We think Toronto is an amazing city for families, but don’t just take our word for it! We’re asking local moms all over the city to tell us why they love their neighbourhoods and to share their favourite spots for kids.
Cynthia Walker is an east-end mom with three kids, ages 3, 5, and almost-7. (The “almost” is important, you know!) She’s lived in the Danforth for 9 years.
Here’s what Cynthia has to say about her neighbourhood.
Why I Love My ‘Hood
We love the neighbourhood for so many reasons. There are a lot of young families and the convenience of transit, great stores and restaurants, and tons of outdoor space and playgrounds. Everything we need is within walking distance.
My Favourite Danforth Hot Spots for Kids
See the map.
1. Withrow Park
Our kids spend the most time at this park. It is perfect for picnics and sports, safe for scooters and bikes and the newly upgraded playground is fun for young kids of all ages. In the winter, it is also our favourite park for tobogganing and snow play.
2. Eastview Community Centre
Great activities and toys, arts and crafts, song time and snacks (open weekdays 9:30 to 1:30). Best preschool activity and value: it’s just $20 for an annual family membership!
3. Evergreen Brick Works
The Brick Works is great rain or shine. The trails are fun for adventures and you are always guaranteed to see turtles or frogs and it is dog-friendly. It’s also fun to walk through the market in the summer and check out new things. And in the winter, a hot chocolate after skating is a highlight.
4. Greenwood Park
Another favourite park. They have a great splash pad and playground during the summer, and an incredible new skating site and ice hockey rink during the winter. Also great hill for tobogganing.
5. Pape/Danforth Library offers free reading programs for young kids with songs and puppet shows. Great value! And the kids always enjoy picking out books to bring home.
6. Treasure Island Toys
This store (581 Danforth Ave.) is amazing, with toys set up for kids to play with (train sets, doll houses, sand box, water station, etc.) and free arts and crafts and reading sessions scheduled during the week. The staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, and they offer a loyalty program with purchase that is great value as well (and perfect for last-minute birthday gifts).
7. Monarch Park Swimming Pool has free (!!) summer swimming oudoors and the indoor Birchmount Community Centre Swimming Pool (winter) has a great shallow section with a slide and rain shower with a bonus baby pool that is warm and only 1½ feet deep for the little ones.
8. Riverdale Farm is free and it’s always a fun adventure to see the animals!
9. Il Fornello is one of our favourite family-friendly restaurants, with lots of space and good options for everyone. A treat for us and the kids!
The Danforth, aka Danforth Village, is an east-end neighbourhood that may be best known for its Greek restaurants and Taste of the Danforth festival, but it’s a multicultural pocket of the city with a bustling main avenue, quiet residential side streets, and lovely small parks.
PHOTO: ADAPTED FROM JASON BAKER/FLICKR CC
Read more in our Why We Love Toronto series: