The Wait: To queue or not to queue

It’s the time of year that lines begin to form and grow (sometimes for no reason at all) all around Toronto. 88 decided to tackle the subject with levity and graphs (as one does).

Not unlike many different species of animals (water buffalo, elephants, feral cats), humans tend to have a herd mentality. Can you blame us? Our parents and teachers raised us to be peer-attached (thanks a lot Mom and Dad!). We like to stick together and congregate with our people. While we like to think of ourselves as unique specimens of nature, our behaviours are often informed by those around us. We do what our contemporaries do, whether we know them or not, and sometimes it doesn’t even matter why.


This behaviour can be witnessed in the wild of any metropolitan sidewalk, specifically if a new hot pair of kicks is dropping. Lines of great length will form for coveted (albeit non-essential) products. Many of the line’s occupants planned to be there, setting up camp overnight, while others were simply intrigued by the crowd and decided to forfeit the rest of their day to join in the group’s cause. We at Eighty-Eight are fascinated by this phenomenon that seems to know no cultural or geographic boundaries. While the topic has been covered by any number of city-centric blogs and one Miss Rory Gilmore, we decided to put our graphing skills to good use to provide you with some key insights to some of Toronto’s most notoriously long lines and help you decide if they’re actually worth the wait.


iHalo Krunch

Landing in Toronto a mere month ago, our PR Director Charlene’s amazing side hustle, iHalo Krunch, has already become the talk of the town. Don’t let the steady line of patrons outside the establishment deter you – this spot is worth the wait. iHalo Krunch is one purveyor of ice cream that lives up to the hype. Not only is their charcoal soft-serve the Instagram moment you’ve been waiting for all your life, but it’s also totally delicious! A definite must on any Toronto ice cream lover’s summer bucket list.


Mildred’s Temple Brunch

If you asked our PR Exec Hafsa how long she’d be willing to wait in line for a bite of Mildred’s pancakes the answer would be ‘Until the end of time’. On a groggy Sunday morning, that may be how long the wait feels, with it sometimes taking two hours to get a table. However, even just the thought of their fluffy deliciousness makes us salivate, thus confirming that the wait (no matter how long) is worth it. 


Sweet Jesus on a Hot Day

Sweet Jesus has been serving up Instagrammable and over-the-top cones for two years now. While they may bring that special ‘Je ne sais quoi’ to your grid, once you take away the sprinkles and cotton-candy (which is enough to send your body into mild hyperglycemic shock) the ice cream itself is pretty basic, and not entirely worth the sun exposure waiting in line on a hot day.


El Furniture Warehouse

Listen – we understand the appeal of a menu that boasts items for only $5, but given the establishment’s reputation and the truly subpar quality of the eats, we can’t wrap our head around why people continue to line the sidewalk in pursuit of a perch at El Furny (as the youths call it). Personally we wouldn’t risk being caught waiting in this particular Toronto line.


Toronto Island Ferry

Given that parts of the island will remain closed for the entire summer due to flooding, the waits for the Toronto Island Ferry may not be quite as horrific this summer. Typically you’d be waiting your turn for a ride elbow-to-elbow with those ready to strip down at Hanlan’s Point or excited Pokemon Go-ers (is that still a thing?). While the crowd would make anyone (agoraphobic or not) a little squeamish, the ferry is worth the wait given the alternative could leave you having to brave the murky waters of Lake Ontario.


Limited-Edition Looks

When it comes to pop-ups, Toronto has seen it all. From Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop-y $72 USD candles to The Weeknd’s Starboy merch, we’ve waited in many a line, in many types of inclement weather to get our hands on these fleeting, but much-desired offerings. While waiting for 17 hours in 30 degree heat for a $100 (plus or minus $50) Saint Pablo tee may be ill-advised, we wouldn’t blame you if you set up a temporary home outside the launch of another Jordan x Drake sneaker. You want to look extra stylish while you’re running through the ix with your woes after all.


TIFF Rush Line

While many TIFF Rush Lines have been known to wrap around city blocks, some are more deserving than others. If the film is getting a ton of hype, but is going to be in theatres within the next month, don’t bother. If the film is getting buzz from all the right people, but is small enough that it won’t be released in theatres for at least a year (if ever!), grab a snack and wait in that line until you have a ticket in hand. (Note: likelihood of high profile celebrity sightings is another variable that must be taken into consideration and given weight accordingly).


Passport Office

There are certain things you must endure and come to terms with as you age, and some of those things require hefty waits. Drank way too much wine last night? The wait for the hangover to subside is longer than it was in your early 20’s. Have to get your license renewed? Yep, that’s gonna be a long line. Need to update your passport? You guessed it – kiss at least an hour of your life goodbye while you wait for this service. While it may be a nuisance, it’s also a necessity of adult life. Kudos on officially being a grown up and hope you have fun on your vacay!