View Full Version : Canada Moms - anyone live in or familiar with Toronto?
06-05-2010, 09:00 AM
I'm here for a long weekend (thru Mon) with DH and our 5 kids (20mos-7yo). Hubby is in conferences from 7-5 today and tomorrow. We are aiming for the science center this eve to do the Harry Potter exhibit together. We have a zoo membership at home which gets us a 50% discount here so I was thinking about attempting that on my own. However, in our haste to pack (at 5am before I had to go to work yesterday) we forgot the stroller and backpack carrier. Is there anywhere close by (we are at the Hilton Downtown on Richmond and York St) that I can get an inexpensive stroller? Or do you have any suggestions of how to manage otherwise? I really wish I had the backpack so I still have free hands to hold my 3 and 4yos. But ours is not cheap and I don't really want to get a cheap one, so I am afraid that is out of the question. Not sure of any slings/wraps that would work for a 22lb baby that would be comfortable. Ideally, I could find an under $100 ($50 would be preferable but not sure that is realistic) "umbrella" type stroller somewhere. Any ideas? I'd love to just be able to get outside and explore. The kids are already stir crazy and it is only 9am. But the 1 mile walk to dinner last night WITH DH was difficult....not sure how to manage walking around with all 5 by myself.
06-05-2010, 10:33 AM
I don't recall any baby stores in the Financial District (which it sounds like you are near). Could you call the concierge?
I think you might be unpleasantly surprised by baby gear prices in Canada, they are much more expensive than in the US.
As for a carrier, I'd get an Ergo, but I don't think you'll find it for under $100, and definitely not for $50 -- I don't think you'd find it for $50 in the US.
06-05-2010, 10:35 AM
Could you check to see if the zoo offer stroller or wagon rentals?
06-05-2010, 11:55 AM
I'm not too familiar with baby shopping in To, but here goes...
There's a big baby/kid store called Maklem's at: 2223 dundas st. w., toronto website here: http://www.macklems.com/about.htm It's downtown-ish, but not near you. You'd need to drive. No idea about prices. Safety Superstore is a place I've ordered from online, but I think it's well out of the city.
But IIRC the MEC is down near where you are. This is a Canada-wide sporting goods store. They don't sell cheap strollers (only pricier AT and trailers) but you might be able to get a carrier like a Kelty. Depends on how much you want to spend on something like this. Like Melissa said, babygear is much pricier in Canada. http://www.mec.ca/Main/content_text.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=25343743028 87037&bmUID=1275753049179
If you're looking for cheap, I guess the best bet would be something like TRU. Here in Qc BRU is housed inside TRU, I think that's the same for On as well. I doubt there's one downtown, but you can put Toys R Us into google maps and see if there's one you're willing to drive to. You'd probably be doing past one on the way to the zoo, there are a few malls out that way.
ETA: The Science Center is in an area with quite a few stores, but I've no idea if there are baby gear ones there. All I'm remembering are a few nice grocery stores and home reno places, but there may be more. Can you put it into google and see what else is nearby? Keep in mind that stores can close early in Canada. IDK if shops are open past 6pm on Sat. or not. Bigger ones and malls, yes, but smaller stores, not as likely.
06-05-2010, 01:03 PM
Look up baby gear rentals. We went to Toronto when DD was 18 mos and I was going to rent gear (pack n play and stroller), but we ended up borrowing from friends of friends.
06-05-2010, 01:04 PM
If you see a Zeller's that's a dept store, sort of like Walmart or Target, they carry baby stuff.
06-05-2010, 02:25 PM
We spent the am at the pool. a bit chilly today but the kids didn't seem to mind. They are ALL (amazing, I know) napping now and hopefully hubby will be done early tonight so we can make a 5pm mass then head to the Harry Potter exhibit at the science center. We'll check out some of the places you all suggested. DH found a walmart not too far away too.
Thx for the note about stores closing early. We'll call first. Good to know there are stores near the Science Centre. I'll check it out on google. We were hoping to grab dinner there after Church, before our entrance time. The HP exhibit is timed and I think we have an 8p entrance.
It does look like the zoo has wagons. I'd prefer something to 'push' rather than 'pull' but that is good to know if we are desperate. Forecast is calling for rain tomorrow anyway :(
MontrealMum - we have a Kelty and love it, which is why I don't want to settle for something less.
06-05-2010, 03:39 PM
I'm guessing the closest Walmart is at Dufferin Mall (is this the one you found?) If so, I believe there's also a TRU/BRU in the same mall.
Your hotel is really close to the Eaton Centre (big indoor mall). If you want to walk somewhere to pick something up, rather than drive, I'd suggest going there. You should be able to pick up something at either Sears or the Bay. The phone number for Sears is 416-349-7111 and the Bay is 416-861-9111 if you want to call first. I think they're both open until 7 tonight and open again tomorrow at 11am. Walmart and TRU/BRU are likely open later tonight (probably 9).
Macklems is more high end stuff. I'm not sure you'd find something under $100 there.
If you see a Real Canadian Superstore near the Science Centre (I think there's one close), you might want to have a quick look in there. It's a big grocery store, but usually has a decent baby section as well. You might find something there.
If you have time, the Science Centre has a great section for little ones. We took DS last year (he was around 2.5) and he loved it. There's a water table with boats etc. so you might want to bring a change of clothes (we actually put DS in his bathing suit/rash guard). Also try to see the static ball (I'm not sure if that's the correct "scientific" term). The kids can go up at the end of the short presentation (they're at various times, you'll have to check the schedule), touch the ball and have their hair stand up/out. Good photo op!
Unfortunately I don't live in the city anymore otherwise I'd lend you a stroller!
ETA: you may want to try calling one of these rental places - Weetravel 416-737-1622 (http://weetravel.ca/index.php), baby getaway 416-695-3444 (http://www.babygetaway.com/), gogobaby 647-895-2229 (http://www.gogobaby.ca/). It looks like they'd all deliver to the hotel. I'm not sure how quickly you'd be able to arrange something but it looks like the 2nd one at least is open until 9 tonight and opens again at 9 tomorrow morning.
06-06-2010, 08:27 AM
I live in Toronto, well actually I am north of the city. I'd happily lend you a stroller but we are over an hour away from downtown, so probably not the best option. I'm not sure if you have found a stroller yet but I will agree with most of the prior recommendations of Walmart, Real Canadian 4uperstore, Zellers and TRU. Yes, there is a Superstore right near the science centre.
I wouldn't bother with Macklems. It is all high-end stuff. No deals there. The Safety Superstore was also mentioned. That's also mainly high-end stuff and not really close to downtown.
Enjoy the science center. We love it there. Your younger kids will have lots of fun at the kidspark. Also, not sure if they told you but the beginning of the Harry Potter exhibit involves about 15 minutes of listening to a guide in a darkish room. My 3 girls (aged 3 and 15mth twins) were really bored. By the time the intro was over, they were about to really lose it so I just rushed out to kispark with them. DS and my older nieces and nephews really liked the exhibit.
The zoo does have both wagons and strollers that you can rent. I am pretty sure the strollers are doubles. Hopefully the rain will stop and you can make it to the zoo tomorrow. :)
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