SCARBOROUGH—On the outskirts of Toronto’s urban sprawl, on the corner of a busy intersection, sits a small group of retail stores. Adjacent to this lot is the 56-unit Millwood Townhouse complex. If a motorist approaches this hub driving north, they can turn right and be funneled directly into the Tim Hortons drive-thru. However, if they take that turn just five feet too soon, they end up on the communal drive for the townhomes. This conundrum has local residents hotter than Tim’s new Jalapeno Asiago Mozzarella bagel.
“I was sweeping the walkway the other day and some woman leaned out her car window and asked me for a double-double! Do I look like I’m standing at a take-out window?” asked Millwood maintenance worker Jim Buffy. In an effort to avoid further confusion, Buffy has asked that his uniform be changed from brown pants and shirt with matching cap to any other color.
From her porch at unit 32B, Sharon Rumsby has a front-row seat for the mayhem. “Around nine in the morning is the worst. People pull in, realize they’ve turned too soon, but are blocked by cars that followed their lead. The confusion results in panic and our driveway becomes a parking lot. Twice last week the cops had to come out and direct traffic just to get drivers back on the street.”
Mooseclean’s experienced the befuddlement firsthand. While reporting on this story, a would-be Tim Hortons customer turned into the townhouse drive. After a couple minutes of idling, the driver got out of the car and started yelling, “Coffee! Coffee! Coffee! Donuts?” while spinning in circles.
“You think that’s bad?” asked fellow observer June Cliff. “Last week I saw a woman give her order to the hole in the wall where those bricks are missing. At least she left a five-dollar bill in there.”
Tim Hortons community representative Gerald Curry has been asked by the company to ease relations between the local franchise and townhouse occupants. “I’ve dealt with everything from errant garbage issues to complaints about overly loud speaker systems, but this is a first. I’ll concede that it’s been difficult to get people to use the correct driveway. You can’t fight human nature, especially when it’s caffeine–deprived.”
As a last-ditch effort, the tenants of Millwoood have erected their own small signs below the already existing Private Drive NO EXIT admonition. NO COFFEE, NO DONUTS reads the message. Cynics predict this will either lead to more customer break-downs or total anarchy.
Photo: Molly Donovan