How this emergency physician makes the most of her membership during the pandemic: A Q&A with TL Insider Lana Grigoriou
Toronto Life Insider is a membership club that gives you front-of-the-line access to the best experiences and offers in the city. With your membership, you get an upgraded subscription to Toronto Life and FASHION magazine and exclusive access to virtual parties and networking nights, one-of-a-kind cooking and cocktail masterclasses, fireside chats and workshops with the city’s most interesting characters—and more.
We caught up with long-time TL Insider Lana Grigoriou about her experience with the membership, the digital shift and what she’s looking forward to most this year.
How have you been holding up during the pandemic?
I work as an emergency physician at Scarborough Health Network, so getting through the pandemic has been a challenge, to say the least. Initially, we had our hands full with managing the fear of the unknown by empowering ourselves through learning as much as possible about the virus, so we could define the role we would play in fighting it. Now that it has been almost a year, I have come to realize how important it is to focus on my own wellness. I make sure to keep in touch with friends through FaceTime, exercise (my gym has continued their classes online) and eat a lot of great meals. I’ve been trying my best to cook, but I’ve also been making my way through all my favourite restaurants’ takeout. Toronto Life is a great resource to find new and exciting food in the city.
How long have you been a TL Insider, and what prompted you to join?
I have been a member since the program first started. I was excited to have the opportunity to be involved in food-and-drink-related events at cool locations, with the chance to meet new people. I was immediately drawn to the Toronto Life Best Restaurants event at the Evergreen Brickworks, where we could sample food from all the top restaurants.
Do you remember your first event?
I don’t remember which was my very first event, but an event that really stood out to me was an after-hours party held at the Cheese Boutique. We got to sample food made right in front of us by chef Afrim Pristine and Cory Vitiello, sip wine and shop with a special member discount code. I definitely felt like an Insider that night!
What’s the virtual pivot been like for you?
I have actually been quite grateful to still be able to go into work every day and interact with patients and my colleagues. We have switched to doing all our meetings and educational rounds virtually, which has made attendance better. In a way, switching to virtual events with TL Insider felt natural and gave me the chance to try things I wouldn’t have normally experienced, like a cocktail or cooking class. In one class hosted by elle cuisine, we made cocktails, shucked oysters and had a full set of canapés to enjoy!
Which virtual events have you enjoyed most?
I really enjoyed the Evelyn Chick whiskey cocktail class and the elle cuisine holiday cooking class. I always find I gravitate toward events that are food and drink related.
What would be your advice for new members, or for those thinking about joining?
TL Insider has something for everyone, and the classes and events have been even more accessible since going virtual. It’s a great way to stay involved in what’s going on in the city and still do our part to stay socially distanced. Participating in virtual events over the last year has been a great way for me to destress and have a bit of reprieve from what is going on in the world.
What are you most looking forward to as a member this year?
More foodie events are always on my list. This year, I want to branch out and try some of the fireside chats, like the upcoming one on the homelessness crisis with TELUS and Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre.