By NINA RAFEEK
Toronto Transit Commission streetcar operators banded together on Saturday to put on their second annual Santa Streetcar Drive.
Despite the inclement weather, residents came out to donate toys for children in need at the Woodbine Loop, on Queen Street East, just east of Kingston Road.
New unwrapped toys were collected in the modern, low-floor streetcars, and participants in the streetcar drive had a chance to take a photo with Santa Claus in a vintage 1950s Toronto PCC streetcar.
Residents who braved the cold and rainy weather on Nov. 24 enjoyed holiday classics such as Run Run Rudolph and Jingle Bell Rock on the outdoor speakers, while local bands such as the Rouge River Winds volunteered to perform Christmas carols for the afternoon.
Guests of the event also enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs while they mingled with Santa Claus, the TTC operators, fellow residents and Beaches-East York Councillor-elect Brad Bradford.
“A little bit of cold and rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of this neighbourhood or dampen their generosity,” said co-organizer and TTC streetcar operator Chris Perrin of Saturday’s event.
Perrin said the organizers received a lot of help from the community and would like to double their donation to Toy Mountain this year compared to what they collected last year.
“It’s amazing,” said Marcela Garcia, co-organizer and president of recreation of the Russell Division of TTC streetcar operations.
Garcia said that she was very pleased with the turnout on Saturday and she is already looking forward to organizing the event next year.
“We have to give back to the community. We are not just the drivers for the streetcar, we care and we really want to make things happen for our community,” she said.