How Windsor-Essex is celebrating Valentine's Day during stay-at-home order

Valentine's Day is fast approaching — but like everything during this pandemic, it's looking a lot different. While there won't be any of those sit-down dinners at restaurants and romantic getaway trips, people are finding ways to make the best of the annual day of romance.

Watch the video below for tips on how to take the pressure off and enjoy the day

Hayley Bachman started making and selling her own cake pops and 'mini breakable hearts' as a way of making extra income during this pandemic Valentine's Day. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

Heart-shaped pizza from the comfort of your own home, a long walk with a significant other and an evening of bubble baths, massages and romantic comedies.

These are just some of the ways people are celebrating Valentine's Day this year, as province-wide rules continue to keep people inside their homes with some exceptions for things like exercise and curbside pickup.

Lisa Shortt normally eats at the same restaurant, Piccolo's, every year for Valentine's Day with her husband. That's where they ate their first meal after getting engaged 23 years ago.

"We always order the same thing — garlic fingers to start and the cheesy cheddar chicken," said Shortt.

But this stay-at-home order isn't forcing an end to her annual tradition. 

Take a look at Shortt's comment below, along with others who told CBC Windsor how they'll be celebrating Valentine's Day this year. (Click here if you're having trouble seeing the Facebook comments below).

Businesses looking for love in a new way

Flower businesses like Speaking Roses are normally closed on Sundays. But for this year's day of romance, the shop is opening its doors for curbside pickup and delivery.

Speaking Roses allows customers to express their feelings for their loved one through messages printed directly on rose petals. (Christine Jones)

Meanwhile, The Blind Owl is serving up cocktail-to-go kits for Valentine's Day, including socks, little stuffed animals, chocolates and pouches that yield two cocktails each.

"It's a completely new world here. We're not able to be physically open at this current time. So the cocktail-to-go operation has all been brand new for us this year," said Lucas Tourangeau, co-owner of The Blind Owl.

"The Valentine's Day kit was our first attempt at a holiday-themed kit. It's give people some things to do at home when they can't go out."

The Windsor Public Library is also doing its part to help with the stay-at-home blues by making Valentine's origami kits available at its Fontainebleau branch. It comes with paper, stickers and — of course — a folding guide.

As people hunker down indoors due to Ontario's stay-at-home order, The Blind Owl is serving up cocktail-to-go kits with a Valentine's Day theme. (The Blind Owl/Facebook)

It's not just businesses finding new ways to bring in revenue during Valentine's Day.

Residents like Hayley Bachman used this year's pandemic Valentine's Day to sell "chocolate heart cake pops" and "mini-breakable hearts" with candies and chocolates inside. You can see her custom creations in the photo at the top of this story.

"I've always enjoyed [baking] and I've been getting a lot better throughout the years so I thought it's time to show off my creativity," said Bachman, adding the pandemic provided the boost she needed to start selling them.

"It's a lot harder for people to go out to the stores and buy things for their significant other. It was a good year. It was a good opportunity."

Be creative, but also manage expectations: experts

For Vincenza Butera, a psychotherapist and registered social worker with the Windsor Essex Counselling Centre, this pandemic has made her realize the importance of her family and the love they bring to her.

She said many couples have been spending this lockdown learning to cook and clean together — but that's also given them the opportunity to appreciate one another more.

"They're noticing what their partner's doing as far as work is concerned. A lot of couples are appreciating the work that's involved."

Psychotherapist on making the best of a pandemic Valentine's Day

CBC News Windsor

2 months ago
Vincenza Butera, a psychotherapist and registered social worker with the Windsor Essex Counselling Centre, shares ideas for making this year's Valentine's Day special under the stay-at-home order — but says it's all about making the little moments matter between couples. 1:26

That's why, for Valentine's Day this year, she recommends couples focus on making the little moments special.

"Having a movie night. Some people are getting involved in crafts, painting [with their partner]," she said. "It might just be giving a hug or an extra five minutes of your time listening," she said.

For a lot of people, it's going to be hard to get those where they need to be right now because of pandemic-related stress. So my main message might be to just take the year off.- Dr. Dana Menard, assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Windsor

Dr. Dana Menard, assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Windsor, said it's important for couples not to feel too pressured going into this year's Valentine's Day, adding this pandemic should force people to "rethink their expectations."

The day is met with many cultural messages about being a day of great intimacy, she said, but it's "not for a lot of people because there's so much pressure."

"For a lot of people, it's going to be hard to get those where they need to be right now because of pandemic-related stress. So my main message might be to just take the year off."


Sanjay Maru is a reporter at CBC Windsor. Email him at


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