Toronto drops pants for the No Pants Subway Ride 2020

Published On January 22, 2020 | By Anukul Thakur | Life
Peter Gray (left) and Rachella Valdez (right) smile during the No Pants Subway Ride on Jan. 12. (Anukul Thakur)
Anukul Thakur

Toronto’s chilly weather didn’t stop people from dropping their pants at the annual No Pants Subway Ride.

The chilly -5 C, and the 10-km wind, didn’t discourage about 100 people from joining the worldwide event where people get together to drop their pants to ride the subway in their underwear. 

The event took place at 3 p.m. on Jan. 12 in 20 cities around the world, according to the press release issued by Improv Everywhere.

Improv Everywhere is the comedy group that organized the first No Pants Subway Ride event in New York City in 2002.

The Toronto event is hosted by the No Pants Society, a group that started with a joke on a barstool. 

“We were talking about how much we hate pants and there must be a society for that,” said Paddy Jane, the founder of No Pants Society.

“We had to do the No Pants Ride when we first heard about it, it was a perfect fit,” she said.

Jane said No Pants Society has been organizing the No Pants Subway Ride for the last six years, while the event has been a yearly event since 2002.

“The TTC loves us. They know we’re coming every year and they always send a couple of people to make sure we’re doing okay,” she said.

“We’re just here to put a smile on people’s faces.” 

Paddy Jane (left) poses with friends at the after party in a Church Street bar. (Anukul Thakur)

Jane has become friends with people she’s met on the ride over the years.

“We had this guy bring in his two-month-old daughter to the ride and now they come every single year,” she said. The girl is now five-years-old.

“I got to see her again this year and she gave me a high-five”. 

The group gathered at the Eaton Centre and then, headed to Dundas subway station where they collectively dropped their pants when the clock struck 3 p.m.

The No Pants Parade then boarded the subway and travelled north to Bloor-Yonge and back south to Wellesley station for the after party at a local bar on Church Street.

First-time participant Erik Spirka wore regular black underwear and his wife’s pink frilly underwear over that.

“It puts a smile on people’s faces, people can giggle and smile,” Spirka said.

Erik Spirka (far right) at his first No Pants Subway Ride strikes a pose with other participants. (Anukul Thakur)

He acknowledges somebody could probably get offended, but as long they are wearing underwear there is no problem.

“There is nothing sexual about it, we weren’t born with clothing,” he said.

“The Western society shuns upon nakedness — if you’re upset, don’t look,” Spirka said.

The surprised on-lookers in the TTC broke into smiles and laughter. One commuter, Rachella Valdez, plans to participate next year.

“I work for the Raptors, so maybe I’ll wear Raptors boxers,” she said.

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Anukul Thakur

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