Toronto with toddler/infant

May 11th, 2006, 08:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2
Toronto with toddler/infant


This board has been helpful in planning my family trip to Toronto this summer - lots of great suggestions about what to do, where to stay etc. - but, it stills seems I am in a bit of a pickle.

We are a young family - a 3 year old and a 3 month old - that is traveling on somewhat of a budget during the last week of June. We plan to spend 4 days in Toronto. We are driving to the city, but look forward to taking the subway, trams and the bus. We don't expect too much in terms of accomodations - don't need a pool, workout room etc - our main concern is safety - in the accomodation and getting to and from the subway.

Traveling with such young children, we are also pretty easy to please. We would like to explore and wander some of the city's neighborhoods. Visit the children's own museum, the beaches, high park and lawrence market. My wife would think toronto wonderful if she could find a couple nice suits for work. Besides that, I want my family to see why Toronto is such a great city - I have been there a few times - but far too infrequently and over many years.

Ok, so . . . it seems like it is necessary to stay downtown to remain central and have access to public transportation. But, are there good, safe, reasonable hotels in June - I think this might be a problem. A number of universities open rooms during the summer - they are cheap and seem clean and safe - and potentially perfect for a family - are these worth considering? Neil-Wyke, U of T. Or am I being unreasonable? Where should we stay - there are too many choices.

Lastly, are there any restaurants, activities or events that I didn't mention that might engage our 3 year old? Is there something else I am missing?

Any suggestions, advice or ideas would be so welcomed. THANKS!
Lazorama is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Don't stay at Neil Wycik - it's not in such a hot part of town.

U of T would be better but the summer is predicted to be HOT and I doubt that they have a/c. We had 40+ days over 90 last summer and combined with high humidity, it was uncomfortable for sleeping without it - I know because I don't have it.

There's a small Days Inn on Queen Street East in the Beach neighbourhood - it's close to good transportation (streetcars and buses that will take you to the subway) but the streetcar runs along Queen to downtown and out to the western beaches including High Park. The location is walkable to sand beaches, parks, playgrounds, restaurants and an Olympic-size pool at the foot of Woodbine Avenue. I know it's not downtown but it might suit you due to the transport to downtown (I take the same streetcar to work each day at King and Bay).

Your wife might like Winners sort of discount clothing stores - there's a big one on Bloor Street West near the museum, one at College and Yonge, and a new one opening at King and Bay soon.

By children's museum do you mean the Science Centre? To get there, you take the subway on the Bloor/Danforth line to Pape station and the Don Mills bus from there - it stops across the street. It would be easy enough from the U of T or the Beach. The Royal Ontario Museum is at Bloor and Avenue Road. Very handy if you choose to stay at the U of T.

High Park is a great spot and the Queen Street streetcar will take you there, as I mentioned, if you stay in the beach although it's a long ride but you'll see a lot of the city and your 3 year old will likely enjoy it - my kids always did. If you stay at U of T, the Bloor/Danforth subway takes you right to High Park stop.

SallyCanuck is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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The Children's own Museum is gone; it was next to the Royal Ontario Museum and is now offices while the museum gets rebuilt.

But there's still lots in the museum a three year old might like, such as dinosaurs.

The Ontario Science Centre has a section for little kids; the three year old will find this interesting, too, plus lots of the other parts. But the Science Center is expensive, and three is the borderline edge... budget might get involved here.

Days Inn -- Beaches. We need someone to actually visit the place and check it out. Without that, I'd skip it. Same for the Days in in the west end, at Queen and Ronscessvales (spelled wrong...)

Everywhere is safe. Don't worry.

I was at High PArk on Saturday -- there's an OK playground very close to the Hogh PArk subway station, but the best playground for toddlers in the big wooden castle that's along the eastern edge of the park. You could walk.

If you like walking... take the Bloor subway to Jane Street. Walk back toward the city along Bloor, and you'll be surrounded by other toddlers, stay at home moms, nanny's of every conceivable version, good resonably priced restaurants that welcome children, ... keep walking to High Park, and follow the maps past the crummy little zoo to the wooden castle. From the castle, walk to the south side of the park and take a Queen Street Streetcar (tram) back downtown. (This involves going downthill; do not try it starting on Queen and ending on Bloor)

There's a park with good play equipment immediately behind the Art Gallery of Ontario. Another, not as good, on Bay Street, a couple of blocks north of Yorkville Avenue.


BAK is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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A lawyer friend's family from BC stayed at the Queen East Days Inn while awaiting the birth of their first grandchild - she inspected the place before she booked it for her parents and told me it was clean and basic. The building was renovated on the outside a few years ago and I think they re-did the lobby at the same time; they take care with the flower beds and boxes each summer which I consider a good sign. There are cars from the US parked there regularly.

The Days Inn, formerly the Edgewater, at Roncesvalles and Queen West wasn't suggested nor would I suggest that a family stay in Parkdale.
SallyCanuck is offline  
May 12th, 2006, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Your 3 year old might like Riverdale Park in Cabbagetown - there's a small farm.

The Toronto Islands are pleasant on a hot day - 20 minute ferry ride from the foot of Yonge Street. There's an amusement park with rides and farm animals.

Easy to get to both via public transit. You can walk to the ferry from Union Station or if staying at the U of T take the Bay bus down Bay Street, get off in front of the hotel when the bus turns.

Riverdale Park - from Sherbourne Station on the Bloor/Danforth line take the Sherbourne bus south and get off at Winchester. Walk east on Winchester to the park.
SallyCanuck is offline  
May 15th, 2006, 08:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
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Thanks for the excellent suggestions and comments - didn't know the Children's Own Museum was closed, but it sounds like High Park and its surrounds will fill a leisurely day, BAK. Riverdale Farms sounds perfect and the Toronto island ferry is certainly a right proper adventure when 3.

As for accomodations, Neil-Wyck and U of T are both out - no a/c at NW and U of T no families.

I checked out the Days Inn on Queen Street - close to beach etc., easy transport to downtown, and basic accomodation - as requested. It is about 115 a night. But, I called the suites at 1 King West and they are 130 - not quite basic accomodations - but not that much more expensive. Another, bit more expensive option, is The Quality Inn Midtown (now the Holiday Inn Midtown) at 150. With tax etc, 150 is, unfortunately, pushing our budget a bit. Are there other hotels I might consider? Ramada downtown, Howard Johnson, Clarion Hotel Shelby? As I contemplate travelling with two, I think spending a bit more for a comfy, central room might be a wise investment.

In a post on Jan of 2006, Kate_w suggests the following for women's work clothes: Femme de Carriere, Marlow, shops along Queen Street wst of Bathhurst - any other specific suggestions or shopping areas to suggest?

Thanks again for the help!
Lazorama is offline  
May 16th, 2006, 06:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Stay downtown. Don't stick yourself a 40 minute streetcar ride to end up in a converted flop house.

One King West is a great location. Across the street from a drug store, close to streetcars and subway, lots of family friendly restaurants nearby -- that Day's inn on Queen East is farther from interesting things than you might think.

Holiday Inn is a good bet; but One King West is even better.

And yes, the suggestion someone made for Riverdale Farm is great. Lots of kids go there with nursery school field trips, and the staff are very good with kids.

BAK is offline  
May 17th, 2006, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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And statues...

Inthe downtown core, the children will enjoy climbing on and looking at and touching the statues.

here are some.

South side of Metro Hall, at the corner of Wellington West and John Street.

Statues in the pak immediately east of metro Hall, in a giant square.

Bulls in the ground, surrounded by the three black towers of the toronto Dominion Center; walk along King Street West and cut through between the Toronto Dominion Tower (one of the towers at the "center" with the same name, and the Royal Trust Tower.

Then the Elephants... in the squarebehind the CIBC Towers. Get onto Bay Street, and walk south from King Street West. You'll walk along beside a very wide staricase. At the south end of that, near some glass awnings, look east/left and you'll see the Elephant. When you get closer, you'll see the elephant's babies.

And, at King and John, along King Street West's south side, there's a cow jumping out of the wall, above Kit Kat restaurant. And a flaoting piano next door.

BAK is offline  
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