I had the weirdest experience this past week. I attended a function downtown at Queen’s Park. Now, I’ve been to Queen’s Park before, but I’ve never seen more than the front lobby and the legislature. This time I got deep into the bowels of Queen’s Park, got trapped in a maze of underground tunnels and rescued by one of Queen’s Park’s finest security officers. Let me explain…
Due to the impending snowstorm, I decided to take transit to the event and got off the TTC at Queen’s Park station. As I was exiting the station, I noticed two non-descriptive doors leading to a tunnel that looked like the right direction. I thought, what the heck. Take the underground rather than trudge through the cold above ground. So, off I went. Now this tunnel went on and on. There were many turns and signs pointing to exits for the various government buildings in the park. Finally I decided I had gone far enough and left the tunnel. Exiting through some doors and down another long hallway, I encountered a security guard. After verifying my identity and my reason for being at Queen’s Park, he issued me an ID badge and sent me off down another series of tunnels to the designated spot.
The event was great. I had the opportunity to meet presidents and executives of some of Canada’s leading companies in the manufacturing industry. I was also able to meet the Premier of Ontario. When the event was over, I decided to retrace my steps and find my way back to the TTC station via the underground tunnels. That’s when my weird experience happened!
As it was late, I was the only person in the tunnel. Miraculously I was able to retrace my steps and work my way back. At each firebreak door I noticed a sign indicating, “Access to the Subway is Closed After 6pm. Pedestrians Must Exit at a Security Exit”. I figured I’d be OK. When I got to the last firebreak door I came across a man sweeping the floor. I thought to myself, this is weird. It’s déjà vu! It was just like the scene in the movie Almighty Bruce when Jim Carey comes across God (played by Morgan Freeman) working as a custodian sweeping the floor. So I asked the man where the security exit was so I could get out and walk to the TTC station and he looked at me funny. So, I asked the man again and he looked at me like I was speaking another language. He told me there were no exits and I would have to go back to where I started and exit there.
Now I wasn’t happy about that, but what could I do? I turned around and walked back through the tunnel. When I got to the final doors they were locked! CRISIS! Luckily there was an access card reader and a security phone on the wall. I picked up the phone and asked the security guard to be granted access so I could exit the building. The guard asked me a few questions, said he could see me but didn’t know who I was, and asked that I stay put and he would send a guard to get me. A couple of minutes later a young female guard came to my aid. She asked me some more questions. After checking my photo ID and making a note in her logbook, she led me through some other tunnels, up some stairs and down some halls to an exit point.
Finally I could see the outside! I exited to the street, trudged through the snow back to the TTC station and found my way home.
So much for taking a quick route underground to the station to avoid the snow.