Valerie Taylor's usual commute home sent her on an unexpected detour powered by a collective act of kindness.
Taylor, a Toronto-based psychiatrist, was commuting out of the city on GO Transit during rush hour when she was met a family of seven who had just arrived from Syria four months ago, she writes in a now-viral Facebook post published Wednesday.
The oldest child, an 11-year-old was the only one who could speak English, so he was looking for help finding their way to travel to family outside of Toronto.
"They had two baby strollers and three other kids and heavy bags so I helped them get to the train," Taylor writes. "But other random strangers picked up strollers and bags to help them up the stairs as well."
Partway through the journey, they realized that their directions were wrong, Taylor writes.
The family was actually trying to reach London, Ont. not Ancaster, Ont. which Taylor and others thought initially.
The two cities are 100 kilometres apart, would require tickets on a separate train line and would cost hundreds of dollars more, CBC News reports.
"That's what we do in Canada. We help."
Taylor wrote that everyone around her sprang into action. She passed her stop to help with the situation, another passenger called a friend who spoke Arabic to help translate, and others pooled money to help cover the family's ticket costs.
"... That's what we do in Canada. We help," the doctor said on Facebook.
She tells CBC News about 50 people must have been involved in the effort.
Upon arrival at the station, however, they didn't get the chance to buy the tickets.
A GO Transit employee ran toward them, yelling "Stop!"
According to CBC News, Metrolinx, the company that operates GO Transit sent the family to their destination in two taxis.
When a Syrian family got lost on the GO Train, dozens of passengers and Metrolinx employees banded together to help.
"It was almost overwhelming, the way people wanted to help," Taylor shares. "It has been one of the most moving experiences."
The Facebook post has since been shared more than 20,000 times and people have responded with a slew of warm-hearted comments.
"It was almost overwhelming, the way people wanted to help. It has been one of the most moving experiences."
Community efforts have gone a long way in helping Syrian refugee families in Canada.
In April, a small town in Nova Scotia banded together and provided a family of six with a house, when their current small apartment had them considering returning to the Middle East.
In Surrey, B.C., young students and other community members filled school bags full of supplies and some welcome notes for Syrian kids for "Operation Backpack".
To end her post about her encounter, Taylor wrote: "A huge thank you to GO Transit and all the random kind people I encountered today. You are why this is an amazing country."
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