All stories relating to The Busy Person’s Guide 2014

The Goods

Best of Toronto

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The Busy Torontonian’s Survival Guide: 50 professionals to do everything you’re too swamped to do

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: 50 professionals to do everything you're too swamped to do

Toronto is a city of bustle. Commutes take forever, child care is scarce and leisure time ranks below the national average. For the overbooked, stressed-out, time-crunched city dweller, here are 50 easy ways to outsource your life.

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The Goods

Shopping

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Toronto’s Style Saviours: five people that will help you look like perfection

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: Style Saviours
The Bespoke Tailor

Made-to-measure needn’t mean endless trips to the tailor. Isaac Ely, a third-generation textile professional, will come to your home or office for style consultations, measurements and fittings. Garments—handcrafted from high-end fabrics by Zegna, and Holland and Sherry—are designer quality with one-of-a-kind fit. Suits from $2,800, shirts from $350. 416-440-8989, isaacely.com.

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The Goods

Homes

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Toronto’s Masters of Sparkle: three professionals who will make housekeeping a snap

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: Squeaky Clean
The hard-core house cleaner

Lux Cleaning Services does the kind of deep clean that would impress even the most obsessive germaphobe. They steam grout to get out tough stains, sort through the fridge to root out expired food products (before scrubbing the crispers) and use a HEPA filter vacuum to suck allergens like cat dander out of the air. All their detergents are fragrance- and toxin-free, and, where possible, made with all-­natural cleaners like plant-based enzymes, garlic oil and coconut oil. From $36 an hour. 416-999-2847.

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The Dish

Drinks

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Bottoms Up: booze professionals that will bring the party to you

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: Bottoms Up
The bar stocker

If you fancy yourself a mixmaster but lack the basic equipment, Kristen Voisey of the Queen West cocktail culture shop BYOB will design a personalized liquor selection. A basic set of crucial mixers, essential tools, necessary glassware and, of course, a well-curated selection of bottles goes for $580, including home delivery. For bigger budgets, she can show up with hard-to-find spirits, cocktail lessons or a matching set of vintage crystal coupes. 416-858-2932, byobto.com.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Stomach Stuffers: Toronto’s best prepared food and pantry suppliers

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: The city’s best prepped food and pantry suppliers
The all-in-one restaurant delivery

Adam Hasham left his career as a high-flying Singapore banker to launch ­Hurrier, an efficient courier service that has managed to arrange exclusive deals with trendy grub spots like Porchetta and Co., Grand ­Electric, ­Burger’s Priest ­ and Banh Mi Boys. Log on to ­Hurrier’s website, place your order and a bike messenger delivers it faster than if you’d lined up yourself. From $4.50 for delivery. Usehurrier.com.

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The Goods

Health and Beauty

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No Excuses: Toronto’s best personal trainers who come to you

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: Top personal trainers who come to you
The personal Trainer

Gidon Gabbay’s mind-over-matter method is the ultimate choice for dogged New Year’s resolutionists. His mission is to motivate even the most committed couch potatoes, be they the chronically injured (he’s gotten NHLers with spinal injuries back on the ice) or those hoping to shed their infernal muffin tops. Each session includes a meditation where ­clients visualize their fittest selves, ­followed by a customized workout—from muay Thai to plyometrics (jump training)—and comes with nutritional consultation, all designed to get them into their ideal form. $85–$95 an hour. 416-716-2348, gforcetraining.com.

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The Goods

Homes

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Organizational Dynamics: these experts will simplify the messiest household

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: They’ll simplify the messiest household
The declutterer

The first step toward solving a clutter problem is to admit it. The second step
is to call Tina Blazer of Spot On ­Organizing. She walks homeowners through their unruly piles of junk and helps them decide what to keep and what to toss. Then she delivers the castoffs
to the Sally Ann or the dump. To ensure the problem doesn’t persist, Blazer will accompany a recovering pack rat on a shopping trip to pick out storage bins. From $80 an hour. 416-997-0730.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Fancy Feasts: top Toronto caterers who will cook the perfect dinner for one or 100

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: Caterers who’ll cook a delectable dinner for one or one hundred
The French gourmet

When he’s not running Ici, his quaint corner bistro on Harbord, J. P. Challet extends his winning Gallic hospitality as a personal chef at your next dinner party. Challet is a certified sommelier, so he offers deluxe wine pairings with every elegant French staple: a Niagara rosé with his chèvre-shallot tart, a Bordeaux red with seared duck magret and, for dessert, an icewine with crème brûlée. From $60 a person. 416-536-0079, jpco.ca.

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The Goods

Homes

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Fix-It League: home repair in a flash, from tech troubles to plumbing problems

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: Home repair in a flash
The tech troubleshooter

The only thing worse than facing the blue screen of death is trying to talk through the problem with a feckless technician on the other side of the world. Computer Squad is the pain-free fix. It offers a dozen GTA-based experts who are proficient at Mac, Linux and Windows. They are available 365 days a year for over-the-phone or on-site help to set up a printer, reboot a hard drive, deal with a BlackBerry breakdown or rewire a wonky network. From $50 a visit. 416-567-1181.

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The Goods

Shopping

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Get Out of Town: inside tips on effortless leisure

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: The inside tip on effortless leisure
The luxury camping planner

Outpost’s Constantin von Flotow, a former excursions guide at kids’ camps, executes made-to-measure wilderness adventures straight out of a J.Crew catalogue. Step one is selecting a location from one of a few dozen campsites in Algonquin Park, Temagami and the Georgian Triangle. His team will arrive in advance and set up heritage-inspired canvas tents, wooden canoes, and personalized food and drink. A chef is available if you can’t tolerate canned pork and beans. When it’s time to head home, just hop back in the car (or the Cessna—available for an extra cost) and let von Flotow’s team erase your environmental footprint. Prices available on request. Outpostco.com.

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The Goods

Best of Toronto

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Young and Restless: four child services that will keep you from sleepless nights

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: The keys to raising a perfect kid
The last-minute babysitter

Faster than Mary Poppins can slide up a banister, Robyn Zeldin of In a Pinch will have an early childhood education–trained sitter at your door. All of her staff get rave reviews from parents. They’re also available for short-term nanny placements and will even do some cleaning. $20 an hour. 416-785-3939, ext. 1, inapinch.ca.

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The Goods

Best of Toronto

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Ruff Life: four pro pamperers for your pets

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: Pampering for the furry set
The full-service caregiver

Like a really good nanny, VIP Sitters will do absolutely everything for your pet, including dog walking, pet sitting (you know, if you need a night to yourself), grooming and whatever else your furry pal requires. They’ll do it 24/7—and will even cremate and bury your deceased companion when the time comes. From $30 an hour. 416-361-0000, vipsitters.com.

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The Informer

People

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Auto Correct: four top-notch Toronto car experts

The Busy Torontonian's Survival Guide: The answer to all things on four wheels
The Detailers

Two entrepreneurial York students created a website and app called Washly, which provides same-day cleaning services for your car. You send in a request, and they arrive with a vacuum and eco-friendly, waterless, plant-based cleaners, leaving your baby sparkling inside and out. From $20. 1-888-933-2476, wash.ly.

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The Goods

Best of Toronto

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Jacks of All Trades: confessions of Toronto’s top personal concierges

Jacks of All Trades: confessions of Toronto's top personal concierges

Tarra Stubbins

Tarra Stubbins, Take It Easy Personal Inc.

“My clients tend to be CEOs and entrepreneurs. And about 30 per cent of my business is celebrities—high-profile, high-net-worth individuals in Toronto. I’ve had to go buy large-format televisions in the middle of the night because someone decides he wants to watch a movie on a particular type of screen (luckily I knew the owner of the store). Once I had to buy a comb at Shoppers at two in the morning for a ­client who had forgotten her favourite one in New York and couldn’t sleep without knowing she had a comb around.” From $35 an hour. 416-578-2890, takeiteasytoronto.ca.

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