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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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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