Recently, I sent a suggestion to John Tory via Twitter, but considering all of the noise over there, I’m sure it won’t get seen. My suggestion was two fold, a way to help us while we are in pandemic jail (and safely) and a way to help out our small businesses. I got the idea the other day when I saw a post from @lizzieto1. She did a social distance tiki boat tour of the island and it was in conjunction with @shamefultikito. My idea was to start something called #StaycationTO. Programs such as #ActiveTO, #CurbTO and #CafeTO is working really well, so why not take elements of all of them and create a how-to guide on ways for us Torontonians to enjoy the city and do it safely, while helping small businesses out! Below are a few examples and suggestions.
1. If businesses are participating they would include a pamphlet/guide on how to do a social distance and safe staycation, promoting city programs as well as other businesses/types of businesses. It could also tell you how to put your own safe staycation together!
2. Put together packages.
I’m going to use @shamefultikiTO as an example again (along with a few other places). They currently do drink packages and have food for takeout. They recently did a tiki taxi (but I’m not sure if it was a one time thing). They could have a package deal that includes 2 drinks, a meal and a ticket to the tiki taxi. And yes, the tiki taxi has to follow the proper #socialdistance rules. We don’t want this turning into a party boat disaster or a three hour tour!
A nerd picnic! Places like @seescapeto could have a nerd picnic package. It might include a meal for two or four, plus a small portable game (card game?), along with suggestions of close by parks you could have a social distance picnic at.
Date night picnic. A restaurant could have a date night picnic package. It would include a meal for two, a playlist (for a phone app) of a local musician or music mix of local musicians and a map that includes park suggestions.
Help out our local musicians and DJ’s. A bar/restaurant like @theholeinthewallto or @theskylinerestaurant, working with either a solo artist or a DJ, could have a weekly drink and dinner special and included in that package is a password to a zoom or some other platform, where you get a show that evening. Part of the money from the drink/dinner package goes to the musician or DJ.
Cycling or walking coffee tour! Map out points of interest in the city and using bike lanes and/or bike paths and or walking, that include coffee shops along the way. This would also work with places that sell sweet treats, like @bunner or @machinodonuts or many others.
I’m full of ideas and yes, I do realize this is a lot of work and the city is already busy, so maybe we could start this on our own! It would work for more than just Toronto, other cities or towns could do their own. You could also do versions for children as well.
Maybe we could use social media to get it started? If you do your own version, please copy me in and use hashtag #staycationTO. Please, make sure you do this safely, social distance and respect the rules of the businesses you go into and those around you!. We want to get rid of Covid19 in our city! Enjoy your summer safely!