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Baggage found in Toronto street tracked to owner with help of Air Canada flight attendant, delivery driver

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A delivery driver spotted two pieces of luggage sitting in the middle of the street in downtown Toronto with Air Canada baggage tags fastened to their handles on the weekend. Instead of ignoring the lost luggage, he loaded them onto his truck – marking the first moment in a chain of altruistic efforts to reunite a stranger with her belongings.

The driver was heading down Portland Street approaching Queen Street West when he spotted the bags on Saturday around 6 a.m. and ultimately decided to drop them off at a police station, according to his friend Nadine Araksi.

Their dedication to the cause didn’t end there. Araksi said she posted about the bags in a Facebook group of Leslieville residents.

The post caught the eye of Miriam Swartz, who works for Air Canada as a flight attendant. The Leslieville resident reached out to Araksi to try and help track down the owner of the missing bags.

“If you want to [direct message] the luggage tags I might be able to do a search as I work for Air Canada,” she commented on the Facebook post.

Once Araksi sent a picture of the baggage tags to Swartz, she input the 10 digits printed on the label into her employee app. “It helps to retrace the steps of lost luggage,” Swartz explained to CTV News Toronto.

From there, she said she found the passenger’s name and travel information, revealing they had taken a flight from Saskatoon to Toronto on Saturday.

“Just imagine if it happened to you, right? It’s just nice when people come together,” Swartz said.

Araksi and Swartz found a woman with the same name as the passenger who had played on a Saskatoon sports team. It was a shot in the dark but Swartz sent the team an email describing the series of events. “They said, ‘Yes, you found the right girl,’” she recalled.

Meanwhile, Kristin Hood, the owner of the luggage, said she was spending her first day in Toronto in shock after packing all of her belongings into two hard-shell bags and moving to the city.

Photos Kristine Hood took on her flight to Toronto (left) and of the CN Tower on her first night in the city on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2023 (Supplied). Her brother had picked her up from Toronto Pearson International Airport on Saturday, which was also Hood’s 25th birthday. To celebrate, they made a beeline to a bar hop downtown and left the car in a parking lot overnight.

“I guess somebody went to the back of his truck and pulled out the bags,” Hood said. “Someone stole them and they left them in the middle of the street and walked away.”

The next morning she said her brother broke the news about the bags. “I was shocked and stunned in the moment,” she said. “I literally had nothing.”

Just eight hours later, her upset subsided when she received a call from Air Canada reporting her luggage was waiting for her at a Toronto police station.

"I was kind of in disbelief," she said.

It’s unclear who drew the final connection between Hood and her belongings, but since then, she’s been wondering who the good Samaritan is, never having spoken to the delivery driver, Leslieville resident or Air Canada flight attendant who were determined to reunite her with her bags.

“Often we feel like we’re so busy and we don’t take a moment to help another human being but when we work together, sometimes things work out,” Araksi said.

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