Commuters on Toronto's Line 1 subway got off to an unusually lousy start on Wednesday morning. Rosedale Subway Station was evacuated after a strange odour was reported to be affecting people on the platform. Toronto Police Services warned residents of the “hazard” at the station via Twitter. The TTC announced shortly afterwards that regular service had resumed.
Police reported that travellers had begun experiencing several symptoms due to a “strong burning smell,” including coughing and burning eyes. It is suspected at this point that someone dispersed pepper spray, but police are still waiting for confirmation on that detail.
The delays at the station started in the middle of morning rush hour. Some travellers complained of having to wait on the crowded platform for a train to arrive:
This isn’t the first time that a part of the TTC has been shut down due to an odour. Back in March of this year, a commuter pulled a train’s emergency alarm near Queen West Station due to another passenger’s "bad smell".
"You have absolutely every right to complain but using the passenger assistance alarm is not for that," said Constable David Hopkinson during an interview about the incident with Global News.
"With passenger assistance alarms, we assume that it's an emergency—somebody is having a medical episode, their life is in danger, they're being attacked, there's some kind of accident in the station.”
In today's case, however, it appears that the bad smell did warrant a police investigation.