Recently, I had the opportunity to be in downtown Toronto and in the financial district at lunchtime. I haven’t been down there very often since I worked there, but during this trip, I saw a big difference compared to what I saw a year ago. It is amazing how much of a change I saw and yes, I know that I was there on a Wednesday which is probably one of the days that a lot of people are in the office now.
April – 2022
- A lot of the tables were either empty or there was just one person sitting at the table enjoying their lunch.
- There were no lines at the various restaurants within the food court.
- The overall noise level within the food court area was rather low.
June – 2023
- A lot of the tables were full of either two or three people sitting at the table, and they were chatting and enjoying their lunch.
- People were looking for tables because the food court was that busy.
- There were lines at most of the restaurants within the food court.
- The overall noise level within the food court area was rather loud.
Yes, there was a very big difference between the same food court a year. One of the biggest factors for the change is that more companies are back in the office at least part of the time. It is amazing to look at how things have changed within the last year, and in a lot of ways it has changed for the better.
Something that had changed from last year was the number of restaurants that were closed. There were more locations this year that were closed compared to the ones that were closed last year. In some ways, I think the stores were trying their best to survive after Covid, but then it came a point that they couldn’t stay open any longer.
Yes, it was nice to see that the food courts were busy again and that people were getting back to going out for lunch with friends and co-workers. The food courts may never get back to what they were like daily before Covid, but at least now with staff back in offices at least part-time it does help other businesses survive.