Covid 19 drastically altered aspects of life we once dared take for granted!
One of the hardest hit areas economically, culturally and socially is Toronto Ontario.
Toronto hasn’t had an easy go during the “second wave”; all restaurants, gyms, major sporting events, events in general and large gatherings are over. The office towers sparsely populated as more people than ever work from home, affecting PATH restaurants and retail. Around here we won’t just focus on the ‘Doom and Gloom’, every story offers some pleasant surprises.
www.theresalongo.com has held a beautiful office condominium in the Waterfront ‘Harborview Estates’ area for over 10 years, offering an interesting perception of the city pre- and post-pandemic. All photos by Hans Janzen.
How has the Pandemic changed Ontario’s capital city core the most?
There are No Sporting Events or concerts.
Talk about a tough crowd! There are no sports crowds left in Downtown Toronto Core. Before, hundreds of people crossed the arterial intersection at Spadina and Bremner Blvd. every light change! No more Blue Jays Games, Leafs Games at Scotia Bank Centre or Raptors fans running about or running up tabs in the local sports bars. One positive takeaway is that the residents around the Rogers Center no longer encounter piles of unmentionables, bodily fluids and barf the morning after a raging 40,000+ person stadium-filled EDM concert. (That part is really good).
Never before have there been so few tourists flocking to the CN Tower or the beautiful “Canada” sign installation for the perfect photo op. Likewise for the massive Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square. In fact, long-lines are down at all the major tourist attractions in Downtown Toronto – like Ripley’s Aquarium – and with major events like Toronto Honda Indy and The Canadian National Exhibition cancelled … a tumble weed just blew down Bremner all the way to the Princes’ Gate!
Nature is thriving!
A raccoon crosses Queens Quay, sizeable fish found in the Harborfront waters, fox and rabbit populations rise. A safe and enjoyable alternative to being indoors is to get out and enjoy nature. Lake Ontario offered delightful boating opportunity all summer long and we basked on the most secluded Toronto Island beaches!
Ai, Digital Advancements and more! The future is now! Contactless payments, crypto currency, the “Zoom boom”, we’re now more wired than ever. Blockchain tech is building, making money from home more popular than ever thanks to remote work, automation is growing For more about what the digital future will be like, check this out. (New Window Opens)
A socialite not so social! No more brunches or rooftop bread loaves and oysters at The Chase, No more snickering about the content in Rodneys King St. bathrooms nor do we continue to enjoy dining inside the King Street scene for Italian, chocolates, Asian Cuisine and more. There are no more gatherings or meetings at The SOHO Hotel and the cute French Bistros for Breakfast and Brunch on Wellington Street., Surely I am not dining on Bloor at Holts Cafe inside Holt Renfrew, doing Christmas shopping while watching the snow fall outside from the grand window. Missing the PARK HYATT Hotel, Stillwater Spa (they picked a fine time to renovate!) award-winning fine-dining at adjoining Annona restaurant and we aren’t doing any dinners at La Société. I used to love soaking up the Shangri-La Lobby in meetings or catching up with friends while a pianist provided background music. Basically, I miss the atmosphere inside fabulous places all over Toronto. The restaurant industry is suffering tremendously in Toronto. Daily Hive actually keeps an updated list on the # of places that have permanently closed since the Pandemic began.
PATH Network pummelled by Covid19. Diminished foot traffic, minimal office workers and Bay Street bigwigs pack suit to suit in the PATH Network these days. Hundreds of retail stores, tailors, nail salons and brow bars all shuttered. A plethora of places in PATH Network remain lights out on a quick trip into the underground tunnels that once were a bustling hive of activity.
Better Travel Times & Traffic Congestion Eased ! If you do happen to go out for anything essential there is a considerable difference in the volume of cars on the road. What used to be a 20 minute trip across the city of Toronto now takes 5. The Don Valley Parkway traffic actually moves! No more horn symphony 3:30 PM – 7:00PM daily! Despite construction on the Gardiner Expressway there is a big difference in not being bumper to bumper.
Actress Theresa Longo is photographed by Hans Janzen in a picturesque part of Downtown Toronto outside theresalongo.com headquarters. After stopping to smell the roses, she sailed around Lake Ontario — a good, socially distanced activity!