I moved to Toronto from Winnipeg when I was 10 years old, which made me exactly young enough that I got a lot of things kids like to do in Toronto, but too old for certain things (Ghoster Coaster, I’m looking at you). For a girl who started out in the prairies, Toronto was the center of the universe. All the cool bands skipped over my city, stopping in Vancouver, Toronto, or Montreal. And Toronto was the only city in Canada with its own Major League Baseball team! So when I found out we were moving there, my heart leapt. Finally, I would get to experience all the cool things.
Of course, the majority of Canadians would disagree with my childhood opinion that Toronto is the center of the universe. (In fact, there’s even a documentary about it.) But living in this city when you have kids is a pretty amazing thing, for the most part. There are loads of wonderful experiences to share with them that allow you to revel in nostalgia and potentially have an obscene amount of fun yourself. As well, there are some Toronto-specific frustrations that all of us parents in the city can relate to. But really, what kind of Torontonian would you be, if you didn’t find something to complain about?
The Simultaneous Excitement And Heartbreak Of Taking Your Kids To Their First Leafs Game
It's seriously one of the best games to go to...except that they haven't won a Stanley Cup in two generations now. So you feel kind of bad indoctrinating them into guaranteed heartbreak.
Teaching Your Kid The “OK Blue Jays” Song For Their First Seventh Inning Stretch
I guess being the only Canadian team in an American league, we had to do something different during the 7th Inning Stretch, since no one in Toronto was planning on singing "America, The Beautiful." So instead, we have this fantastic song that everybody gets up and sings. It's a rite of passage around here.
Being Stuck On The 401 With Your Kids During An “Unexpected” Middle-Of-The-Day Traffic Jam
Because whether it's 10 a.m. on a Sunday or 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, it's rush hour on the 401, often referred to as the busiest highway in North America.
Taking Your Kids To Canada’s Wonderland For The First Time...And Going Home Broke
You already feel robbed blind by the entrance fee. Then they want fries, funnel cake, and play at least a few games. And then you're broke for the rest of the summer. (Worth it.)
Waking Up At 5:30 A.M. On Registration Day For The City-Run Parks & Rec Programs
And why do we bother? We all know that by 7:01 a.m., all spots everywhere will be filled. Unless it's for basket weaving with infants.
Having To Take A Hiatus From Nuit Blanche Until The Kids Get Older
Oh, how I miss staying out until the wee hours, wandering the streets of Toronto and experiencing "art."
Explaining The Difference Between The Streetcar, The Subway, And The Bus, And Then Having To Explain The GO Train Too
"OK, so there's the bus, and then there's the subway which is like an underground train. And then there are the streetcars, which are above ground like buses, but they're on tracks like subways, but they're also attached to wires above as well. And sometimes they go underground too. Oh, and sometimes the subway also goes above ground. And then there are the GO Trains, which are real trains..."
The Insane Cost Of Daycare, And Unavailability Of Subsidized Options
This is a current source of stress in my life. For the record, full-time daycare in a privately run facility costs more than our rent. So there's that.