Unfortunately, we don’t usually get to decide how our deliveries travel—it’s up the company we’re ordering from.
Whether you need to courier an item between offices, or just get lunch for you and your team, there are a variety of green delivery options in Toronto. We’ve put together a list of companies that walk, bike, or use transit to get your package where it needs to be in a timely yet sustainable manner.
Laurie Featherstone is Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery. The “bike lady” has been delivering meals, foods, clothing and just about anything her bicycle, trailer and insulated bins can handle since 2008. Featherstone covers downtown and midtown Toronto year round. Call or email a day ahead to book a delivery. Featherstone charges by weight and number of drop-off points. Featherstone Two Wheels Green Delivery specializes in delivering farmers market items for vendors or shoppers and will handle individual pick-up for delivery to home or business. Caterers can have rental equipment delivered and picked up for return the next day.
Good Foot Delivery is a socially responsible personal courier service that operates out of downtown Toronto. Good Foot employs people with developmental disabilities. Packages are carried in a courier bag and delivered on foot and by TTC. The company was started in 2010 by Jon Gauthier, who himself has struggled with learning disabilities. The couriers are offered lunches donated by local restaurants and have a place to collect and socialize at work. Good Foot receives in-kind expertise and services from the community and also has a volunteer program. Good Foot guarantees same-day delivery to downtown Toronto and same-day or one-day delivery to Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, King City, Richmond Hill, Markham and Pickering.
In a hurry? Hurrier is an on-demand delivery service with a fleet of bicycle couriers in downtown Toronto. The startup specializes in lunches but other food and flowers are also common items for the service. Hurrier is a premium delivery service that nonetheless prides itself on being cheaper and greener than a taxi and just as expedient. Order a takeout from Fresh and avoid the line. Schedule a pharmacy pickup. Hurrier is open into the late evening. Go online to their website to enter order details. Delivery usually takes about an hour.
Turn Around Couriers is a socially responsible courier service that has been delivering to downtown and the greater Toronto area for a decade. Many downtown firms engage their services. Turn Around employs at-risk youth in a professional capacity and gives them the confidence and financial means that comes from steady employment and a job well done. Turn Around offers several levels of service, including an ASAP service level that guarantees delivery in under 30 minutes. Couriers take mass transit, walk, bicycle and only use cars, vans or trucks for outlying areas. All couriers are on mobile devices, so deliveries can be tracked in real time.
Green Team Courier is a green initiative of Secured Courier, which has operated in the downtown Toronto business community for twenty-five years. In central Toronto, Secured has replaced vehicles with bicycle and foot couriers, who also use the TTC. Bicycle couriers are actually faster than drivers in the congested downtown areas. Green Team couriers use hybrid vehicles for wider delivery areas. Green Team offers a number of service levels, from Panic, which puts your package alone into a courier’s hands for immediate delivery, through various same-day delivery services to overnight handling. Call or go online. Secured Courier are also proud sponsors of Toronto’s tree planting program.
Red Riding Goods specializes in cargo bike deliveries. They have a flat rate to restaurants for fast food delivery in the downtown Toronto area, with insulated carriers that keep the food warm. They also offer volume discounts. Call, text or email for charges outside the core area. Red Riding Goods runs on Bullitt bikes, which can transport up to 250 pounds of cargo. Bradley Wentworth, who started the business three years ago, also offers a bike repair service for multiple bikes to companies for their employees who commute by bike.
Send It is the first worker owned and operated courier service located in downtown Toronto. A year ago, couriers with experience at other companies banded together to found a cooperative devoted to the local culture. They will deliver everything from a pack of cigarettes to 200 bottles of wine. Send It charges by weight and zones. They are flexible with special orders. Call about additional services. Send It operates downtown during business hours and deliver on off hours as well. They recently moved to John Street and can be contacted by phone or email.
A-Way Express is a sustainable and socially responsible courier service that supports recovery and success for survivors of mental health challenges. A-Way, founded by former psychiatric patients, has been operating successfully for 25 years. The company now has 70 employees. A-Way works closely with other sustainable businesses in downtown Toronto and is supported by the network of local social services. A-Way offers affordable same-day delivery, with premium rates available for rush orders. Discount rates are available for delivery within the central core of Toronto. Packages are delivered by individual courier throughout the TTC area.
We hope that one day bike couriers and other cyclists will have a direct route through downtown via a green roof over the elevated portion of the Gardiner Expressway. The seven kilometres of elevated parkland will provide pathways for pedestrians and cyclists who will be able to avoid traffic on the ground. But we need your help! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Image credit: Two Wheels Green Delivery