(Photo courtesy Brent Smyth/The Ryersonian)

In a crisis, you learn something about a person’s character — and maybe a city’s.

When the GTA shut down non-essential facilities and gatherings to fight Covid-19 infections starting mid-March 2020, many T• reporters were obliged to rethink, or restart, feature stories they’d been working on for weeks.

As journalism students, they found the situation challenging. Sources were suddenly unavailable, businesses were closed, and many of the reporters themselves had been relocated to family homes far away.

So, did they beg off their T• assignments?

No more than Torontonians shut down their lives.

Turning from the streets to the phones to chase interviews and research facts, Team T• painted pictures of people patiently pivoting to keep on selling guitars, teaching kids, and feeding the hungry.

Church members practised brain-stimulation via Zoom; Iranian-Canadians scaled Nowruz down to tiny back-yard celebrations.

Homeless youth bedded down in an abandoned house; battle-deprived paint-ballers nurtured friendships remotely, and a jiu-jitsu gym member, instead of cancelling the membership fee, paid it forward for someone who might be cash-poor when things get normal.

That’s just how spring 2020 went in our fair city, the T-dot. We hope you enjoy our impromptu time capsule.

For more coverage of Toronto during the pandemic, please visit the RSJ’s digital-first news site, The Ryersonian, where you can find stories about how the pandemic changed Torontonians’ experience of dating, Esports, food deliveries, and the celebrations of Ramadan, Easter and Passover. Plus more of Brent Smyth’s haunting pictures of a deserted downtown.