their behaviour. My first cat call occurred at this same plaza when I was walking home from school at 13 years old. I’m now in my early thirties and it’s time that this deplorable behaviour is called out. I shudder to think what young children and adolescents have to endure right under the public nose.
This would likely be a good spot to hold some sort of an awareness campaign, non? If anyone has any ideas might be interested in participating.

Submitted By: Liz

Location: Victoria Park and Danforth (Shoppers World Plaza)

I've got your back!


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