After a summer-hiatus, (and into the fall), I’m back to my weekly updates! Similar to falling out of the habit of going to the gym or regular exercise, it’s just a matter of getting back into, and feel better. Likewise, I never regret going through the process of writing something weekly, so here we go.
Wallet. Phone. Keys. For me, this was my daily ritual; the “holy trinity” that I needed to follow every time I left the house or office or car, etc. This has now been replaced by: Wallet. Phone. Keys. Mask. Vaccination Card. Hand Sanitizer.
It’s been an interesting adjustment with the work/family/life balance. Those of us with school aged children are very relieved that they are back at school, and socializing with their friends. At my son’s school, he takes a twice-a-week rapid Covid test, that we submit, as well as having the requirement to be fully-vaccinated.
For those of us who once used to go into an office for work, it has been an interesting evolution. I’m going into the office now at least once a week (and Avril at least a few days a week). For those of you who are familiar with downtown Toronto, underneath my building, and linking a myriad of buildings in the downtown core is something called the PATH.
More than a year-and-a-half into this, I can honestly say that I don’t miss the daily grind of the traffic or public transit going into the office (although the roads and subways are certainly less busy). Like most of us who have to commute to offices, we have embraced the so-called “hybrid” work model. But I do miss some of the restaurants, pubs and services that I used to frequent in the PATH, and it’s sad to see so many of them closed and shuttered up.
I do wonder what the future of the downtown core looks like: Toronto’s downtown core continues to lag behind in terms of its economic recovery compared to other parts of what it dubbed the "Innovation Corridor." Its actually interesting how important leading up to the pandemic, this Innovation Corridor is – an area anchored by the Toronto, Hamilton and Waterloo regions: more than 25% of Canada’s economy. Based on pre-covid trends, employment was projected to be approximately 4,680,000 in August 2021. Despite partial recovery, there are close to 250,000 fewer people employed in the Corridor than would have been in the absence of the pandemic. The unemployment rate in the region remains elevated at 8.8%, 3.4 percentage points above the jobless rate in February 2020. The jump in unemployment has been primarily driven by Toronto. The rise in joblessness in Toronto has been notably higher with employment declining close to 17% in the food and entertainment industries.
To tie this all together, and as part of the return to weekly commentary, as well as exercise, I’m going to be doing some running. I signed up for the first-ever global, virtual RBC Race for the Kids to raise much-needed funds for youth charities around the world, including the Family Navigation project at Sunnybrook Hospital.
With a young family, I was surprised to read that 1.2 million Canadian youths are struggling with mental illness, and that 4 out of 5 of these young people aren’t receiving the care they need. On top of that, COVID-19 has been taking its toll on our youth. After more than a year of the pandemic, almost 7 out of 10 youth report a worsening of their emotional/mental health.
So on October 16th/17th, myself and Avril are going to do this “Virtual Run” (surely a sign of the Covid times with this type of “race”).
I’d love for any of you to make a charitable gift to this cause, and promise to send some photos: The link is included below:
Have a great long Weekend, and for those of us in Canada: a more normal Thanksgiving with the allowable Friends and Family.