Sunday, March 29, 2020

15 bread and bakery delivery options in Toronto

Bread and bakery delivery in Toronto can be a saving grace in these trying times, whether it's a simple loaf for sandwiches and toast or something far more complex and specialized. Instead of going without while social distancing, safely order bread and bakery items from these businesses from afar.

Here are some options for bread and bakery delivery in Toronto.

La Bastille

Reserve an order of baked goods like sourdough loaves, turnovers and croissants for home delivery by emailing this boulangerie that normally only does wholesale orders.

Leo & Co.

This paleo bakery delivers keto, vegan bread, paleo bagels and all kinds of scones, cakes, cookies, muffins and doughnuts.

COBS Bread

Order staple items and indulgent pastries alike from this bakery chain through multiple delivery apps.


Order famous rye bread and pretzels online for delivery through this legendary Etobicoke bakery's website or apps.

Bagel Time

Order real-deal Montreal bagels baked in a wood fire oven right here in Toronto through delivery apps. Get them by the dozen, or as sandwiches slathered with cream cheese and piled with lox.


Breads like sourdough and rye as well as treats like brownies and cookies and staples like jams are available for delivery from this Liberty Village bakery and mill through apps.

St. John's Bakery

Order through Uber Eats to get delivery on the wholesome organic sourdough, banana bread, cookies and scones this bakery makes.

The Drake Commissary

Get delivery of sourdough and baguette as well as numerous other items including hot food, desserts and larder products from this Drake location on Sterling through Uber Eats.

Bagels on Fire

Montreal-style bagels and sandwiches can be delivered to your door via apps. They do all kinds of bagels, including twister bagels and baby bagels.

Circles and Squares

Get bagels, cookies and butter tarts delivered by this popular baked goods wholesaler.

Spent Goods

Check out an online list of which retailers deliver this company's artisanal bread made from food by-products.

United Bakers

Call this restaurant to order up some of their baked goods like bagels, breads, twisters and flagels as well as muffins, croissants and danishes for contactless delivery.

Hermes Bakery

Hit up Uber Eats to get kosher baked goods like challah and rye delivered to your door from this mainstary.

Sud Forno

Traditional Pane Pugliese and Pane Integrale as well as lots of other Italian baked goods are available for delivery from this bakery through Uber Eats.


Inquire about free delivery of widely reputed baked goods like baguette from this popular bakery by phone or email.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO

Some Toronto supermarkets require shoppers to wear face masks if they want to enter

Shoppers in certain areas of Toronto are noticing a disturbing new trend at local supermarkets: a "no mask, no entry" policy.

This is leaving people wondering if these policies are mandatory or even legal, and if they're encouraging civilians to take away medical equipment that's already in short supply from healthcare workers.

Staff members at both Field Fresh Supermarket and Sunfood Supermarket confirmed over the phone that customers would not be allowed inside the store unless they were wearing masks.

In fact, there's a sign up at Sunfood Supermarket notifying customers that they must wear protective masks when shopping in the store.

It's unclear to what degree these policies can legally be enforced but one shopper, Matthew Dang, told blogTO he tried to enter Sunfood on March 28 and was denied entry by an employee because he wasn't wearing a face mask.  

It's most important at this time to understand when protective measures like masks are necessary and how to properly use them, to practice safe social distancing and sanitization measures, and to ensure that everyone has the supplies they need during this critical time.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO

Customers come to the rescue for popular cafe in Toronto trying to pay its staff

Apparently the Federeal government in Canada needs a refresher on the concept of kicking someone when they're down, as a popular Toronto patisserie and cafe just had its funds wiped by a tax during this already chaotic pandemic.

The Tempered Room recently created a GoFundMe explaining how an already dire situation of operating a small family-run business on razor-thin margins during the COVID-19 pandemic became an absolute crisis.

HELP!!! :( Link in bio . We have started a go fund me for our employees. Please read our story as to why it's come to this, and the actions we vow to continue/take if we are able to remain open/reopen after this pandemic. Baby tax and TLDR at end - please follow link in bio . Feel free to skip the introduction to get right down to it. There are many ways you can help, by leaving us a Google review if you haven't, tagging friends, linking, sharing, buying our precious, closely guarded till now sourdough starter, or getting the best fresh croissants in Toronto delivered to your door while we're still kicking . Thank you. We love you. We're so sorry we couldn't handle this one ourselves . . . . #toronto #torontonews #torontogrocery #covidtoronto #coronavirustoronto #toreats#restauranttoronto #sourdough #torontosourdough #torontosourdoughstarter #torontorestaurant #torontoevents #torontopatissier #torontobread #torontoquarantine#savetherestaurants #torontobread #torontopatisserie #torontoboulangerie #parkdaletoronto #parkdalefamily #parkdalevillage #parkdalelife #torontosmallbusiness @torontolife @blogto @toreats @to_finest @where.there.toronto

A post shared by The Tempered Room (@thetemperedroom) on

"We retain the services of a highly accoladed finance group to keep our books, and functioning on a routine pre-approved payment schedule, 6.5k in payroll tax accidentally left our bank account," reads the GoFundMe page. 

"This happened despite the government widely announcing a hold on all tax related payment till September. No money from our floundering industry should be going to the government, instead exactly the opposite."

The page continues, "Just to be safe, we asked our bookkeeper to please keep a vigilant eye on the books. They agreed completely, and we felt confident that we're in the hands of a capable group that we are paying well to do some of our worrying for us."

"The next day we suddenly found out that we will not be able to pay our employees the next pay period when our banking information updated. That same day, 15 Group had taken their payment out of our already devastated account as well."

The Tempered Room received dismissive initial responses upon contacting the company, and eventually friends and family began writing emails of support.

"The president of the company called us to apologise," reads the GoFundMe. "He assured us it wasn't done of out malice, but that there's nothing to be done. They will very kindly refund us their payment for that month, but since their finances are also suffering, and their employees are understandably buried in T-4s, we're on our own."

The page goes on, "This transaction that rendered us unable to make payroll was completely preventable and completely unnecessary. Obviously it wasn't done purposefully. We forgive them. We have no choice but to, but we cannot keep what happened a secret for them.

"We called and e-mailed CRA, our MP, other accountants, applied for every loan and subsidy under the sun, but the system is overwhelmed.  We are not ready to give up, but we can't hardwork our way out of this one, not in this economy."

As such, they started asking for donations from the community and posted an SOS page where people can support by ordering takeout and delivery.

And customers responded in droves. The Tempered Room has already raised over $7000, exceeding their goal of getting the $6500 back.

So the Tempered Room remains back in business for now. "Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts," they wrote on their Instagram. "We will keep you updated over the next few days as we respond to and fulfill all these wonderful orders, get ready for the care package of your life." 

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO

Ontario confirms 211 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths

This morning, the government of Ontario announced the diagnosis of another 211 cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the province, along with two more deaths caused by the communicable disease.

This is yet another instance of the biggest one-day jump in the number of positive cases in Ontario so far — and the first time the province has seen more than 200 new cases in one day — as community spread continues.

The provincial total now stands at 1,355, eight of those resolved and 21 of them resulting in fatalities.

Another 7,203 individuals are currently under investigation for potential infection out of the 49,186 Ontarians that have been tested for COVID-19 thus far, though testing has been restricted.

Information like the ages, regions, causes of transmission and statuses (hospitalized or self-isolating) of all of these newest patients is still pending and will be released from respective Public Health Units as they become available.

In the latest efforts to combat further community transmission, Premier Doug Ford has limited group gatherings to a maximum of five people and the federal government is strictly enforcing mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for recent travelers.

As the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada may still be to come, the public best heed the now-ubiquitous advice to practice social distancing, stay isolated at home as much as humanly possible and wash hands frequently and properly if we want life to go back to something resembling normal in the coming months.

by Becky Robertson via blogTO

A new operation just launched in Toronto to deliver free food to seniors during COVID-19

One group in Ontario has taken it upon themselves to deliver food for free to one of the most vulnerable groups right now: seniors.

The DreamMind Group has started up Operation Ramzieh, named for the mother of DreamMind president Abbid Mahmoud. Mahmoud kickstarted the campaign with a personal donation of $40,000.

The relief effort is assembling food boxes and delivering them to seniors, using vehicles provided by DreamMind and other companies, and the help of volunteers. Essential food and other items are being purchased by the team at cost.

Items inside the boxes include staples like carrots, rice, beans, spaghetti, bread, tomato sauce and more. Health specialists were consulted during planning, and the delivery team will be wearing masks and gloves, and minimizing contact.

The operation, which began in Ottawa and has now arrived in Toronto, has already raised over $116,000, and has dispatched almost 10,000 boxes with the help of over 400 volunteers.

The Toronto crisis relief operation currently has enough resources to feed about 1200 people. However, at $30 a box, they're only set up to donate food for about ten days. If you can, consider donating dollars or volunteering effor to this cause, as the need is overwhelming. 

The operation launched on Thursday in Toronto out of the restaurant Old School in Liberty Village, which is providing a venue, warehouse, time and staff for the cause.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO

Toronto convenience store worker wonders why Ontario hasn't shut down the lottery

A week into the two-week province-mandated closure of non-essential businesses in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, one convenience store employee is wondering why the physical sale of lottery tickets hasn’t been suspended yet.

A convenience store’s assistant manager who would like to remain anonymous says he’s seen an influx of customers wanting to buy lottery tickets recently, at a time when Torontonians have been advised to stay home and practice social distancing by Toronto Public Health.

“Right now, the [amount of] tickets we are selling is double than [what] we actually used to sell,” he says.

When customers buy a scratch ticket, they stay in the store as they play instead of going home with it, the assistant manager adds. As more customers come in and head to the lottery terminal, it becomes crowded, as the terminal is housed in a small space inside the store, he notes.

This is, according to the assistant manager, a health concern. “You cannot maintain social distancing over there,” he says. He feels the spike in lottery-playing customers is itself due to the current rules in place about social distancing and to the closure of non-essential businesses, but not of the lottery.

“People are staying at home, and they’re like, ‘we don’t have [anything] to do, so we’re going to play the ticket,’” he says. “What I feel is that the [Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation] OLG centre has become the new hang-out spot.”

He asked a few of the customers why they continued to step out despite instruction from officials to limit interaction with others and to stay home whenever possible. “And they're like, ‘We just wanted to win, [...] we are healthy,’’ he says.

On March 15, OLG announced in a press release that it would temporarily shut down its casinos as a precautionary measure in response to COVID-19.

Additionally, on March 17, OLG announced in a press release that its Prize Centre at Yonge Street and Dundas Street was also to be shut down to protect the health and safety of customers and employees.

But lottery ticket sales continue unabated at some retailers, such as convenience stores, and, according to Dita Kuhtey, a Media Relations Manager for OLG, their purchase “is entirely at the discretion of customers,” with the onus placed on businesses to take health and safety measures.

“Many lottery retailers continue to sell lottery tickets and in doing so, should and do incorporate precautionary measures recommended by public health authorities, which include physical distancing and enhanced cleansing,” Kuhtey said in an email.

That being said, Kuhtey notes that many Ontarians have started to make online purchases of lottery tickets.

“We’ve seen a surge in volumes over the past week or two,” Kuhtey says, adding that proceeds from the sale of lottery products are being used by the provincial government “to fund important priorities such as the operation of hospitals and health care.”

But in Quebec, Loto-Quebec spokesperson Patrice Lavoie announced on March 20 that Loto-Quebec would suspend physical sales of lottery tickets. The terminals at retailers and in kiosks have accordingly been closed, with play being limited to online purchases.

But the issue, the assistant manager at the convenience store maintains, is Ontario’s older population, who might not know that online play is an option. “They have to come into the store to play the ticket because not a lot of people know about playing online and most of them are seniors,” he says. “That’s what I’m worried about the most.”

“Please, please, please stay home,” he asks of Torontonians. “Your health is top-most priority.”

He is confused as to why at a time when non-essential businesses are being told to shut down, with businesses and individuals liable to fines if they don’t comply with social distancing measures, the lottery continues to operate. He hopes the government will temporarily shut the lottery down.

“Lotto tickets [and] gambling are not that essential,” he says.

by Alisha Mughal via blogTO

Staff raise concerns about ServiceOntario location still open during COVID-19 crisis

While privately owned ServiceOntario and DriveTest centres across Ontario closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest location at 777 Bay Street in Toronto remains open for G1 testing and Foreign Driver's Licence exchanges. 

Just last week the Ministry of Health indefinitely extended all renewal periods for licence plates, driver's licence, health cards, and permits, to reduce the public need to come into ServiceOntario. 

John Smith, an Ontario Public Service employee, says that despite the extended renewal period, over 100 people have admitted to breaking quarantine to come to the Bay Street location and have waited in a crowded line for renewals.

Even an individual marked by OHIP head office as a "COVID-19 patient" made it through screening and came to the office, a couple of weeks ago, he says.

After continually coughing only feet away from other clients, Smith says the individual arrived at a colleague's counter with a medical note exempting him from having to come to any ServiceOntario and stating that he had a "respiratory disease" and was to "self-isolate for 14 days". 

The note was dated a few days ago from when the client returned to the country.

After Smith's colleague brought this up to the manager, they responded by asking the client if they had the virus. The individual responded that they had been officially cleared and the manager told the colleague to continue serving the still-visibly-sick client. 

At the time, there were no barriers at the desks or social distancing practices in place and workers were forced to interact and handle documents from the public.

"Nearly all screening interactions and customer transactions are conducted with one foot of distance between the employee and the client,” said Smith.

He also says there have been no masks or Lysol wipes available, as well as limited hand sanitizer at the location. Employees have been provided with gloves, but are scolded for taking more than a couple in a day.

Due to the unsafe working conditions, a number of employees at ServiceOntario locations across the province have refused to work and have filed claims against the workplace. 

In each instance, the Ministry of Labour deemed the ServiceOntario offices a safe place to work and ordered the employees to return to work immediately, after conducting over-the-phone investigations.

“The investigators stated that the Ministry of Labour will only consider a work refusal if the job-site has a confirmed positive case of the virus,” said Smith.

“They told employees that they appreciated the other concerns, but their primary objective was to find out if there was a confirmed case among staff at ServiceOntario locations.”

Smith says many ServiceOntario employees have already called in sick, and the total number of sick calls continue to grow daily due to the high risk of exposure, while others are too afraid of management to refuse work.

John Smith works at the ServiceOntario location at 777 Bay St. in Toronto. His name is an alias to keep his identity confidential.

by Staff via blogTO

25 online pet food delivery options in Toronto

Pet food delivery options in Toronto are great for those that are not only feeding themselves while social distancing, but furry friends as well. After all, our pets are keeping us company while we're at home right now, so we should show our appreciation by treating them right.

Here are some options for online pet food delivery in Toronto.

Tom & Sawyer

Shop online for freshly prepared, scientifically developed, nutritious meals for your cat or dog from this Toronto store and get it shipped directly to your home.


Get a wide variety of pet food for dogs, cats, fish, birds and reptiles shipped through this large retailer.


Delivery is free on orders of premium fresh, dried, canned and frozen pet food over $39 within Toronto.


Get premium pet food delivered through this service as soon as the next day, for free if your order is over $40.


This service that was previously primarily devoted to dog-walking has shifted operations to private personal shopping for $59 an hour plus a 4.5% service fee. Not only do they really know their pet food, they can pick you up pretty much anything else as well.

Pet Only

Get free shipping on orders over $79 when shopping online at this store that stocks top brands.


Choose a balanced raw food blend and portion size and have your online order shipped to you for free within Ontario using this service.

Lucky Dog Cuisine

Really pamper your pooch by getting fresh cooked, all natural foods prepared by hands delivered for them.

Canadian Pet Connection

Shop online for food for almost any kind of animal on this site, whether it's a reptile, sugar glider, ferret, reptile, bird or even a mini pig.


Free shipping is available on Toronto orders over $49 with this app that allows you to shop curated dog and cat products online.

Pet Food Online

This website ships dog and cat food across Canada, and also partners with charities.


Get pet food delivery from local shops like The Dog Bowl, Barkside Bistro and Timmie Doggie Outfitters using this popular app.


Human grade pet food formulated by nutritionists can be ordered online and delivered using this service.

Mr. Case

This Toronto-based grocery delivery service allows you to shop online for almost any supplies from the supermarket, including pet food and litter.


Shop online for a variety of high quality pet foods and accessories for home delivery through this service.

Fluffy Carnivore

Design a meal plan made using ethically sourced, human-grade ingredients for your pet using this service.

Homeward Bound

Free delivery is available across Canada from this online shop that stocks premium grain-free products.

My Vet Store

Get pet food and other items like supplements and toys delivered to you through this online shop connected to local animal clinics and hospitals.

Just Raw

Frozen products are personally delivered within a few days by this high quality pet food company.

Big Paws

Place an order online 24 hours in advance for scheduled weekend delivery from this store with a fee of $6 - $20.

TLC Pet Food

Order dog, cat or puppy food in great quantities from this online store that offers free delivery.

Local Kibblery

Use an online form to request delivery of minimum $50 orders of food, treats, toys and accessories within Toronto.


This Coxwell Avenue store is doing free delivery on minimum orders of $50 within East York, the Beaches, the Danforth, Riverside and Leslieville.

Ren's Pets

Shop online from a massive collection of top brands and all kinds of pet accessories and get them delivered by this retailer.


Get a wide variety of foods for cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and even horses delivered to your door when shopping online at this store.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO

This pizza joint in Toronto keeps delivering free food to local hospitals

Dino's Pizza is donating and delivering free pizza to front-line workers and those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Dino Ari, the owner of Dino's Pizza, has a tradition of helping those in need. Back in 2018, the Turkish pizza maker handed out free pizza and winter clothing to the homeless. 

"We are always giving back," Ari told blogTO. "We've been doing this six or seven years."

Now, they're stepping up again. On March 17, Ari announced that Dino's Pizza would be giving free pizza to anyone who was in a difficult situation. 

"We may loose money but we gain humanity and friendship and build bridges in this difficult journey," said Ari in a Twitter post.

"We are with you, " he added in a video posted to Twitter

Over the last week Dino's Pizza has given out their famous wood fired pizza to police officers, fire departments, health care workers and the homeless. 

This weekend alone Dino's Pizza gave out over 200 pizzas. 

But unfortunately Ari said they're having to take a step back, and going forward are only going to be delivering free pizzas to hospitals. 

"A lot of people [are] abusing this," he said in a Twitter post on Saturday. "The demand it’s very high, we cannot continue anymore."

When blogTO spoke to Ari on Sunday he explained that the response was overwhelming and it was difficult to run the business because so many people showed up at once. From a logistics stand point they couldn't  keep up with the factory-like pace. Ari added that supplies were also starting to become difficult to secure. 

But he's still committed to helping. 

"These people are working hard, so we decided to go to the hospitals ourselves. It's better for us to bring to them," he said in a telephone interview.  

Today, Dino's Pizza is delivering free pizza to Trillium Hospital. 

"We are serving here in Etobicoke for 20 years. We value our community and city. We have to keep our hope up," he said. 

And while they're no longer just giving away pizza Ari said if someone is really struggling, Dino's Pizza is here for them. 

"[Anyone] who lives in this city and who really is in need and they can't afford to buy food for themselves please just come," he said.

"We can help. Our purpose is to build friendships and be a responsible citizen in worst case scenario. We want to remember the good things that happen not just the bad the bad things."

by Misha Gajewski via blogTO

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Ontario limits size of social gatherings to a maximum of 5 people

Ontario police had already announced that those violating orders preventing social gatherings of more than 50 people would face serious fines, but now that number has dropped to just five people.

This doesn't apply to essential businesses, child care facilities, and families of more than five. Apparently an exception will also be made for funerals.

This comes as more reports have trickled in this week of people leaving their homes and gathering in numbers not deemed acceptable by health professionals in the province.

People are now calling others out on social media reporting inappropriate gatherings that violate social distancing rules.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing (which involves not going out in public and staying physically distant from others) will continue to be enforced to prevent the spread of the disease.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO