april fools pranks

These were the best April Fools' Day pranks in Toronto this year

Prank! It's April Fools' Day 2022 in Toronto and, as usual, many a local business, organization, agency and, this time around even a major police service got silly in the name of making people laugh (and/or, I suspect, testing out response to unusual but interesting product ideas like hamburger mouthwash and curry goat ice cream.)

Without further ado, here are our picks for (some of) the best April Fools' Day pranks that tricked people in Toronto this year.

BreatheTO: Artisinal small-batch Toronto air

The Midtown-Yonge BIA came to play this year with the announcement of ready-to-purchase "artisanal air from Toronto neighbourhoods."

Opening April 1, 2022 (but not actually,) the new store being advertised would sell air from Kensignton Market, The Junction, Yorkville the Beaches, Parkdale and Yonge-Dundas Square in "high-tech, quality preserving jars." Cute, if not a bit too much like something that would actually succeed in Toronto for comfort.

The TTC's hair salon subway train

Perhaps inspired (or not) by the tale of 16-year-old barber Jacob Hew, who made headlines earlier this year for cutting hair on the Toronto subway system, the TTC showed off its own, much fancier-than-normal rendition of a "mobile salon" on Line 1 where "customers can get their hair done while in transit at no cost." I wish!

Short & Sweet Bakeshop's KFC cupcakes

Short & Sweet Bakeshop announced Friday morning that it had landed a partnership deal with none other than the country's foremost purveyor of popcorn chicken and drumstick buckets.

Not calling out KFC by name, the "ALL NEW SPICY CHICKEN CUPCAKE" creation pictured said it all with its "biscuit base, gravy centre, mashed potato 'buttercream, fried chicken" and tangy hot sauce.

Ontario Parks' "Black Fly Protection Zone"

Ha! This year saw a very clever prank from Ontario Parks — clever and just a bit triggering, at least, to anyone who has dealt with the violent menaces that are black flies.

"As you enjoy your Instagrammable moments streamside, you are surrounded by a hum... Soon you are overtaken by dozens, then hundreds, and maybe, if we did our jobs right, thousands of blackflies!" reads a lengthy and near-believable blog post from the government agency.

"Yes, they are after your blood, but it's nothing personal." Tell that to my scabby legs after a day at the beach.

Burger-flavoured mouthwash from LOCAL Public Eatery

Mmmm, hamburgers. Nothing fresher-tasting than meat, bun, cheese, pickle, onions, lettuce, tomato and whatever else you like to get on your slider. While gross at first glance, this April Fools' Day prank from The Local might actually have legs.

Would a burger mouthwash leave you with date-night breath? No... but I bet it would taste damn good.

Tim Horton's coffee-scented dryer sheets

Because who doesn't want to smell like they spilled coffee, sugar and cream all over themselves every day? "Introducing Tims' all-new line of Double Double Coffee scented dryer sheets!," wrote the ubiquitous Canadian cafe chain when announcing its fake new product on April 1, 2022. 

"Throw one in the dryer on a 20-minute cycle (for maximum freshness), and you'll be smelling so good, people will do a double double take. "

Curry Goat ice cream from Neale's Sweet N Nice 

Another April Fools' Day 2022 prank that, if executed, would actually probably work in Toronto, Neale's Sweet N' Nice Ice Cream announced a new "Curry Goat" flavour Friday morning.

"Made with 100% Canadian dairy, and real chunks of curry goat (and maybe goat curry, who can really say)," read the description. "The perfect combination of spicy flavour & creamy dairy." I can't say I'm not genuinely intrigued... you listening, Neale's?

Swiss Chalet's red sauce cocktails

In my personal opinion, there is nothing that Swiss Chalet's delicious red sauce can't make better. The restaurant chain's 2022 April Fools' Day prank involved promoting new cocktails made with the stuff.

Perhaps this prank doubles as covert market research. A lot of people I know would gladly imbibe upon a Caeser or Bloody Mary infused with Chalet Sauce. 

Shacklands Brewing's pudding beer

Never trust Toronto's Shacklands Brewing on April Fools' Day — they're among the most consistent and consistently creative in the annual pranking game.

This time around, the crew behind the Stockyards District business came to the table with a neon pink "pudding beer," purported to be both outrageously sour and tooth-achingly sweet. 

"Grab your spoons, this wacky congealed substance is available today only," wrote the brand on Instagram when sharing its fake creation Friday morning. "Did we mention it's also an NFT?

The OPP's new feline unit

An Ontario Provincial Police department in Huron Region, not far from Toronto, proudly introduced the world to its new "Drug Recognition Expert" (DRE) on Friday morning, noting that the cute recruit would "be out patrolling our communities" with an officer on April Fools Day. Extra points for the adorable visual, OPP.

Honourable mentions (because I've got to cap myself at 10 if there's a chance of logging off at all this weekend) go to West Jet's fake space program, Burgers 'N Fries Forever (BFF)'s Cadbury Creme Egg poutine, Dice Canada's garlic vegetable smoothie and Library and Archives Canada for declaring Ryan Reynolds a national treasure.

Winking apologies, too, to anyone who fell for our own wishful April Fools' Day post about the government's mandating a four day-work week. Finger's crossed that someday we can write the same story, not as a joke. 

Lead photo by

OPP Central Region

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