At this point in the social distancing saga, fellow Torontonians, you’re likely starting to feel pretty stir-crazy. We get it: staying at home gets old fast, even with ample Zoom “happy hours” and Netflix shows to binge-watch. We can’t blame you for yearning to get out and explore Toronto’s big backyard.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to experience Toronto culture without leaving your house. Many favourite Toronto attractions have even created virtual activities to keep the kids busy (and give parents a much-needed break). But there are other ways you can bring “the 6ix” into your home.
From food tours in a box to dial-a-cookie services to DIY beer tours, here are some great ways to play tourist in Toronto and support local businesses – without stepping foot outside your door.
Going on a food tour of Toronto is possible from the comfort of your couch! The Culinary Adventure Co. recently launched Food Tour in a Box – a curated culinary box that’s delivered right to your door. The goodies change each week but expect to receive something yum featured on their food tours, including ingredients for home cooking. As a bonus, the box also includes a $50 gift certificate for a future Culinary Adventure Co. food experience.
Depending on which neighbourhoods are being featured, get ready to nibble on delicacies like Chinese buns, peameal bacon, handmade pickled jalapeños, artisan cheeses, and other snacks and surprises from Toronto vendors. It’s the perfect way to both support local businesses, and if it’s a gift, to send a shout-out to the ones you love.
Could this brand name be any more relevant to real life? At a time when we’re all having fewer kicks, No Fun – a popular Toronto apparel store – is offering a Mystery Box that can be delivered to your door. Place an order online and let staff shop on your behalf, packing a box with at least one t-shirt in your size and a bunch of surprise gear (which may include unreleased or sold-out gems). A great way to inject a thrill into an otherwise “meh” day.
Torontonians are crazy about Craig’s Cookies – a beloved Parkdale bakery that scratch-makes cookies bedazzled with funky fillings and toppings. Sure, the classic chocolate chip is the bomb diggity, but don’t miss trying flavours like maple bacon, Mars bar, cookies and cream, Rainbow Pride, Nutella, and countless others.
If you feel like “eating your feelings” in self-isolation, order a mixed box of Craig’s Cookies for delivery to your door. You can even order the raw dough for home baking!
Grabbing pints with your posse isn’t an option, but why not build your own brewery tour to experience at home? Right now, many Toronto microbreweries are offering home delivery, and with the click of a mouse, you can curate a tasting flight of hometown ales lickety-split.
For instance, your selection could include a limited-edition Neu Rodes from Kensington Brewing Co., huckleberry sour from Junction Craft Brewery, a refreshing Lager with Lime from Black Lab Brewing and a Jelly Emperor Dry Hopped Sour from People's Pint. Change up the lineup each week to get a real deal taste of Toronto’s beer scene.
Too pooped to pick your own pack? Mill Street has an Essentials Mix Pack of their five favourite ales, plus their new Sour Neighbour Cherry Sour. Just open and enjoy it!
Bibliophiles will love this: Glad Day Bookstore is planning to introduce a program called “Blind Date with a Book.” After perusing reader submissions, staff will choose a book and deliver it to your home. You’ll be joinging a one-of-a-kind Toronto book club brought to you by the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore.
Get out your calendar and make a date with Toronto – for later this year. Right now, Tasty Tours has launched an e-Gift certificate campaign to support its partner stores. How it works: use the code SUPPORTLOCAL and get 40% off their food tour e-gift certificates. All proceeds will be used to pre-pay local stores for future tours.
So, you’ll get a great deal and a mouth-watering food experience to look forward to in the future, while propping up local businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Load up now and use ‘em for birthday presents, stocking stuffers, Mother’s Day gifts, Father’s Day gifts – or just save them for yourself.
Check out the long list Ontario attractions offering gift certificates.
#SeeTorontoNow from home, and we hope you’ll #SeeTorontoSoon IRL
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