Location: 51 Larchmount Ave, Toronto, ON (Bruce Public School)
Website: TDSB Website
Regular Hours: Monday- Friday 9am – 1:00pm
Age: 0-6 years
The Bruce drop is a small infant friendly drop. They have a water table, a sandbox, crafts and lots of toys. Circle time is at about 10:30. There is almost no information online about the drop in or monthly calendar but they are open every day during the school year except for winter school holidays. They are closed all summer. Marie who runs the drop in is extremely friendly, animated, and does a good circle and story time. Continue reading “Bruce PS Drop In”
Location: Queen and Saulter (Behind the library)
Regular Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday: 9 am to 1:30 pm, Tuesday: 1pm – 5:30pm, Saturday: 9am – 12:30pm
Age: 0-6 years
The south riverdale drop-in is my favourite drop-in especially for infants and toddlers. It is also one of the only ones that keep their website up-to-date! You can find their latest schedule here: http://srcpc.org/
It is much smaller than most drop-ins which are like gyms so they cater much more to infants. Circle time has more baby friendly songs. They are also one of the only drop-ins that are open in the afternoon (Tuesdays only). Wednesday there are generally field trips (must pre-register).
Continue reading “South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre”
Location: 870 Queen Street East
Website: Toronto Parks Website
Regular Hours: Varies but usually 3pm to 6pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday (check above link under drop-in programs listed as Recreation Fun and Play with Caregiver)
Ages: Under 5
The Jimmie Simpson Rec center offers a drop in play time for babies under 5. It is one of the few free activities offered in the afternoon, it is usually offered October – April. There are no staff like a drop in center, it’s basically free play with a variety of toys in an open gym. There are a great assortment of toys to play with and it’s great for a moving baby/toddler. There is no registration you just walk in and can use a variety of toys while you are there. There are slides, lots of push toys, ride-on toys, and climbing structures.
Sometimes the gym isn’t available a small room is used instead. This can be very loud due to echoes which may be overwhelming for some children who are sensitive to noise. If this is a major concern you can call ahead and check.
Continue reading “Jimmie Simpson Gym Time”
Location: 183 Carlaw Ave. (Carlaw and Queen)
Regular Hours: Monday–Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am – 4pm
Ages: 0-6 years
Cost: First visit free, 6 visits for $66.50 or monthly pass
I love sprouts it’s very clean with great toys and play structures for toddlers. There are great amenities such as a kitchenette, coffee, sippy cups, and a vending machine with baby food if you forgot yours. Most importantly it is one of the only indoor play spaces in the area that is open on weekends and afternoons. I usually like to take Jacob to the park in the afternoon but if the weather is horrid it’s an excellent place to go. Especially before Jacob was walking I was very hesitant to take him to the park if it was wet since he would crawl through all the much. Sometimes I take him out if it’s wet now but it’s still good to have a place to go in the afternoon if the weather if bad. I highly recommend getting the 6 pass which is what we buy. I find I use it about 3 times a month on average. Continue reading “Sprouts”
Location: 836 Danforth Ave.
Regular Hours: Wednesday & Friday 12pm-1pm
Ages: Mostly under 2 years but open to older children
Mini-Nastics is usually a bit further north than I usually wander but in this case it’s definitely worth it. They provide such an excellent value for 5 dollars. They offer an excellent song circle which includes keyboards and guitar. My son was very entertained by the keyboard. After the song circle, which is about 30 minutes, there is free play in the gymnasium. This includes a trampoline and lots of things to climb if you have a little mover. I love that it is a drop-in too since it’s so hard to plan/commit to things with Jacob. Continue reading “Mini-Nastics Song Circle”
Location: 1619 Queen Street East (Queen and Coxwell)
Regular Hours: Wednesday 11:00-12:30
Ages: 0-12 months
Baby’s first year in a drop-in group for parents and their babies under 1 year. This group was one of my favourite activities on maternity leave I attended almost every time it worked out with naptime.
Continue reading “Baby’s First Year”
Location: 765 Queen St. East, Toronto (Ralph Thornton Center / On top of the library)
Appleseed Yoga is a new practice run by Megan, a local riverdale mom. I’ve taken pre-natal classes with Megan at a different practice. I haven’t yet had a chance to check out her new practice but I’m sure it’s great. She offers infant, toddler, and kids classes as well as weekend family classes.
Location: 1117 Gerrard St. East (Leslie and Gerrard)
Regular Hours: Monday–Friday 9am – 12:30pm, Saturday 9:30am – 12:30pm
Ages: 0-6 years
Parent Resources is a free drop in center that is also open on Saturdays during the school year. Generally it is open from 9:00am until 12:30pm but sometimes they have field trips so be sure to check their schedule online.
Continue reading “Parent Resources”
There are a number of rec centers that offer swimming lessons for babies and toddlers for free or at low cost in Toronto. You can search for them here on the city of Toronto website. Even though it’s not the closest though I prefer to go to the newly renovated Regent Park pool for both lessons and drop in swim. You can see the programs currently offered at Regent Park here. Continue reading “Baby Swimming at Regent Park”
Location: 60 Woodfield Road – Basement Level of Duke of Connaught School
Regular Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 9 am to 2 pm.
Age: 0-6 years
Applegrove is one of the closest drop ins to my house and one of my favourites. It’s generally Tuesday to Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm.
Continue reading “Applegrove Drop In”
Living and Learning with Baby is a free parenting class run by Toronto public health. The focus of the class is attachment parenting techniques.
Continue reading “Living and Learning with Baby”
Make the connection is a parenting class run by Toronto Public Health (TPH). It is the follow-up class to living and learning with baby for babies under 6 months. Find more info here on the tph website.
I was not able to attend many of the classes, this is mostly because of the logistical issues with the class sign up, more on that later.
The class itself was great. It is run by nurses from TPH. They include a song circle which is nice for the babies and well as discussion of parenting topics. There is a strong focus on attachment theory. It is very similar to another class called Baby Love that I took at the south riverdale drop in center. They also provided some books and resources to take home. I found the nurses very helpful in answering questions. There was a lot of opportunities to discuss our personal questions and concerns. The one issue I would have with the class itself is the room was not childproof. My son was one of the older babies and he has been crawling since 7 months so it was somewhat exhausting trying to keep him away from wires and audiovisual equipment that was in the room. Continue reading “Make the Connection”