Kid-friendly Toronto
April 19, 2010 1:44 PM   Subscribe

What's good stuff for a 1-year-old, with his dad, to do in the mornings, in Toronto, within walking distance of the Marriott Eaton Centre, this week?

My wife is going to a conference in Toronto this week, we'll be there Wednesday through Sunday. Our 17-mo-old and I are tagging along. We're staying near downtown; we're not bothering with a rental car.

Our guy is an early riser but usually naps from 12:30 or 1 through to 4-ish, after which we can find stuff to do with mom. What I'm looking for is activities between 9 and noon within walking distance of our hotel.

I've been to Toronto before, but that was pre-kid. We will find stuff to do with mom and colleagues in the evenings.

(Bonus question: What was the awesome surplus electronics store I went to a few years ago? Bins full of random switches and circuitboards?)
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (12 answers total)
 
The store was probably Active Surplus on Queen St.

I'd suggest going to Harbourfront. It's a pleasant lake-side walk.
Just doing the stroller thing along Queen St is good for half a day at least.
Also, the ROM! Dinosaurs, grar!
posted by GuyZero at 1:51 PM on April 19, 2010


There's a a beautiful old greenhouse in Allan Gardens that opens at 10 am. The greenhouse also has some ponds with fish and there's a big dog off-leash area in the park if your toddler likes those sorts of things.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:59 PM on April 19, 2010


There are quite a few electronics/computer stores at College/Spadina.
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:09 PM on April 19, 2010


If you feel like taking a streetcar ride down Queen St, there's the lil' bean n' green cafe & kids play space (seriously) at 1133 Queen St East. But I've never actually been there.
posted by GuyZero at 2:15 PM on April 19, 2010


If the weather is nice there is an art walk that includes my favourite, remembered sustanence.
posted by saucysault at 2:20 PM on April 19, 2010


I haven't been for years but the Children's Own Museum used to have lots of fun stuff for very young kids.
posted by rocket88 at 2:20 PM on April 19, 2010


It's a bit of a walk, but you can take the ferry over to the Toronto Island from Harbourfront. That would, in and of itself, take most of the morning, but if your kid likes boats, even if you pretty much go across and back, he might enjoy it.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:24 PM on April 19, 2010


Weather forecast shows to be clear and mid-teens (Celsius) to the end of the week but keep in mind that it's still noticeably cooler this time of year by the water. Harbourfront should be okay because there's plenty of cafes and shops to duck into, but maybe not so much with the Island - except if as jacquilynne says - you don't get off the boat, turn around and come back. Not sure that much is open on the islands this time of year either.

Agree Allan Gardens a great suggestion. Just east of there (may want to hop on a streetcar for a few minutes) is Riverdale Farm with animals to look at, etc. Going west, you're not too far from Spadina which has the hustle/bustle of Chinatown and Kensington Market right behind it. Lots of colour and lots of activity to look at. On the markets theme, there's St. Lawerence Market too, which is 5-10 minutes south east of the hotel and indoor.
posted by dismitree at 3:14 PM on April 19, 2010


The Toronto Public Labyrinth is right outside your door - - kid's eat it up!
posted by fairmettle at 3:59 PM on April 19, 2010


If you are heading towards Allen Gardens, might as well duck into College Park and take a quick look at the totem poles.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:36 PM on April 19, 2010


There's a curious museum of broadcasting history in the basement of the CBC building. Your son may not appreciate the funky old recording equipment, but you might. (I grew up watching 'The Friendly Giant', and I had no idea that the set where they taped it was so scruffy.)
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:51 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the advice. We had a great time! Didn't make it to the waterfront/islands, but spent a lot of time at the ROM and in the parks and labrynth. You look at the city in a whole new way with a toddler, especially one who loves picking up the tiny ziplock baggies and cigarette butts that litter the parks...
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:34 AM on April 26, 2010


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