What people are listening to while riding the TTC: Meagan Perry starts Toronto Subway Playlist Project

Have you ever ridden the subway in Toronto and wondered what the person sitting beside you was listening to? Well, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

Meagan Perry, the executive director of podcasts for Rabble.ca who says on her website that she creates podcasts for non-profits, First Nations, and labour clients, wondered the same thing about the TTC's passengers and decided to start asking them what they were listening to.

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"When I moved back to Toronto after six years in the Yukon, I was reminded of how great the subway system here can be," Perry said. "I also noticed how almost everyone was turning the communal experience of riding the subway into the individual experience of riding the subway listening to x, y, or z on headphones."

By stopping riders at the various subway stations and asking them what they were listening to at any given moment, Perry was able to begin assembling playlists for every subway stop and has created an interactive map on her website called, "The Stationary Groove: Toronto Subway Playlist Project."

When visiting her site, you have the choice of viewing playlists from Finch to Downsview and McCowan to Kipling Station and all of the stops in between. For instance at the Davisville stop, "A little reggae and a little 80s [music] keeps the home of the TTC admin bopping all day."

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"From K-Pop to the Qur'an, from Tamil music to heavy metal and hip-hop to children's music, I found it on the subway," Perry says. "Reactions ranged from mystified looks about this strange project to pleasure at the chance to share a tune."

What Perry discovered was "regional trends" in music like Canadian indie rock being the most popular in the downtown core and more obscure tunes taking precedence as she moved further east and west.

"Everyone in Toronto is listening to Drake. That really surprised me," she said. "Out in Scarborough a lot of people listening to Tamil music that was harder to find. Out in Kipling some of the hip hop was harder to find."

By heading to her website, you too can add your song to Perry's Stationary Groove Playlist Project and see what others are listening to at your choice station.

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One of my favourite tracks to listen to on the subway as I board at Finch Station is Sophie B. Hawkins' "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" because I pretend that I am in the music video while listening to it and boarding the train.

For more information on this cool project, head here. What are you listening to?

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