toronto news

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.

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.

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.

And also, events in general, whether they be a game at the Scotiabank Arena, a concert at the Danforth or the annual Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which was due to take place last weekend.

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).

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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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 MallUnion Station construction, sketchy basement washroomsPeter Parkour and the daunting out-of-service escalator at Scotiabank Theatre, among other things.

Yes, we miss it all, and terribly so: lineups, traffic, construction, smelly streets, ALL OF IT.

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.

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.

Lead photo by

jer1961


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

People are already complaining of over-salting on Toronto streets and sidewalks

Three Ontario hunters fined $10,000 for shooting moose calf

John Tory pushes for work to start on Toronto's Waterfront Transit and Eglinton East lines

High Park in Toronto is turning into a muddy mess because of vehicles

Hundreds of people sign open letters urging Toronto to stop encampment evictions

Toronto cyclists call for tougher safety rules after 3 people killed in 2 months

Airbnb parties are strictly banned in Toronto on New Year's Eve

The Toronto Zoo just welcomed a new baby zebra and the video is adorable