Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Toronto. Where are your children?

You know your city is a friendly place to live in when you see kids walking about.

I've been going to Toronto fairly often these last few months and it has dawned on me as I walk the crowded streets that there are hardly any children in sight (and it's even summer time!!!).

Toronto. Where are your children?

Maybe it's the location I'm going to-that is,the down-town business district.

But the other day, I was accompanying my sister who had business in the city to attend to and could not bring her two month old baby in the room.

The idea was for me to be in the vicinity with the baby and alert her to when he needed to nurse.
So on boarding the train at Newmarket (near where we were cottaging) heading to Union station in Toronto, we attempted to get the stroller on board. It turned out that the wheels were too wide for the extremely narrow door ( which was divided down the middle by a metal bar).

As we struggled to pull it in, my sister loaded down by her baby and a bag, me with the diaper bag and back-pack, the announcement was made that the train was about to depart. "Just toss it," my sister yelled. "We have to stay on this train." I refused.
While disgruntled morning commuters looked on, or continued reading the paper or doing make up (no one bothering to see if they could help us) I managed to fold it and get it on the train. Clearly, the GO isn't designed for parents with young kids- or maybe there is a secret way to get on that I don't know about.
The other thing I noticed was that people in Toronto hardly glanced at our beautiful bouncing baby which was unbelievable to me-a dotting auntie.

This busy, high energy city while welcoming young, working hotshots has no room for children, As much as I like Toronto I can't feel at home in a place that does not welcome children. What's up with that TO?
How about your city? Is it kid friendly?


Anonymous said...

I live in Hamilton and I've been going to Toronto regularly with my now 3.5-year-old, since she was about 8 months old. I find that the working, office-type, Bay St-esque people couldn't care less about a cute kid in their midst, but once you get further up and away from the oh-so-serious types, people generally think the kid is pretty darn cute :)

rfs said...

@carbonatedsass-Good comment! I live in Hamilton too and although people make fun of "the Hammer" I find it to be child friendly in many ways (except of course the pollution).

Les said...

Also a Hamiltonian, I was interested to see a sign at the Macnab pool last night whilst the kiddies were in their lessons: "The deck chairs are intended for the comfort of nursing mothers. Other patrons may be asked to vacate the chair". I thought that was just fab. :-)

Anonymous said...

I live in Toronto, and I would say it's likely where you were situated in the city. The central business district isn't really a kid hang out place, but if you go to one of our lively parks (which will hopefully continue after our mayor is through with them) and the more habitable communities, you'll find kids about. The not helping thing? Well, unfortunately I think that's endemic. Whether you had impaired mobility, were carrying a baby, pregnant, elderly, or (heaven forbid) in a wheelchair, you wouldn't have gotten much help. Torontonians seem to stick pretty much to themselves. As an Eastcoaster, I find it a prickly city to live in, and a bit sad.

skern said...

Oop. I'm not familiar with these things and didn't mean to sign on as "anonymous" about sticking to myself!

rfs said...

@Les-Yes! It is as it should be right?

@skern-thanks! I've never been to the east coast of Canada but I hear it is very kid friendly and quite laid back.

TOisGood said...

Next time try dufferin grove park. They have a lively playground. An in park theatre company that puts on puppet shows and a kitchen that serves homemade organic meals on fridays.

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