As Toronto settles in to its new norm, many residents across the city are coming together to create heartwarming bonds and strong community vibes. From sharing sourdough recipes and pantry items to making noise in support of frontline health workers and creating care packages for those in need; it’s clear that COVID-19 has brought us together even as we are forced to stay apart.
Here are six ways that Toronto neighbourhoods are coming together in the face of COVID-19.
Making noise for healthcare workers
Every evening, people across Toronto go out on their porches or balconies from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to cheer on our scrub-wearing superheroes who put themselves at risk every day.
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Toronto has joined the party. People are going crazy, banging pots and pans from their condo balconies — celebrating all the health care workers.
— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) March 26, 2020
One resident in Cabbagetown shared her neighbourhood’s celebration of frontline workers with a guest visitor – a T-Rex who comes out every night to dance and pay homage to doctors and nurses.
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One pocket near St. Clair West even uses a chicken as their mascot during their evening tribute to healthcare workers. It’s a necessary bit of levity in the face of our new reality.
Blue for healthcare workers
Toronto’s most iconic sign is shining blue in support of all healthcare and essential workers.
“The Toronto sign continues to shine blue tonight and every night in support of our frontline healthcare and essential workers who continue to lead the fight against #COVID-19,” said Mayor John Tory in a tweet.
The Toronto Sign continues to shine in blue tonight and every night in support of our frontline healthcare and essential workers who continue to lead the fight against #COVID19. Please do your part to support their work and #FlattenTheCurve by remembering to #StayHomeTO. pic.twitter.com/w8DnVYdwU9
— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 4, 2020
A purple ode to the hospitality industry
The city also recently paid homage to all those in the hospitality industry who have lost their jobs. Many landmarks were adorned or lit up to show support, as the city turned into “a sea of purple,” according to one resident.
— Arienne (@seeusoontravel) April 14, 2020
The grounds at Casa Loma also went purple in support of all those in the hospitality industry.
Tonight, #Toronto will be going #purple as dozens of the city’s top #landmarks and more turn their lights purple in support of all the #hospitality workers greatly affected by the #COVID19 pandemic. We are all in this together. Together, we are #HospitalityStrong. pic.twitter.com/GdcBWzSSkT
— Casa Loma (@CasaLomaToronto) April 14, 2020
One resident in Rockcliffe-Smythe has made face masks for neighbours. “I’ve been working in my spare time to sew pocket masks for those who need them,” said the resident. They may not be medical grade, but as more and more people begin to wear masks to protect themselves and others, this is a wonderful gesture.
Many across the city have been contributing to the public art realm. From sidewalk chalk to rainbows pasted onto windows, these acts communicate Toronto’s attempt to create positivity and support during this unprecedented time. In Mount Dennis, the community has encouraged its members to paint rocks and leave them by a tree in a local park. Polly Tomlin-Sutton, a resident in the area, says the collection has been growing and delighting those who happen to walk by.
Free pantry boxes
Some residents have made mini free pantry boxes or are using the free library box to house pantry items for those in their communities who are in need of staples. In this little nook in St. Clair West, a resident built her own pantry box and neighbours are donating items.
These are only a few of the amazing ways that communities in Toronto are coming together, sharing and supporting each other through these unprecedented times.