These are the things that Toronto misses the most while the city is in lockdown
As Torontonians sit sequestered in our homes — perhaps coming to terms with the fact that the closer summer gets, the less likely we are to get much of one due to the pandemic — residents seem to be feeling extra sentimental and reminiscing on all of the things they miss about the city.
With no concerts or other events to look forward to in the foreseeable future, no restaurants or bars open for a sit-down meal or a patio pint, no stores to browse around in an attempt to solace our growing existential dread via retail therapy, life can seem pretty bleak.
But, remembering the good times (and hoping they'll be back soon), may help.
One of the Toronto things people seem to miss the most is grabbing food and drinks at their favourite local spots: an intimidating plate of Sneaky Dee's nachos, fluffy Japanese pancakes from Fuwa Fuwa, a beer tasting flight from Amsterdam Brewhouse, some deep-fried plant-based goodness from the Hogtown Vegan, or a handcrafted espresso beverage from their neighbourhood cafe.
I miss Toronto. I miss Dark Horse & too many iced lattes. I miss Fresh and too many delectable options. I miss Hogtown Vegan and sharing fried “clams.” I miss Sneaky Dee’s and nachos. I miss the Horseshoe Tavern & its terrible sight lines. I miss you.— ⚡️ jessrawk ⚡️ (@jessrawk) May 11, 2020
Unforgettable drag parties at Crews & Tangos, or nights out on the town in general, are another thing that people are longing to relive during these dark days.
I miss singing my heart out with drag queens in Toronto— harm 🥾🌍 (@harmonymonague) May 11, 2020
Sports games are another obvious one, though the fact that the Raptors and Leafs are beginning to practice again may provide a glimmer of hope for some.
“GAME. SERIES. TORONTO HAS WON!” I miss basketball 😭 https://t.co/LNpzlYV2gg— Karriem Muhammad (@Krispy_Karriem) May 12, 2020
TCAF is my favorite convention. This would have been the weekend. Toronto, I miss you terribly. Let's meet up to talk comics, eat good food, and comb the stacks of bookstores again next year, okay?— Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle) May 9, 2020
Some people just wish they could pack a car full of friends and drive around the city singing the best hits by beloved Toronto artists (ones that reference the city, of course).
I miss late night drives with my friends and ending the night with us yelling from the top of our lungs to break from Toronto 😓— stef uh knee (@notsteffaniee) May 8, 2020
And others would prefer to hop on the ferry or a water taxi over to the Toronto Islands and catch the iconic view of the city skyline from the lake — a key summer escapade that people are really going to pine for now that traffic to Centre Island and Hanlan's has been temporarily suspended for anyone who doesn't live there.
There's also waiting in an overly busy lineup — a normal, uncomfortably close one, not a socially distant one — to get daydrunk off of mimosas at brunch: another peak Toronto activity on any given Saturday or Sunday morning.
deciding that the line at the good brunch place is too long and going to the mediocre brunch place instead because it doesn’t have a line. getting soggy overly-vinegared eggs benny with dry fried potatoes and a weirdly delicious single strawberry.— Jessica Langer, PhD (@DrJessicaLanger) April 24, 2020
Some people miss simply being able to go to work and hang out with their colleagues at what feels like a second home (since we're all getting pretty sick of our actual homes, these days).
I miss my bar, and my work family so much today. If you’re in Toronto support local & check out the bottle shop at Bettys. 🌻🌞— Dr Satan 🦷 (@babyyyvamppp) May 8, 2020
While others want to hide out and get some work done somewhere like the sprawling Toronto Reference Library (especially book lovers who can't access library services right now).
I used to go work in the Toronto Reference Library’s rare book room almost every day. It has a weird side room done up to look like Sherlock Holmes’ study! Also the staff were very nice to me and I miss them— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) May 12, 2020
And like the Americans famously protesting with ridiculous signs, some Toronto citizens just want a haircut — but hopefully it's more about the bonding chats with their beloved stylist than the actual cut itself.
Day 467 of quarantine: currently writing an I miss you letter to my barber😪— Abinaash❄️💕 (@CactusAbi) May 12, 2020
The best and most Toronto things that people are missing right now, though, have to be the ones that we usually love to hate: infuriating TTC shuttle buses and packed subway platforms, an overhyped and ultimately disappointing new eatery, getting lost in the confusing-as-hell labyrinth that is the PATH — even the Trinity Bellwoods slackliners and cringeworthy hotspots like the Cabana Pool Bar.
I miss how in every good pub/restaurant you must always walk down a set of terrifying, rickety, horror movie-style stairs to a shadowy, low-ceiling bathroom. It's a distinctly Toronto thing and I miss it so very much.— Emily Klassen (@Emily_Klassen) April 24, 2020
In a hilarious Twitter thread on the topic — which includes some of the best/worst and most notoriously Toronto things — there are also mentions of divey staples like Java House and the Imperial Pub, the eccentric characters of Yonge-Dundas Square, and the midnight chaos of the Queen-Spadina McDonald's.
And, of course, the (sufferin) Dufferin Mall, Union Station construction, sketchy basement washrooms, Peter Parkour and the daunting out-of-service escalator at Scotiabank Theatre, among other things.
Just having the chance to impatiently meander down a busy Queen West sidewalk on a sunny day, or push past a tangle of out-of-towners vying for some Instagrammable ice cream, or wait for a table on the patio at Bellwoods Brewery would be heaven for most of us right about now.
i miss the weed aura of kensington and the absolute ass smell of dundas i miss campus construction i miss the pizza place across my school building i miss balzacs i miss mobile ordering starbucks from the subway i miss having to wait five trains to get on in the morning i miss— abeer⁷ (@tokyojoons) May 9, 2020
Hopefully one thing to come from this health crisis will be a newfound love and appreciation for all of the quirks of this city that, though at times annoying, lend it the warm familiarity that makes it home.
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