Don’t want to wait in line? Rent a placeholder

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People came out in droves to get a little retail therapy as soon as Toronto entered phase one of reopening.

The lineups for retail shops have been enormous. If you need something from a department store, clothing or furniture shop or discounter such as Winners, chances are you’ll wait in line a while.

That’s all part of the fun for some people.

And completely impossible for others.

For seniors, disabled people, anyone with health issues or those just too busy to waste an hour in line, help is at hand.

Vanessa Rosario is an enterprising young woman willing to be your placeholder. She’ll stand in line for you.

Rosario is an Early Childhood Education (ECE) specialist and works as a nanny and doula, but her schedule is flexible, allowing her to work at this second job.

For $25 an hour — about what you’d pay a babysitter — she’ll stand in line almost anywhere in the downtown area and text you when it’s your turn to show up.

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“I was born in Cuba. It’s a poor country and there are long lines for everything,” said Rosario in a recent interview.

“So I grew up standing in line. There’s no abundance of anything in Cuba, so you line up for food, for clothing. I’m used to it. My mother said when I was born she had to join the same line for six weeks just to get me a crib!”

Vanessa Rosario. HANDOUT
Vanessa Rosario. HANDOUT

Despite that prior experience, even Rosario was stunned to see photos of the lineups this past weekend prompted by reopening.

“I could believe people would do that! But in my line of work, with every challenge you look for a solution,” Rosario said. “I’ve been working with children for 17 years. You’re always thinking about how you can make their lives or their parents’ lives better.”

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Rosario knows parents are super-busy with work, home-schooling kids and everything else, and she knows they don’t have an hour to waste in line.

  1. Brands from Home Société are curated to mix and match. IMAGE COURTESY OF HOME SOCIETE

    Ready, set, shop!

  2. Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park, Toronto, Canada

    Ontario to take first step Friday to reopening

  3. In this file photo the logo of U.S. online retail giant Amazon is seen at the distribution centre in Staten Island in New York, March 30, 2020.

    Amazon’s sales and profit rise as retailer rides wave of pandemic shopping

She recognizes that some people do not have robust enough health to stand and wait that long.

And nobody really wants to stand that close to many other people while COVID is still with us.

If this is a service you could use, text Rosario at 416-887-9759.


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