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Local Artists Create Tote Bags Featuring 5 Toronto Neighbourhoods

Rep your neighbourhood and support local!

If COVID-19 has reinforced anything, it's the importance of supporting your community and local businesses.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the Canadian economy. And while the long-term effects of the pandemic are still unknown, there's no doubt that local businesses have suffered immensely and are still struggling to survive.

Toronto's small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of the city. They're what make its neighbourhoods vibrant. But with a year full of unexpected challenges, finding creative ways to stay afloat has been tough.

If you want to help your city but don't know how or are short on cash, there's a new opportunity to support small businesses in Toronto — and it doesn't cost much.

Matthew Henry | Burst

Shop Local, Shop Proud

As part of a community initiative to help local businesses and to raise spirits, financial institution Desjardins has teamed up with five Toronto artists to design unique tote bags that show their neighbourhoods some love.

The bags are available in a selection of small, local shops in each neighbourhood, and can be purchased using a basic pay-what-you-can model. Business owners also get to keep the profits. So whether you can afford to donate $5 or $50, you can proudly represent your neighbourhood with your very own Toronto tote and show that you support local at the same time.

Check out the list below to see the designs, and find out where to buy your favourite one.

Leslieville

Courtesy of Desjardins

Artist: Heidi Berton

Where You Can Buy It: Province of Canada, Culture Athletics.

Queen Street West

Courtesy of Desjardins

Artist: Sarah Skrlj

Where You Can Buy It: Sydney's, 18 Waits.

Little Italy

Courtesy of Desjardins

Artist: Peru Dyer Jalea

Where You Can Buy It: Neurotica Records, Festival Fine Foods.

Desjardins has been supporting individuals and communities for over 120 years. Its initiative highlights how important it is to support local businesses — especially during these tough times.

The global pandemic has had a major impact on small and local businesses and, now more than ever, they need everyone's help.

To buy your neighbourhood's tote bag, head to any of the above-mentioned shops for curbside pickup or find them online. But don't wait too long to grab one of these original designs for yourself: these limited editions will only be available until stock runs out.

Be sure to check with the shop beforehand about how they're handling the restrictions, and how you can safely pick up your tote.

To learn more about Desjardins' involvement in communities, check out their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.