Toronto

Instagram account highlights Toronto's quirks with hand-drawn humour

A pedestrian struggling in Bay Street wind, Trinity Bellwoods’ mysterious white squirrel, walking the seemingly never-ending Spadina station tunnel - these moments are captured by Toronto Bingo, an Instagram account with clever doodles of the city’s highs, lows and oddities.

Drawings capture city's highs, lows and oddities

Friends and recent university graduates Rachel Bulatovich and Natalie Czerwinski created the account as a fun way to keep their spirits up while job hunting. (CBC)

A pedestrian struggling in Bay Street wind, that mysterious white squirrel in Trinity Bellwoods Park, walking the seemingly never-ending Spadina station tunnel. These are the moments captured by Toronto Bingo, an Instagram account with doodles of the city's highs, lows and oddities.

The account started as a joke between friends Rachel Bulatovich and Natalie Czerwinski. They made the hand-drawn scenes to keep their spirits up while searching for jobs.

"It's like a mix between bingo and 'I Spy'," says Bulatovich. "Often I will see one of the things we've done and take a picture and send it to Natalie and say, 'Bingo!'"

One of the city's quirkiest sights - the 'garbage elephant' street cleaning machine - is captured by the account. (@TorontoBingo/Instagram)

Some of the scenes include a craving for Cinnabon in the subway, while others show "garbage elephants" — the uniquely shaped street cleaning machines — roaming the streets. The #DeadRaccoonTO also makes an appearance.

The account has gathered 3,000 followers since the recent university graduates created it four months ago.

The giant sign at Nathan Phillips Square is another scene captured by the doodlers. (@TorontoBingo/Instagram)

Now, the pair's doodles are getting more than just likes. They're selling mugs and tote bags with the prints, with more merchandise on the way, like shower curtains and duvet covers.

Several city retailers now sell buttons and magnets of the cartoons.

"It feeds into the Toronto humour, poking fun at ourselves. It's just trying to get the core of being a Torontonian," says Matt Blackett, from the Spacing store that sells the merchandise.

The account gives CBC's Radio 2 a shout-out, while another doodle from the account gently pokes fun at Q host Shad. (@TorontoBingo/Instagram)

With an endless supply of ideas, the friends are sure they'll keep making the cartoons that make people laugh for sometime to come.

"I am still overwhelmed by how kind and supportive and excited people are by it, so it makes us even more excited to make more things," says Czerwinski.

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