ontario lockdown

These are some of the creative ways people in Toronto made the most of lockdown

As Ontario heads into lockdown on Boxing Day, we took a look back at how people got creative while they were mostly house-bound last spring.

One of the first things that brought neighbourhoods together in solidarity to support healthcare workers was the evening clapping and banging of pots and pans. Vancouver was one of the first cities in Canada to participate in the act of appreciation, which started in Europe, but other cities such as Toronto and Montreal followed suit.

As the weather got a bit warmer, more people headed outside for creative ways to have physically distant fun.

In the Annex, a family started a nightly concert in their front yard in March. Every night around 7:30 p.m. people from around the community would gather to hear a short, live concert.

Another musician, opera singer Teiya Kasahara performed daily on their balcony for fellow residents.

A Roncesvalles neighbourhood took line-dancing classes from a resident teacher on the sidewalks outside their homes.

For those who loved to watch rather than dance, weekly curbside drag queen shows also started every Friday evening in North York.

The shows were sometimes even led by one of Toronto's most well-known drag queens, Sofonda Cox.

The drag shows started in March every Friday at 7:30 p.m. as a way to thank essential workers.

It "started with hand clapping and has grown to over 120 people coming together," an organizer, Sean Teperman, told blogTO.

Toronto also had its own version of the Italian balcony dance parties as many apartments and condos held events.

After a while, local attractions started to get creative as well.

The Toronto Zoo was one of the first to have a drive-thru option. The Toronto Zoo Scenic Safari had guests drive through the park using staff-only roads that weave throughout the park and even into the lion cave.

Even charities had to get creative to keep support flowing. The Toronto Humane Society offered digital pet adoptions after COVID-19 shut down most of its public services.

And as large events were cancelled, couples got inventive with their wedding plans. Kristie Gunter and Rockland Pickard got married on their porch, while in Muskoka, a couple planned their wedding lakeside with the guests in boats.

As Ontario moved into Stage 3 of the lockdown, all the pre-pandemic entertainment started to slowly reopen. But now as move back into a period of heavier restrictions, perhaps it's time to revisit some of the fun ways we kept occupied last time around.

Lead photo by

Sean Teperman


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