According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) nearly one-third of small businesses could shut down within a month without additional financial assistance. This staggering data is a reflection of the severe financial crisis that many of the small businesses we know, and love, are experiencing right here in our city. When we start to return to some semblance of normalcy, a significant number of businesses that we’ve grown accustomed to will no longer be there. While much of this is an inevitable reality, what we can do is support local businesses in any way that we can. Here are a few of my favourite local businesses that are still open online or available via delivery.
Food & Alcohol
BlackBird is a bread and pastry shop that I always visit when I’m in Kensington. They are currently offering home deliveries. You can order online with $7.50 curbside delivery, or sign up for a limited subscription delivery every week, or every other week. Orders are limited and are on a first-come, first-serve basis. For all the non-bakers out there like me, this is your chance to have fresh bread every week; undeniably one the best comfort foods of all time.
Hands down one of my favourite pizza shops in Toronto. I rarely order pizza, but when I do it’s always Vesuvio’s. As the first and oldest pizzeria and spaghetti house in Toronto, it’s family-owned and guaranteed authentic Italian cuisine. I was relieved to know they are currently offering take-out and delivery. Let’s keep this institution alive.
For my partner and me, fancy dinner date night usually means reservations at Barque. I don’t even consider myself a big meat lover, but what they do here is beyond exceptional. Their enticing mix of smoked ribs, brisket and chicken, and array of fresh and healthy sides never disappoints. So happy to say they are now offering pick-up and delivery with pre-order available.
I know the LCBO is still open but if you’re a beer drinker then many of the local breweries could use the support. Indie Alehouse makes and serves hard to find Ales like a Belgian Sour, a Double IPA, or an English Porter. They are offering pick-up and free beer delivery available in Toronto. That’s right, free beer delivery.
Amsterdam Brewery is my go-to restaurant for dinner with friends. While taking a stroll this past week I noticed their beer shop had a line-up, so naturally, I joined it. They make a great brown ale and offer many other in-house made specialty brews. Free delivery is available in Toronto and the surrounding areas. Now that’s a win.
Cosmetics & Skin Care
As soon as I discovered Vasanti about seven years ago I ditched my Mac studio fix and haven’t looked back since. I was sold on their story of female empowerment and entrepreneurship, but their product matches my rare skin undertone so perfectly that it made me a loyal customer. Their products are made right here in Canada by a group of fierce female entrepreneurs. Available online.
If you’re like me and shop for organic products in Kensington then you’ve probably come across this local brand. Their products are simple, clean and honest. I had the opportunity to interview the founder who is one of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met. Available online.
The first time I popped into this store, I meant to just spend five minutes and ended up spending almost two hours. Not because I couldn’t find anything but because I had to try and narrow down the numerous items that I had piled high in my change room. Maya, the co-owner is one of the friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She’s one of those people who just make time fly by. Their online store is open and ready to be perused.
This is one store that whether or not I need to I always poke my head in; I can’t help it and don’t think I should. Their goal is to have no less than 80% Canadian designers and brands in stores, so when you shop here you’re also supporting our local designers. Their online store is open and brimming with fashionable finds.
Pre-loved was a forerunner in the upcycled clothing movement and has been going strong since 1995. They take their time to hand-pick quality vintage clothing and then each piece is deconstructed and reborn as a one-of-a-kind Preloved garment. They are donating $3 from every order on getpreloved.com to CanadaHelps COVID-19 Relief Funds, which will be matched 100% by the Gore Mutual Foundation. So for every $3 they donate, $6 will go to charities.
While I might not have a pet, unfortunately, I know there are over 200,000 people in the GTA who do. So, here’s a great place to find fresh, innovative, and thoughtful products for your pet. The founder is a total pet lover and created the business inspired by her love for her Maltese pup. As a lifestyle brand for pets, it sells wholesome natural treats made in Canada, fashionable and functional apparel for dogs, a variety of stimulating toys, and more!
Imagine your tampons just appeared at your door when you needed them. Imagine you never had to run out of tampons again. By choosing to buy your tampons from easy, you’re also supporting girls in need. 5% of profits are donated to Zana Africa Foundation, supplying pads and health education to girls in Kenya. Available online.
We’re in a city filled with coffee lovers and coffee roasters. Outpost is a team of coffee enthusiasts turned professionals who share their love of coffee with us. Since 2014 they’ve been working hard to make our coffee delicious without compromise. Even if you’re WFH you can get your local coffee fix. They offer free shipping.
The Nooks is the first Artisan Retail Business Incubator in Canada. Their unique retail model combines in-store space, a ‘nook’ with an online marketplace for handmade, small businesses to grow a successful retail business! They also give makers 100% of their sales in-store and online in exchange for one membership fee. This is hands down one of my favourite stores in the city and the first place I visit if I’m shopping for a present. Support this incredible business by checking out their online store with hundreds of local makers.
I remember the early days when there were line-ups out the door to get into the first Bloor Street location of Snakes & Lattes. Now it’s hard to imagine the Annex without it. It’s brought us Cards Against Humanity, endless belly laughs and fun-filled evenings with friends. We can help keep the fun alive by supporting their online store which stocks all your favourite board games. Free Canadian shipping.
To learn more about the businesses in your area visit toronto.ca for a full list of BIA’s.