TTC Token Holder

Concept: 3 out of 5
Execution: 2 out of 5
Yeah, but: I'm going to take a pill.

The Long Version: For the past eighteen months, I've been using a keychain pill container to carry my TTC tokens. In a comment to that review, someone told me where to go to find the purpose-built token holder. It's a flat piece of slightly flexible plastic with grooves to hold tokens along both sides of it. It uses a friction fit, and can hold five on each side, for a total of ten tokens at its maximum capacity. Bought for $1.50 from the Gateway News at Bloor station, it's possibly the cheapest thing I've ever reviewed.

I've been using the token holder for two weeks, and while I like some aspects of it, I'm going back to my pill container now that this review's been written. On the positive side, I've really liked being able to slide a token out with one hand, and not having to take it out of my jacket pocket to do it. It's faster than the threaded pill container, and is less likely to devolve into a comedy routine if it gets dropped. It's a slim design that's easy to carry, and it isn't going to break anyone's budget.

I really only have two quibbles with the design. One is that it only holds ten tokens, and the two that are in the fifth position are barely gripped by the plastic edges. While they're surprisingly hard to dislodge, it is possible and has happened to me during my trial period. An easy design change - lengthening the gripper edges - would solve the problem, but the economics of needing new tooling means it will probably never happen. As it is, I wouldn't use the handy little loop on the end of it to attach it to my keychain. It can fit in my wallet, which keeps it secure, but it adds a lot of bulk and defeats the convenience of having it accessible. That leaves carrying it loose in a pocket or in my bag du jour, but I have enough challenges keeping track of things already.

My second quibble is that it only holds ten tokens, and they're sold in either batches of ten at the collector booths, or in eights at the vending machines. That puts a crimp in how often and when I can buy tokens; I prefer to stock up rather than waiting until I'm desperate. Since I only take the TTC when I've run out of other options - seven or eight times a week - that hasn't made my commute any easier. My repurposed pill container can carry nineteen tokens comfortably, and will take a twentieth in a pinch, which makes it simple to buy more whenever I have enough cash on hand.

The purpose-designed holder is cheaper than the pill container, and I can see how some people might prefer it, but I don't. Maybe I'll keep mine stashed with a small emergency token supply, or maybe I'll give it away as a prize in a contest. Life is full of options, which is always a good thing.


  1. It only holds five single pound coins (maybe 6-8 ttc tokens) but it's durable, (don't look like an old lady taking her liver pills) and I'm buying one.
    Seriously, no other options for ttc tokens?

  2. Though it's a wonder the TTC still uses tokens (it could the last major system on the planet to do so) there are new ways to store them. If you are still reviewing token holders, I've updated the list of options: http://eddrass.com/trinkets.htm

    There are links to the respective makers. Alas, the round holder is hard to come by... although I have a few.

    (NB: The stick-style holder on my page is different than the one you picture -- I haven't been able to find the provider.)


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