It happens every year, somehow you blink and we’re already halfway through July.
Summer in Toronto always zooms by but this year feels like it’s on fast-forward – perhaps that’s because we’ve all been itching to get back outside after a long pandemic winter and spring. Although it’s the shortest season, summer in Toronto is also the best. With everything from food truck festivals to movie screenings in the park to patios teeming with life every night, it’s hard to feel bored. But all that stimulation and potential FOMO that you chose the wrong new wine bar to spend your precious Saturday night at can be exhausting.
It’s time to let yourself pause. Even if we can’t control time, we can control our perception of it and what slows down time better than a nice afternoon joint or evening edible?
The trick is merging the two: your busy summer schedule full of fun activities and the relaxation that a little toke allows.
A newcomer to the city, but not at all new to the cannabis game, is Fire & Flower. They focus on selling Canadian-made products and make buying cannabis as seamless and effortless as possible. Their cannistas make shopping for new things to try exciting and informative, with the approachable vibe of your fave barista at your local coffee shop.
Summer may be fleeting but there’s still time to seize every second you have left. As the city continues to open up (can’t believe we’re at Step 3 of the province’s reopening plan already) don’t leave home without a stash of pre-rolls, edibles or cannabis drinks. In the case that you do though, Fire & Flower has seven locations across the city that you can stop in on your way to your next outdoor adventure.From intimate backyard barbecues with your favourite people to strolls along the Don River, a little bit of bud and summer go hand in hand.
Order dinner from one the city’s best new restaurants
What’s better than a backyard dinner party under the stars? One where you don’t have to cook or do all the dishes after. Invite some friends over, get some twinkly lights and stock up on flower, a hybrid like Go Steady Black Cherry Punch by FIGR from Fire & Flower would be best. (Also, don’t forget to invite your friend with the best rolling skills, you’ll need them or pick up a Hemp Roller by RAW, there’s no shame in needing a little help). If you haven’t heard of Noble House yet, allow me to put you on. It’s a new pop-up from Dusty Gallagher (executive chef at 416 Snack Bar) and his partner Flo Cheung, run out of their home kitchen in Parkdale. They put together impressive spreads from cuisines across the world: Southern- style BBQ, Thai feasts and meatball parties. New menus drop every week to keep things exciting. Have a smoking sesh with your guests before the food arrives to open up your appetites, devour the delectable meal and relish in each others company.
Go for a walk along the Don River
NOW’s theatre editor Glenn Sumi has been putting in hours for the past year, chronicling all of the best walks to do across Toronto. One that reigns supreme is the Lower Don, a two-hour walk that stretches eight-kilometres. You feel like you’re in a world apart, with some sections fully canopied by trees that are hundreds of years old. Go on a weekday if you can to feel like you really have the whole place to yourself. Add some pre-rolls of Pedro’s Sweet Sativa by Color Cannabis to your bag and go for a leisurely stroll. Bring a book or some snacks and sit by the water, you won’t even need music as the stream trickles melodically nearby. Get off the beaten path, light up, lay back and let yourself get contemplative.
Catch a movie screening in the park
It’s OK is a music collective that throws phenomenal live music events but they had to get crafty last summer when all the venues were shut down so they started hosting outdoor live shows and movie screenings. They’ve continued the intimate gatherings this year and it’s better than ever. Taking a nice, low-dose edible like the Pineapple Mango gummies by Chowie Wowie is the perfect pairing for a cozy movie night. Bring a date or friends and lots of blankets and relax as local musicians serenade you while the sun sets. This is the perfect moment to eat the edibles because as soon as it’s dark the screenings start. They show music-related films, everything from the iconic Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard to the hilarious and heartwarming Sister Act 2. Pro-tip: stock up on your edibles in advance because new tickets drop at a moment’s notice.
While you’re at Fire & Flower, grab a tote to carry all your snacks to the park. They have a collaborative collection of totes in stores now created with Indigenous artists like Chippewar and Fallon Simard with all proceeds going to Indigenous-led organizations and charities chosen by the artists.
Spend the day at the park
An all-day park day is a quintessential summer activity and you need at least one memorable one every year. Get your gang together and head to Christie Pits, Fire & Flower has a location nearby in the Annex in case you’re not able to plan in advance. Bring your own picnic or stop by any of the nearby restaurants on Bloor for takeout. Tacos el Asador is always a go-to or Banjara if you want a whole Indian feast. But it’s Chungchun Rice Dog, the new Korean street food restaurant, that seems like the perfect munchie food. The novelty of their deep fried hotdogs with everything from ramen to cheese hasn’t died down and the lines are still never ending. If it’s a scorcher, bring some ice cold cannabis canned drinks in a cooler to quench your thirst and keep you mellowed out. Try the Grapefruit Sparkling Water by Houseplant, it’s refreshing and goes down easy.