10 Canadians You Need to Follow on Social Media During the Pandemic (And Beyond)

Whether they're serving up humour or hope, these Canadians are making social media a brighter place when we need it the most.

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Ryan Reynolds Instagram

Ryan Reynolds, actor

He may have achieved leading man status in Hollywood, but Ryan Reynolds has never forgotten his Canadian roots. Case in point, his March 2020 announcement (via Instagram, above) of a generous $1-million donation to food banks, split evenly between agencies in the U.S. and Canada—complete with dig at best frenemy forever, Hugh Jackman. If you cringed at that well-intentioned (but tone-deaf) celebrity singalong of John Lennon’s “Imagine” during the early days of the pandemic, you’ll adore Reynolds’ inimitably sarcastic take on the erm… Crucial… role that stars are playing in the crisis:

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Debra DiGiovanni Twitter

Debra DiGiovanni, comedian

Millennials and Gen-X’ers know DiGiovanni from MuchMusic’s late-lamented Video On Trial (thankfully you can still watch old episodes on YouTube!), but Canadians of all ages need to follow this incredibly talented comic on Twitter and Instagram. DiGiovanni’s sharp, self-deprecating wit never fails to evoke a grin, and her material during the coronavirus crisis has been a ray of much-needed sunshine.

Check out more outstanding Canadian comedians—and their funniest jokes!

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Aimée Bourque cookbook author Instagram account

Aimée Bourque, cookbook author

Stomach growling yet? That’s one of the hazards of scrolling through Aimée Bourque’s positively drool-worthy Instagram feed. The Halifax-based cookbook author offers more than just mouthwatering food photography, however—here, you’ll find practical tips on how to hone your own culinary skills and even recreate her dishes at home. Moms and dads will definitely want to check out her excellent advice on how to get kids involved in the kitchen, and her tutorial on freezing soup in jars will inspire you to whip up a big batch—completely from scratch.

Running low on groceries at the moment? These easy three-ingredient recipes don’t require a trip to the store.

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Arlene Dickinson Twitter account

Arlene Dickinson, entrepreneur

Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson dishes out more than great investment tips on her Twitter account. The straight-talking Dickinson’s combination of kindness and common sense (which, as we all know, isn’t all that common these days) is a welcome breath of fresh air on social media. There’s something so reassuring in knowing that one of Canada’s most well-respected business leaders is having as tough a time adjusting to working from home as the rest of us.

These Dragon’s Den products are actually worth buying.

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Chris Hadfield Instagram account

Col. Chris Hadfield, astronaut

Chris Hadfield is a man of many talents, but one of his greatest skills is in making complex scientific concepts easily understandable to everyday Canadians. Whether he’s sharing an infographic on how soap actually kills coronavirus, or a quirky meme demonstrating the important of social distancing, everyone’s favourite astronaut is well worth following on Instagram.

Here’s what Canada means to Chris Hadfield.

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Lilly Singh Twitter account

Lilly Singh, TV host

Leave it to Scarborough, Ontario’s own Lilly Singh to find a funny side to the pandemic. Her Instagram video in the link below sees her exploiting social distancing to escape the wrath of her (understandably) exasperated mother—also played by Singh, naturally. It’s just the sort of silliness that put the YouTube sensation on the map, and we can’t get enough of it—especially in the current climate.

View this post on Instagram

Threatening to call child services when you learned about it in school didn’t work and neither will this. You could be a porcupine and yo mama still gonna whoop you if you talk back. Don’t play! ???????????? #MamaCantKnockYouOut • Jokes aside, I know this is a difficult time for everyone. I’m a big believer in the power of comedy during times of stress. Personally for me, there have been many times of darkness where laughter was the only light. I’m hoping this served the same purpose. This is my love language. To watch the full video titled, Life During a Pandemic, click the link in my bio. If it made you laugh, pass it along. We’re all in this together. At the end, I also provide helpful links and ways to donate x stay safe ❤️????????

A post shared by Lilly Singh (@lilly) on

Looking for more laughs? Check out these funny photos of grocery store items even panic buyers didn’t want.

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Suresh Doss Twitter account

Suresh Doss, food writer

When you’re as passionate about food as Suresh Doss, you’ll stop at nothing to keep good cooks in business. In a pinned Tweet (above), the Toronto-based food writer has mapped out takeout and delivery options to enable GTA residents to support local independent restaurants during the crisis. What’s more, he’s got the scoop on virtual farmers’ markets that are popping up across the region. Bon appetit!

Find out more things you can do to support your favourite small businesses right now.

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Jann Arden Instagram account

Jann Arden, musician

Sometimes you need to laugh. Sometimes you need to cry. Sometimes you need to hear Canada’s most lovable chanteuse sing “Moon River” a capella moments after she’s woken up (below). Jann Arden is a national treasure, and yet her Instagram feed is a glimpse into the life of an ordinary Canadian, with the same hopes and fears as the rest of us.

Here’s how to tell if you’re “doomscrolling“—and what you can do about it.

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Rallycap Andy Twitter account

Rallycap Andy, superdad

Need faith that there are still kind people in this world? Follow Andy—a father of two from the GTA whose relentless optimism is downright inspiring (and totally contagious). On social media, where snark often rules supreme, Andy sets a standard of respect that we should all strive to meet, while sharing heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about what it’s like to be a parent during a pandemic. As an added bonus, now that we’re approaching baseball season (or should be, if not for COVID-19), you can expect oodles of his funny Toronto Blue Jays memes. Like, oodles.

Don’t miss this roundup of heartwarming pandemic pet adoption stories.

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P.K. Subban Instagram account

P.K. Subban, hockey player

Watching someone else put in a sweat sesh counts as a workout, right? In any case, it’s been fun to see how pro athletes like NHL’er P.K. Subban have been keeping fit over the past year. Whether he’s spinning or attempting to master the subtle art of TikTok, Subban’s refreshingly positive outlook is sure to put a smile on your face, and maybe even motivate you to get moving.

Next, check out 50 productive ways to pass the time during the pandemic.

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