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Your Danforth neighbourhood mat leave guide (edition 1)

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I may be biased as I live in the area, but the Danforth is a pretty awesome neighbourhood for new parents as there is so much to do, eat, see, shop and explore. This is my first neighbourhood guide for how to spend your maternity leave (or parental leave) and is something that I hope to continue to do for other areas in the city. Without further adieu here’s my A to Z guide!

A is for August Kinn. A cute baby store that also offers baby music and play classes.

B is for Bomb Fitness. Bomb Fitness is a gym in the Coxwell area of the Danforth. People continually swear by their workouts and they offer childminding services for babies 6 weeks+!

C is for Clay Room. On my first maternity leave, I went here with a bunch of friends and we all made ceramic pieces featuring our baby’s footprints and/or handprints.

D is for drop-in early learning centres from the city in the area.

E is for East Lynn Park. Located near Woodbine subway station, this park has playgrounds and a wading pool. It also has a vibrant farmers market Thursday afternoons in the summer.

F is for Fresh Paint Studio. This studio lets you bring in kids for freestyle painting and also offers baby art classes where your little ones can get messy and creative!

G is for Gledhill Park. Gledhill is a small fenced in park with a splash pad and what I call “the Fisher Price graveyard of toys”. It is a great first park option for little ones who are just starting to walk.

H is for healthy dinner options from Farm to Table meals. Helping new parents take the stress out of making dinners!

I is for “I need to visit Pizzeria Libretto“. Their lunch special is so reasonable and I’ve gone to their Danforth location many a time on mat leave. They are also extremely family friendly and while their location is a bit tricky to get into with a stroller someone has always helped me out.

J is for Jump for Joy. We recently went here for a birthday party and I was so impressed by the cleanliness and variety of toys/activities at this indoor play centre.

K is for Kids Fun Town. Another indoor play centre that is popular for birthday parties! You can never have too many indoor play centres during our winter weather!

L is for Louis Cifer. A restaurant near Chester station that may not seem kid or baby friendly upon first glance. But it is the place to eat especially if you have a picky four year old eater on your hands. If your kid eats all their veggies they get to pick a toy from the treasure chest! They also have movies nights on Sundays for families.

M is for Merrily Merrily. This shop is great as you can pick up gently used clothing for your little ones here as well as other goodies.

N is for the Nooks. This shop features a number of stalls from local artisans. The last time I was in there were a lot of great options for little ones.

O is for oaks’n’acorns. Located right beside Merrily Merrily this activity studio offers programs and classes for kids (and moms!) 0 to 5. They also have a great little cafe that you can check out if you are looking to grab a bit to eat while there.

P is for Pink Studio. Check them out for baby friendly fitness classes! Think baby barre and baby booty.

Q is for…I admit I’m stuck on this one 🙂 Any ideas?

R is for Rainbow Songs. They have a few locations to choose from along the Danforth and offer great music classes for babies! I loved going to these throughout my 1st mat leave.

S is for Silly Goose Kids. I love this little toy store as they always offer great advice on what toys or books to pick! They also offer programs from time to time in store for babies (and they also make great loot bags for a pretty reasonable cost!).

T is for Treasure Island Toys. They are also a great local toy store (closer to Pape) that I’ve visited when in the Pape area.

U is for Universal Diapers, a place that specializes in baby diaper needs.

V is for the views you’ll see by visiting Riverdale Park by Broadview station. If weather permits (and if baby is napping) grab a coffee from Rooster Coffee House and sit on their patio.

W is for Withrow Park. This park is awesome as there are so many playgrounds to choose from. There is also a lot of grassy areas beside each playground that are perfect for picnics (grab a lunch takeout from Pizza Libretto for your picnic!).

X is for the x-citement you’ll have in the neighbourhood by exploring and visiting all these places!

Y is for you. One of the things I learned was how important it still is to take time for you so that you can recharge. Pick something once a week that makes you happy. For me this is a workout!

Z is for Zav’s. This popular coffee shop also seems to be one of the go-to places for ETYM Village Facebook new mom group meet-ups  in the area!

If you have any other suggestions for the area please let me know!

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