'It was like fate': Toronto man enlists vintage TTC car for surprise proposal
Raj Dhawan can't remember exactly what words came out of his mouth when he proposed, but none of that matters now.
His now-fiancée said "Yes" — and that's all he cares about.
"I tried to hit a home run and go from there and that's exactly what happened," he said after the moment.
Dhawan, 29, popped the question on a bright and beautiful Saturday afternoon on a vintage TTC streetcar packed with family and friends of the couple.
No ordinary nail appointment
He knew he wanted to do something special when he proposed to his girlfriend, Yvonne Choi. So he enlisted the help of Choi's twin sister, who set up what would have otherwise been an ordinary nail appointment in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Choi, in jeans and a T-shirt, had no idea when she came out that Dhawan would be waiting there in a suit and tie, ready to ask her to spend the rest of her life with him.
Their story began almost ten years ago, when they met at the University of Toronto.
Dhawan, who was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto during elementary school, and Choi, who grew up in Ottawa, became close.
"But then we kind of drifted apart after university as it often happens."
Some years later, Dhawan found himself sitting at the airport waiting for a flight back to Toronto from Montreal where he'd been for a business trip. "For some reason, I went to the airport really early."
He had no idea that Choi, who worked as a flight attendant, just happened to be there, too.
Dhawan went through security and had close to three hours to kill. He spotted a St. Hubert and thought he'd circle back to it for a bite after finding his gate.
He never did get there.
"I'm walking through the airport and I hear, 'Raj, Raj!'" Then came a tap on the shoulder.
Dhawan says he was clueless that it was Choi.
"It was like fate," he told CBC Toronto, recounting the moment they rekindled their friendship and love for one another.
'She has my heart'
"I meant to say that in my proposal, but I saw her and everything went over my head!" he said. "It's all coming out now. I could have prepared a million more hours and it wouldn't have mattered. She has my heart."
A cup of tea and three years later, the two are now engaged to be married.
On one knee, Dhawan says he told Choi the first thing that came to his heart: "That I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and that she made me a better person and a better man and I think that was it. I can't remember exactly what came out, but it was something along those lines."
"She said yes, so I've got the little buzz going on from her accepting my proposal. I'm a lucky guy."
The transit agency was delighted too, that it could be part of the couple's day, said spokesperson Brad Ross.
"The TTC is thrilled to be part of this love story. We wish them nothing but happiness and a long life together - we'll be there for them throughout!"
For his part, Dhawan says he couldn't be happier — not only did the proposal go down without a hitch, he now hopes to spend the rest of his life with Choi.
"She means the world to me and she deserves literally everything. She makes me a better person and that's very rare to find today."