Both parents and kids in Toronto will find it extremely child-friendly. The weather is important for deciding on family outings, with stark seasonal contrasts. Think warm summers and cold, snow-filled winters. Families can look forward to a variety of activities that change throughout the year. Additionally, the city is renowned for its high standard of education. As is the case in the rest of Canada, the healthcare system is also among the best in the world.
Education in Toronto
Toronto is known not only for its private schools, but also for its high-quality public schools. The Ministry of Education is working to create gender-based schools in some areas and full-day kindergarten in other areas. On the whole, the public school system in Toronto is so strong that expats are bound to find a school suitable for their child, no matter the location.
Alternatively, expat parents will be able to find schools for children with specific needs, including:
Private schools that specialise in certain language instruction
Top-notch private schools for boys, girls or co-educational
Arts-based private schools
Daycare facilities exist primarily for children aged 18 months and older, but it is easy to find places that will accept infants as well. Many daycares will provide kindergarten as well, so there may not be a need to move one's child to a larger school until first grade.
Activities for kids in Toronto
There are many things to do in Toronto with kids which include outdoor and indoor places where the kids can run around, tons of museums, amusement centres and interesting attractions. Parents are likely to find their child's schedule is jam-packed.
There are hundreds of incredible neighbourhood parks all over the city that provide great play structures for children of all ages. Some parks are larger and may even include access to a free zoo for kids, and others have splash pads to help make the hot summer days more bearable. These parks also run camps through the summer. Expat parents can find out specifics through the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation department.
When the weather turns less than desirable, or if parents simply think their little one could do with some culture, they can take solace in the fact that Toronto is a hub for theatre. On any given day, one can find large-scale Broadway-style productions, as well as local fringe festivals and small theatre groups performing especially for kids and families.
What’s more, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario Science Centre can provide hours of educational entertainment for kids. These specific centres even have children’s play areas, and most run programmes and camps directed at kids throughout the year and during school breaks.
Additionally, newcomers won’t want to miss the CN Tower, McMichael Gallery or Blue Mountain.
Parent resources for Toronto
For those that need that extra helping hand upon arrival, Toronto has plenty of resources specifically aimed at parents and children. For starters, most neighbourhoods will have a local community centre that runs parent groups, many of which can be found listed online.
There are programmes that involve both parents and children, as well as programmes just for kids. Most of the groups can also help parents connect with other mums and dads in the area for carpooling.
Schools can be great sources as well. Many institutions run parent groups in the afternoons, and most schools will introduce new parents to their PTA where they can find out about programmes in the neighbourhood.
If a child needs extra support or has specific needs, it can be guaranteed that there is a teacher or a programme that will be a perfect fit. This is definitely a city focused on families.