The year in covers: 2021 edition

The Year in Covers

2021 was the year we learned to live with Covid. A month-by-month look at what mattered when

By Toronto Life
| December 24, 2021

We survived multiple lockdowns, Zoom school and back-to-school (sort of). We pivoted madly to find meaningful employment—or any employment. Many of us worked from home, and Google decided it would be a good idea to give us “insights” into how much time we spend in online meetings (20, 30, 50 hours a month!). But we also saw signs of a return to normalcy. Big tech buying up office space downtown for better days ahead, restaurants reopening outside and in, developers doubling down on growth, kids hugging their grandparents for the first time in more than a year. None of that would have been possible without the vaccine, and access to the vaccine was in large part made possible by an army of volunteers—the Vaccine Hunters—who helped more than a million people get their shots. Our lives have changed immeasurably since 2020. But even in the face of variants upon variants, Torontonians are an optimistic breed. Here, the year’s cover stories in this most unpredictable of years.


January: A Cooped-up Urbanite’s Guide to the Longest Winter Ever

Livestreamed dance parties, window workouts, really long walks, and other creative ways to stay sane

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The year in covers: 2021 edition


February: The Great Covid Job Swap

In one short year, Covid has upended nearly everything in our lives​. But some Torontonians​ have turned that upheaval into an opportunity for reinvention. Here, nine stories of radical pandemic career changes

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The year in covers: 2021 edition

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March: The Miserable Truth About Online School

It’s fine for kids who have high-speed internet, fancy laptops and tech-savvy adults around to help out. This is a story about everybody else

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The year in covers: 2021 edition


April: What to Eat Now

Toronto’s most creative chefs are conjuring up new food businesses, elevating the art of takeout and bravely opening new restaurants—despite the odds. Here, our picks for the absolute best things out there

Brave New Restaurants Pivots and Pop-ups Takeout Experiences

The year in covers: 2021 edition

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May: The Downtown Rebound

What will downtown look like when the pandemic is over? Optimistic investors, condo buyers, hoteliers and restaurateurs are betting big on a post-pandemic comeback. Are they crazy? Brilliant? Both?

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The year in covers: 2021 edition


June: Real Estate Adventures in Cottage Country

The pandemic has turned cottage hunting into a blood sport as Torontonians duke it out for a little piece of lake. An inside look at the bidding wars, property battles, big winners and buying adventures

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The year in covers: 2021 edition


July: Clash of the Islanders

There are 262 homes on the picturesque Toronto Islands, and the battle to get one is epic. Inside the fight over a prime property that’s ripping the tight-knit community in two

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The year in covers: 2021 edition

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August: The Summer’s Best Street Food

Post-lockdown Toronto is one big outdoor buffet, with streetside barbecues, walk-up windows and open-air snacking spots galore. Here, 25 insanely delicious things to try right now

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The year in covers: 2021 edition


September: The Great Reopening

After 15 long months, Torontonians emerged from lockdown to a double-vaxxed summer of family reunions, hugs with friends, concerts, restaurants, gyms and roller coasters. Intimate stories from the city reawakening

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The year in covers: 2021 edition


October: The Laneway Revolution

In a city grappling with a housing shortage, laneway suites make a lot of sense. For decades they’ve been a non-starter at city hall: too complicated, too costly, too much of a headache. Finally, they’re here, they’re legal and they’re glorious

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The year in covers: 2021 edition

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November: A Skeptic’s Guide to the New World of Psychedelics

Medicinal mushrooms, ketamine clinics, microdosing, macrodosing and other adventures in therapeutic hallucinogens

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The year in covers: 2021 edition

December: The 50 Most Influential 2021

Our annual ranking of the Torontonians whose bravery, smarts and clout are changing the world as we know it

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The year in covers: 2021 edition
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