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Looking for love? Bathurst Station is the place to find it

by Cynthia Vukets
and Leslie Ferenc
Staff Reporters

She was headed westbound. He was standing on the platform waiting for the eastbound train. Their eyes met, she winked at him, then the subway doors slid closed and she was gone.

“I thought she was really pretty. Pretty cute,” says Carlos Game, 25, of a red-haired girl with “really, really deep blue eyes” he spotted on the subway train late one night last winter.

She was so cute, Game posted a message to her on Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” classified ad listing. In it, he described their flirtatious glances and signed off with: “Who are you mysterious subway girl? I want to see you again.”

To his surprise, she replied and the two dated for several months. But then, as in many young relationships, she took off travelling and things weren’t the same when she came home. The two split up. Perhaps because they were just going in different directions.

Breakup or no, Game says the experience was positive. “I used to be pretty shy. And now I’m pretty good with girls,” said the downtown resident and restaurant server.

Currently single, he still believes that platform — at the Bloor-Yonge Station — is one of the best places in the city for girl-watching.

That may be so, but a new study by Craigslist of its Missed Connections postings found Bathurst is where the love is strongest. It’s been dubbed “The Most Romantic Station” in the city.

Called “Love on the Line,” the less than scientific study also found that the chances of a passenger falling for another during a chance encounter and then posting a Missed Connections ad to find the love of their life are highest on the Yonge-University-Spadina route. It’s deemed the city’s “Most Romantic Line.”

Conducted over eight weeks this summer and fall, the study looked at 285 ads on Missed Connections that mentioned one of the TTC’s 69 subway stations and the systems four rapid transit lines. Ads were posted by riders like Game whose hearts, like his, skipped a beat after a fleeting glance or conversation with another passenger but who were either too shy or too slow to get contact information.

For those looking for love, Scarborough Centre on the Rapid Transit Line is the wrong place to find it. The study revealed romance wasn’t in the air or anywhere else since no Missed Connections posts were listed even though more than 26,000 riders come through the station daily.

Bathurst, which has more than 28,000 transit users each day, had the most Missed Connections posts per day chalking up 4.95 on the so-called Train Romance Index Score Total (TRIST).

It came as no surprise to TTC spokesperson Jessica Martin.

“There’s a very friendly and artsy community around there, with a lot of young, vibrant people,” she said when the study findings were revealed. Davisville was second with a score on the love meter of 4.79. High Park came in third at 4.60. College, Summerhill, Dundas, Christie, Runnymede, Wellesley and Eglinton were also among the Top 10.

Calculating the TRIST was as complicated as keeping love lights burning. It was tallied by dividing the number of Missed Connections mentions at each station or line by the daily ridership and then multiplying by 10,000 and rounding to two decimal places. Bloor-Danforth was Toronto’s second most romantic train line while Sheppard was third.

While chances of finding true love through Missed Connections may be easier than pulling chicken’s teeth, there’s nothing to lose by trying, said Craigslist spokesperson Susan Best. “People really do value long shots. The idea of getting a second chance, however small, is very powerful.”

And there are plenty of passengers throwing caution to the wind by wearing their hearts on their sleeves. So, if you were at Bathurst station in mid-July around lunch time, someone wearing a green dress, with a thin black belt, heels and handbag is eager to meet you.

“We were looking at each other the whole time until the subway reached St. George,” the Missed Connections message said. “We both got off … and as we were climbing up the stairs, you lightly touched my hand which was on the rail. We briefly looked at each other … you went on the southbound platform and I went on the northbound. Your train came first. As the … doors were closing, we looked at each other one more time and we both waved … Send a picture or something this will convince me it was you.”