The Best Virtual Classes & Workshops to Keep You Entertained
Without trying to sound like the opening to a post-apocalyptic movie…I’ve lost track of how many days we’ve been in quarantine. Although Toronto is moving into Stage 2, we still need to do our part to socially distance and it’s absolutely reasonable to not be comfortable with venturing out yet.
There are plenty of options to continue to support local businesses from the comfort of your own home. Try a cooking class with loved ones, a dance class to keep your energy up, or hone in on a new skill. Below you’ll find a number of virtual classes and workshops to keep you busy.
I’ve participated in a Salty Paloma cocktail class, the Local Flower Collective X Euclid Farms seed starter workshop and the LOHN natural perfumery workshop. Each of them were different, very well run, and it was a great way to spend an evening. I joined one class with my boyfriend, one for a friend’s birthday and one solo. I’ve found that many people join the classes on their own and it’s a great way to engage with the community, especially during this time.
Most of these organizations usually offer in-person classes and workshops, so keep an eye out for those as social distancing measures are eased; I am sure they would be thrilled to see some friendly faces in their studios.
For now, take a look at the options below and join in on the fun online!
Chef & Somm
Chef & Somm offers private chef and sommelier workshops.
They have three virtual classes at various price points: cooking & wine, yoga & wine and wine-only.
Chef & Somm sources wine and food from small business suppliers. You can book a consultation with them through their website.
The Chef Upstairs
The Chef Upstairs has several virtual classes currently running through July. After you sign up for a class, they email you an ingredient list for you to procure in advance of the session.
Classes are varied, and currently include topics from Canada Day backyard grilling to dining in Mykonos.
The Chef Upstairs is also offering virtual summer camps for teens and kids.
Cookery has a number of cooking classes for both adults and teens. They currently have a suite of virtual teen classes running through July and August and they’re providing multiple purchase discounts. Topics cover everything from learning to make a bechamel sauce to handmade pasta.
You will receive an ingredient list in advance of your virtual session.
Il Covo, Ufficio X V.O.C Events
V.O.C Events has paired up with Il Covo and Ufficio to provide a virtual Chef’s Table Experience. Book one of these unique evenings through Tock for June 29th or July 5th.
You’ll receive your dinner delivery and a login to a virtual platform where you’ll be able to have an intimate discussion with the Chef, owner and V.O.C event host while you eat.
You can review the menu for both experiences online before deciding which one to book!
Food Dudes StayHome Fest
Join Food Dudes on June 30th as part of Stayhome Fest for a virtual burger BBQ and cooking class.
How it works:
1) Order a ticket via Stayhome Fest (linked below).
2) Order your burger kit via the link that you’ll receive on your ticket receipt (note: this is an extra $15 and they can only deliver to Toronto & the GTA).
3) Join Food Dudes at 6PM on June 30th to make burgers!
Delicious Dish is a boutique cooking school that specializes in whole food home cooking. They run a virtual “Cook Dinner Together” program almost every night, so finding a date that works for you is super easy! You can review the ingredient lists directly on the website before you book.
There are lots of workshops and you’ll surely find something that peaks your interest – some menus even include dessert! Key lime pie anyone?
Salty Paloma is known for making grapefruit flavoured cocktail rimmers (which I can attest are delicious).
The founder, Amanda Chen, is running private virtual cocktail classes where she will help you shake up three cocktails at home.
Alternatively you can purchase a cocktail kit and join a public cocktail class (included in the cost of the kit). I did the latter and had a great time! We learned how to make three very different cocktails with largely the same ingredients and the flavoured syrups that come in the cocktail kit are delicious!
Rolling Hops Beer Tours
Rolling Hops is working with local craft breweries to provide virtual experiences. Each tour has a brewery associated with the event, so you’ll know where to buy from. Once you purchase beer from one of the specified Ontario craft breweries, you’ll get access to an upcoming virtual craft beer tour.
The tour prices range from $0-$10 or you can contact them to organize a private event.
adamo Estate Winery
At Adamo, if you purchase a set of their red, white or rosé & sparkling wines, you can participate in their online tastings.
Their tasting note cards are available for download here and you can access the tasting videos online (same website) for the full experience.
Bloom School typically runs in-person classes, but they’re providing a few virtual classes in the meantime. Currently, they’re offering a bridal bouquet lesson.
Sign up for the class and they’ll deliver all of the necessary tools and flowers ahead of time to help you craft a beautiful bouquet.
The Local Flower Collective
The Local Flower Collective is offering virtual workshops in partnership with their members. Try your hand at making a dried wreath or a mason jar arrangement. When you sign up for a class, you can typically choose to pick up your materials or have them delivered.
My friend and I joined a seedling starter class with Euclid Farms for her birthday and we learned a ton. We now have an ongoing competition to see who can grow more flowers (I am currently losing, by a long shot).
Join the two co-founders of Lohn for a virtual perfume workshop. They’ll ship you the materials ahead of the group Zoom call and during the workshop you’ll learn about top, middle and bottom scent notes and end by making your own perfume.
I signed up for this workshop a couple weeks ago and had a fantastic time. The co-founders were great hosts and the class was both educational and fun. I spent the remainder of my evening testing out different scent combinations – I loved it!
Anice Jewellery believes in giving old treasures new life. They work with vintage jewellery parts to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
Join a beginners jewellery making class or a private class for you and your friends.
You can purchase the workshop only, or add on the jewels.
Paint & Create
GTA Photography has gone virtual. They’re offering their classes at a 50% discount during this time. The workshops include: Fundamentals of Photography, Digitial Photography Editing and Specialty Photography.
You can find classes that take place on a single day or workshops that are spread across several weeks, which provides flexibility to fit into your schedule.
Join this online community to improve your art skills. Each week, a professional Canadian artist hosts a 30-minute virtual class. It’s a great way to learn something new. If you miss a class, they publish videos that you can replay at any time.
You have to join the Facebook group to see the class schedule. The group is open to everyone, and class topics include painting, lettering, crafting, and more.
Arts Etobicoke is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on improving lives through the arts. You can check out the different workshops on their website.
One really neat workshop is a 4-part series for members of the North Etobicoke community. It introduces participants to the world of murals and will result in the group bringing a mural design to life – the mural will become a real public art installation.
Carli D X Knix
On July 23rd, Carli D and Knix are pairing up for a their second virtual painting and shopping event.
You will need your own paint supplies, which you can find listed on the website. During the class, Carli will provide an introduction and then you’ll take part in an empowering experience of painting your own body to make art.
The class is free and there are giveaways from Carli’s favourite brands like Eatable and Rise Kombucha. There is also a virtual consultation offered by Knix.
Shop Eatable Here & use the code: MIDDLEOFSOMEWHERE for $5 off!
Second City has a ton of online classes available – voiceover, standup, music, storytelling, and a plethora of writing workshops. You’ll have to email or call for availability. They also have ongoing programs, drop-in sessions or self-paced workshops to select from, as well as a number of online camps for kids & teens.
sundays is a non-toxic nail care company that offers mindful services. If you can’t get to their New York studios, now is your chance to partake in one of their services, as they’re offering virtual classes out of the comfort of your own home. You can sign up for a virtual public or private manicure, nail art class or guided gel removal.
City Dance Corps
City Dance Corps is keeping people dancing by offering virtual classes via Zoom. Their classes are suitable for any level and they have a ton of offerings – hip hop, ballet, salsa, cha cha, barre, pilates and so many more!
You can purchase a single class, a 5-pack or an unlimited monthly package.
Meet Nuria Madrenas, Founder of Toronto-based Mrkt Gallery. She launched Mrkt Gallery with the objective of creating a place to promote female artists and connect them with consumers. Read on to learn some shocking industry stats and what keeps Nuria inspired.
Armed Jewelry is a Toronto-based jewellery brand with a focus on making affordable pieces that don’t tarnish over time. Their pieces are meant to be worn through wherever the day takes you – including in the shower and at the gym. Read on for an interview with the awesome founder, Desiree Girlato.
Take a peek at my favourite monthly finds in the September 2020 edition of Somewhere Spotlight.