Lose it on the bus? Find it at the TTC auction
（Toronto Star Reporter John Deverell）You can tell from the lost articles depot: Not all TTC riders are playing with a full deck.
The lost umbrellas are no mystery. That can happen. A hundred or so are on sale individually today and tomorrow at the Bay St. subway station for $2, $3, or $4. And every winter day hundreds of mitts and gloves ― pairs and singles ― will go to registered charities. There again, who hasn’t ever lost their mitts?
But how do you lose a Compaq E500 laptop and decide not to claim it?Or a digital camera? An Ibanez electric guitar with case?A beautiful, newly repainted trick-riding bike?
The bike, notes the TTC’s Margarette Balanco, has no brand name or serial number. “It might have been stolen,” she speculates. “Maybe that’s why it wasn’t claimed.”
“There’s quite a lot just abandoned,” says lost articles supervisor Victor Buttigieg. “It’s surprising. Amazing, really.”
He saves everything, including flip-flops, for 90 days, trying to reconnect TTC riders with their errant stuff, but then it goes into the semi-annual silent auction. The latest batch of leavings, bundled into 30 lots, is on display for bidders at the Bay subway station through Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m.
The TTC auction would be a great flea market but for one detail: cherry-picking is not allowed.
Between 75 and 100 people, many of them dealers, will pay a $10 fee to make sealed bids on the lost stuff. The TTC will notify the winners in due course, and the TTC’s vast operating deficit will be shaved by about $5,000.
“My goal is not to make money. It’s to empty the shelves,” says Buttigieg. He has to. They keep filling up.