COVID-19 Pandemic in Toronto

Images From the City: Sign of Love & Hope

In the middle of the miserable third wave of the pandemic in Ontario, this sign went up across from a retirement home just north of Steeles. It means "when spring arrives life will be warmer." For the residents inside that building, it was a reminder from their loved ones that things will get better, we just have to hang on. What joy to now feel beautiful sunshine, see the province slowly come back to life, and hear daily reports of Covid cases under 300. This sign reminds me we have to keep hanging on and holding close the ones we love most, through both the dark, cold seasons and the warm ones.


Send your images from the city to or tweet them to @rosieferg. Rosie :)

Opening Soon in Toronto... Rialto Patio in the Paradise Theatre

Last weekend people started to happily return to Toronto patios as Covid numbers continue to fall, hospitals close their Covid wards and more people get their second vaccine doses. Throughout the lockdown, the Paradise Theatre has been of course closed, but there were always comforting messages of hope on the iconic marquee. Seeing this message yesterday was truly the most hopeful of all that we are emerging from the darkness of lockdown.


Yes the Rialto is back. Osteria Rialto is an Italian restaurant located inside the beautiful lobby of the Paradise Theatre, a 1937 Art Deco heritage venue that reopened in 2019 after being abandoned for 13 years. Rialto has been offering a takeout menu as well as a wine and bottle shop throughout the pandemic, but it's wonderful to see in-person dining return. The restaurant's Executive Chef Basilio Pesce and his team offer a delicious menu inspired by his family's Southern Italian heritage. It's located at 1006 Bloor St W. Rosie :)


Opening Soon in Etobicoke... Earl's

Earl's Kitchen + Bar has 67 locations across North America so it's not exactly the kind of locally owned small business we typically showcase here on the Scoop. But, the development of this particular Earl's across from Sherway Gardens sparked my interest because the construction of it seemed frozen in time- it ground to a halt just as the pandemic was declared last March. Now over a year later, things are moving again and a new sign says it is opening this summer. A literal sign of hope that all types of restaurants and bars will be back in action soon. Rosie :)


Opening Soon in Etobicoke... On The Move Fresh Kitchen

The brown paper has been removed from the windows... On The Move Fresh Kitchen is about to open on the Queensway! It takes the place of Lucky's Cafe which did not survive 2020; it closed not long after the first pandemic lockdown. This corner has been dreary for awhile so it's wonderful to see a new restaurant about to open its doors.


On The Move Fresh Kitchen used to be a very popular food truck serving absolutely amazing Caribbean food. Just take a peek here at their Instagram feed to get an idea of their mouthwatering dishes like honey spicy shrimp and lemon pepper wings mac & cheese. Good luck getting yourself off that page, the food pics are fantastic. On The Move Fresh Kitchen is located at 715 The Queensway just east of Royal York. Rosie :)


Opening Soon in Parkdale... Gus Tacos

Well this is exciting. There is the original, beloved Gus Tacos in Kensington Market, on Augusta. Then owners Emilio Morales and Augustine Morales opened another Gus at Bloor and Dufferin, on Gladstone (this location opened last year in the middle of the pandemic, with a focus on takeout and food delivery.) Now a third location is coming to Parkdale, on Queen West just east of Roncesvalles. There's the brown paper. It's happening!


The Gus Tacos Instagram page is an glorious feed of colourful taco joy, check it out if you need a distraction and a reminder of better things to come... chilaca tacos, beer and margaritas on a sunny patio. Rosie :)

Opening Soon in Etobicoke... Meza Resto Bar

Toronto restaurants that opened their patios a couple of weeks ago had to quickly close them again as the third wave of the pandemic fills up ICUs. It's a terribly uncertain time, and tough to watch so many businesses close down in the city. On a hopeful note, there's also many "coming soon" signs spotted in windows. It's always exciting to see that encouraging brown paper, signaling something fun and new is on the way to the neighbourhoood:


With that in mind, the Scoop is going to highlight new restaurant openings in Toronto, so these new businesses are on our radars and we can support them when it's time. Meza Resto Bar is a Mediterranean restaurant that will be serving up seafood, steaks and live music at 664 The Queensway. The exterior of the building was recently painted a beautiful white with blue accents, replacing Luci restaurant that closed in 2020. It already has a great vibe, can't wait to visit. Rosie :)