I lived in Toronto for almost 12 years, which means I likely know it better than I know my own hometown of Vancouver! I’ve been planning to get back for a visit as soon as it felt safe to do so since I made the decision to relocate back to the West Coast in March 2020, and after what felt like forever, we finally made it happen this last month.
I went into this visit with a list of my old standby favourites to revisit, but what I didn’t expect was how many awesome new businesses have popped up all around the neighbourhoods I once called home. Plus, I had the new perspective of seeing The Big Smoke through a toddler’s eyes – because we made our move while Summer was still a baby, it was a completely new experience to explore with her now. Some things, like public transit, were more complicated and than I had anticipated, while others, like hanging out at my favourite brewery, were more kid-friendly than I could have known!
In all the years I called Toronto home, I featured a lot of local businesses, but I never put together a proper city guide. So here it is, a pastel (family friendly!) guide to Canada’s biggest city.
If you see a *, it means the spot is better suited to adults, otherwise this list is family friendly!
I stayed at this upscale downtown hotel pre-parenthood and I loved it then, but my expectations were definitely exceeded this time around with a toddler in tow. The room was spacious and quiet, the staff was incredibly helpful, and they even provided a crib so we didn’t have to pack one! Plus the central location made taking TTC all over the city quick and easy. If you’re looking for a beautiful (and well-priced) home base to explore the city from, I highly recommend this hotel!
Trinity Bellwoods Park Playground
Jamie Bell Adventure Park (High Park)