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Umbrella taxi service in Toronto


Natalie Thomas, reporter
September 18, 2012 — It's never fun getting caught in the rain without an umbrella. So wouldn't it be nice if a complete stranger showed up to help you out! That's what one group in Toronto tried to do this summer.


Need an umbrella? Improv in Toronto can help
Need an umbrella? Improv in Toronto can help

"So we started with acts of spontaneity, and acts of public improv, and we're sort of going more towards acts of kindness," says Jenna Warriner.

Jenna is part of Improv in Toronto - and one of the group's recent acts of kindness was their Umbrella Taxi Service, where they walked about 100 strangers around in the rain. 

"I did not know it would be that fun. It's cool to make it okay that you're soaking wet. People would try and give us money or tips, and we were instructed to refuse," adds Jenna. "It was cool when it was a tourist, or a family. Sometimes we'd just sneak up with people and start a conversation and share our umbrella." 
 
Iva Jericevic is another member of Improv in Toronto. She agrees that what they do is rewarding for everyone.

"My first lady that I walked, she just hugged me around the waist and I walked her to her car. And it was just fun talking to people and them asking questions."

Obviously, the biggest challenge with an idea like this was the weather. It's not going to work if it's not a rainy day.

Keeping Torontonians dry
Keeping Torontonians dry

"And it took us two months to actually have a rainy day that we could all get together," Jenna says. "We would use social media and our public forums to be like 'guys! 80 percent P.O.P. on Saturday.  Is this happening? Is this happening?"

"We were lucky on the day that we actually went. It was a perfect temperature and we also got a ton of rain. But it was really difficult to plan it." 

So do they think this could make a good business in the future? 

"We would never change one of our acts of kindness into a business model," Jenna says. "But if someone out there thinks that they can make it happen..!"

Well if you have an idea for a new mission for the group, you can contact them on their website: www.improvintoronto.com. And, of course, we suggest something a little weather related.

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