Toronto is considered a world-class city when it comes to food, culture, sports and entertainment. With most of the city on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, it might feel like all that the city has to offer is off limits. Toronto’s people and businesses are resilient and creative, though. They have found innovative ways to offer their services while the city moves toward lifting restrictions.
With things slowly beginning to open up again, including patios at 50 percent capacity, we can look forward to getting back to some of our favourite venues and activities. Until then, whether you are a quarantined at home or heading out in small groups to socialize at a distance, we’ve got a list of 10 ways to have fun in Toronto while your life is still somewhat on lockdown.
Get your culture on with Toronto’s galleries and museums
Check out the exciting virtual exhibits, hang out in online chats, attend concerts and workshops, and just enjoy the free access to many of Toronto’s galleries and museums.
On March 27, the Art Gallery of Ontario launched AGO from Home, a way to engage with art, and the AGO team virtually, through interesting and diverse stories, videos and closer looks at artwork, as well as some DIY and How-To videos. Check out their website for upcoming events or enjoy their online collections anytime.
Although Artscape has temporarily closed its community cultural hub facilities to the public and cancelled all Artscape-led in-person programming, you can still attend their free virtual programming through Launchpad Learning Online. Hour-long zoom meetings cover topics like building your brand online and the art of storytelling. See What’s On.
Enjoy the splendour of the Aga Khan Museum without leaving your couch. The #MuseumWithoutWalls campaign gives you the chance to tour the collections, watch concerts and performances, and engage with ideas through videos, Q&As, and interactive experiences.
Take a virtual tour of The Power Plant and view their latest exhibitions. The Power Plant also has an online hub for original writing, video and other content related to their programming and the field of contemporary art more broadly called Switch On.
Take in the beauty of Toronto’s parks and gardens
Toronto’s many parks and gardens provide a refreshing escape from the confines of your home. From the beauty of its lakes and rivers to its ravine systems and trails, there are plenty of natural attractions to see and experience in Toronto while keeping a safe social distance.
Toronto Botanical Garden offers four acres of award-winning themed gardens adjacent to Wilket Creek, Don Valley Ravine and Edwards Gardens. Although tours and events are temporarily suspended, you can enjoy the beauty of nature and wide-open space.
6. High Park
High Park is a 161-hectare park along Toronto’s Lakeshore. It offers trails, paved roads, sidewalks and benches for a walk, a hike, a ride or to sit and enjoy the fresh air and open space all day long. The park is usually pretty quiet in the mornings but starts to pick up in the afternoon.
Rouge Park offers a selection of trails featuring rare forests, restored wetlands, and stunning fall colours. Popular activities include hiking, bird-watching and fall photography. Winter activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Let Toronto entertain you
Toronto is home to many innovative and acclaimed music, theatre and dance companies. The pandemic has created new opportunities for the public to access their art and engage with the artists that will delight and amuse.
Musicians from your Toronto Symphony Orchestra continue to make magical musical moments from home as an expression of their commitment to you. You’ll discover live performances, interviews, virtual concerts, and more on the TSO Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
The Canadian Opera Company cancelled the 2019/2020 concert season, but in the meantime, you can visit their Facebook page where they will share music and videos from classical artists to keep us connected and uplifted.
Mirvish Productions has introduced a weekly online show called “Check In From Away.” Each week they speak with different Toronto Theatre personalities to bring you both stories from the stage and happenings from home. New episodes are released every Tuesday on their YouTube channel.
Sometimes all you really need to have fun is your favourite show to binge watch and some good eats. With current affairs as they are, it’s a safe and familiar way to comfort yourself. We’ve got a suggestion to make it a little more affordable while helping you manage your finances.
Paytm, the free mobile payment app makes it easy to set up automatic payments for hundreds of payees through the mobile app using a variety of methods — including using Paytm Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards or your Linked Bank Account — so you never miss a payment. It also rewards you for paying your bills with discounted gift cards from brands like tons of your favourite brands like Starbucks, Uber and Uber Eats, Hudson’s Bay and more.
Lockdown can make you feel like life is slipping past you. But if you take full advantage of all of the new and often free programming the city has to offer, you can have a good time and learn a few new things while you’re at it.