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Old 05-22-2013, 08:06 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,613 times
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We are coming to Toronto for almost two months this summer and we are sooooo excited for that! At the beginning my 7 years old daughter and I will arrive by ourselves (i have already enrolled her to a summer theater camp, her biggest passion!)...then, 3 weeks later, my husband will reach us. We have already bought the flight tickets but unfortunately I'm still "very confused" as to where to stay!!! The location of our daughter's summer camp is downtown...but I would not be very happy to live in there... I would prefer to find a fully furnished 1 bedroom apartment or home in a more "family friendly" area, better if in front of a park (with a nice community outdoor swimming pool) so that we can easily walk there after camp, before going back home in the evening or on some lazy weekend mornings... I love quite areas but this time a “kid friendly neighborhood” is extremely important to us because we don't know "anybody" in Toronto and if we have the opportunity to have a park across the street my daughter could make new friends that live in the same area and see them on a regular basis during our long stay. I'm also not going to rent a car during the first period (maybe later, when my husband will be with us so that we can go together to have some exploring one-day trip somewhere outside the GTA), I'm going to use the public means of transportation, so a short distance from a metro or tram stop would be important. Our budget? We are willing to pay till $100 per day on a monthly plan (that would be the max…let’s say the less the better!) but we would like to have as many amenities as possible: everything I need in the kitchen (microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker, etc.), plus TV, cable TV, DVD, stereo, wireless connection, washer, dryer, iron, ironing board. A free parking spot would be important too.

Do you have any suggestion? What would be your best choice (location) if you were going to Toronto in vacation with your 7-8 years old kids?

Thanks for any help. It is appreciated. We are trying to make this vacation as kid friendly as possible.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Toronto
2,812 posts, read 3,564,977 times
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Well I think that you should try and find a short-term rental in a nearby neighbourhood like Riverdale, Danforth, or anywhere in the West End and up to Eglinton and Yonge or St. Clair West Station. Then you will be able to stay in the city, in a great Toronto neighbourhood where all kinds of amenities and attractions are nearby (within walking distance or a subway/streetcar ride away), where you are close to your daughter's camp (again, just a subway or streetcar ride away) so you can skip the car and spend your two month vacation in the city where all the action is at.

You do not want to stay in a neighbouring suburb and drive into the city everyday, because traffic is terrible, you will tire yourselves out, and there is very little to do in the suburbs. Toronto is a very safe city full of amenities and cultural institutions, restaurants, parks, beautiful residential neighbourhoods that be quiet or exciting and bustling. The whole city is very child-friendly and extremely safe, and your kids will love it. You don't have to stay right downtown to be in the city and enjoy the Toronto experience, although there are residential condos that are often rented for the summer that are right downtown. Personally, I would recommend staying somewhere like Christie Pitts or Roncesvalles so that you'll have awesome amenities in a great neighbourhood near great parks, which you said was important. Riverdale and Trinity Bellwoods are also options, but the entire West End from Dundas in the West to Spadina in the East, and St. Clair in the North to the Gardiner in the South is full of great neighbourhoods that are family-friendly.

Also, what's the closest intersection to your daughter's camp? That's important because you might be able to stay in that area and just walk there with her every morning and evening when she finishes. Remember that, except for the Central Business District, Toronto is very residential, with residential streets usually running north/south while commercial avenues run east/west and occasionally north/south as well, so if your daughter's classes were at Queen and Spadina, for example, you could easily find accommodation in one of the great adjacent residential neighbourhoods.

Finally, I'm not sure about the best way to find a short-term rental, but I know Craigslist is a good place to start. Just be discerning and make sure you're not getting scammed. Once you find a few options that interest you, come back here and post them so we can tell you if the location (and price) is good.

You're going to have an awesome time on your vacation, and you're family will love the city! And there are so many great possibilities for day-trips on the weekends when you want to get out of the city and explore.

I don't think you mentioned where you're coming from. Elsewhere in Canada, or the US? From another city, or a more rural/suburban area?

TOkidd

Last edited by TOkidd; 05-22-2013 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:11 PM
 
325 posts, read 1,002,904 times
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Whats your budget?

One thing that might surprise you about the city is that staying in a nice area like tokidd mentioned above (or if you can, the annex at bloor/dupont) is that you'll find it easier to meet people staying in an urban area than a suburban area. It's a Toronto thing.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
2,337 posts, read 1,873,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sissi_smurfette View Post
We are coming to Toronto for almost two months this summer and we are sooooo excited for that! At the beginning my 7 years old daughter and I will arrive by ourselves (i have already enrolled her to a summer theater camp, her biggest passion!)...then, 3 weeks later, my husband will reach us. We have already bought the flight tickets but unfortunately I'm still "very confused" as to where to stay!!! The location of our daughter's summer camp is downtown...but I would not be very happy to live in there... I would prefer to find a fully furnished 1 bedroom apartment or home in a more "family friendly" area, better if in front of a park (with a nice community outdoor swimming pool) so that we can easily walk there after camp, before going back home in the evening or on some lazy weekend mornings... I love quite areas but this time a “kid friendly neighborhood” is extremely important to us because we don't know "anybody" in Toronto and if we have the opportunity to have a park across the street my daughter could make new friends that live in the same area and see them on a regular basis during our long stay. I'm also not going to rent a car during the first period (maybe later, when my husband will be with us so that we can go together to have some exploring one-day trip somewhere outside the GTA), I'm going to use the public means of transportation, so a short distance from a metro or tram stop would be important. Our budget? We are willing to pay till $100 per day on a monthly plan (that would be the max…let’s say the less the better!) but we would like to have as many amenities as possible: everything I need in the kitchen (microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker, etc.), plus TV, cable TV, DVD, stereo, wireless connection, washer, dryer, iron, ironing board. A free parking spot would be important too.

Do you have any suggestion? What would be your best choice (location) if you were going to Toronto in vacation with your 7-8 years old kids?

Thanks for any help. It is appreciated. We are trying to make this vacation as kid friendly as possible.
Leaside. You can not find a more kid-family-dog-centric area if you tried. Some of the things you'll see in that part of town is kids everywhere and people lead very active lifestyles, lots of outdoor recreation. TONS of organized baseball going on if that's what the kids like. And Bayview Ave strip between Moore and Eglinton is a neat little area dotted with bakeries, coffee shops, Baskin Robbins, Pizza Parlours and Italian restaurants....

it's about as American as this city would get, partly because there are so many US expats living in that area.

Last edited by zortation; 05-24-2013 at 03:31 PM..
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Toronto
2,812 posts, read 3,564,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zortation View Post
Leaside. You can not find a more kid-family-dog-centric area if you tried. Some of the things you'll see in that part of town is kids everywhere and people lead very active lifestyles, lots of outdoor recreation. And Bayview Ave, between Moore and Eglinton is a neat little area dotted with bakeries, coffee shops, Baskin Robbins, Pizza Parlours and Italian restaurants....

it's about as American as this city would get, partly because there are so many US expats living in that area.

Leaside is not a very exciting place to stay for a vacation in Toronto - quite far from the rest of the city and not well-connected to the transit network. I would stay near the subway, or streetcar lines. The Annex, Christie Pitts, Bickford Park, Harbord Village, Baldwin Village, Kensington Market, Riverdale, Dundas West, Trinity-Spadina, Queen West, Roncesvalles, Bloor West, Wallace Emerson, St. Clair West, Yonge and Eglinton, Cabbagetown, and even Parkdale, King and Shaw / Strachan would all be better bets. All are great neighbourhoods in the centre of the action; all have excellent transit access to the downtown and are not as isolated from the downtown as Leaside. Leaside's a nice area, but I think it will be a pain for them to have to take a bus to the subway and to stay in such a sedate residential area. The Bayview strip may have a neat collection of shops, restaurants, and cafes, but it doesn't compare to staying in one of the other areas I listed, IMO.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
2,337 posts, read 1,873,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOkidd View Post
Leaside is not a very exciting place to stay for a vacation in Toronto - quite far from the rest of the city and not well-connected to the transit network. I would stay near the subway, or streetcar lines. The Annex, Christie Pitts, Bickford Park, Harbord Village, Baldwin Village, Kensington Market, Riverdale, Dundas West, Trinity-Spadina, Queen West, Roncesvalles, Bloor West, Wallace Emerson, St. Clair West, Yonge and Eglinton, Cabbagetown, and even Parkdale, King and Shaw / Strachan would all be better bets. All are great neighbourhoods in the centre of the action; all have excellent transit access to the downtown and are not as isolated from the downtown as Leaside. Leaside's a nice area, but I think it will be a pain for them to have to take a bus to the subway and to stay in such a sedate residential area. The Bayview strip may have a neat collection of shops, restaurants, and cafes, but it doesn't compare to staying in one of the other areas I listed, IMO.
How much of the OP did you actually read? She does not want to live downtown so half of your suggestions are no good. Come on man (woman?), wake up! I lived in several of those neighbourhoods and trust me, nothing there compares to Leaside if it's about kids. Parkdale?
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:15 PM
 
364 posts, read 1,131,330 times
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zortation, no need to be rude. I am sure TOKidd read the post just fine. I actually agree with him that the OP shoud not look in "family friendly " suburbs since this is a vacation not a move. Probably more short term rental options there, too.
Knowing where the camp is would help determine location options better.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
2,337 posts, read 1,873,705 times
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If I have a family all I'll be looking for is a family-friendly no matter how long it's for. And kids don't care about how hipster a place is, they just want monkey bars pizza and a place to run around in.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Toronto
2,812 posts, read 3,564,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zortation View Post
If I have a family all I'll be looking for is a family-friendly no matter how long it's for. And kids don't care about how hipster a place is, they just want monkey bars pizza and a place to run around in.
Who said anything about hipsters?

The neighbourhoods I mentioned vary tremendously in character, but all have one thing in common - they would all be better choices for a family vacationing in Toronto than Leaside. All of these neighbourhoods are filled with families, just like most residential areas are. Just because they are "downtown", doesn't make them family-unfriendly. In my experience, most of Toronto's urban residential neighourhoods are filled with young families - who do you think lives in all those houses? And obviously the OP's kids are interested in more than monkey bars, because the daughter is enrolled in theatre school. Instead of spending their vacation in a boring, out-of-the-way residential neighbourhood like Leaside that is difficult to access via transit, it makes much more sense to stay in a residential neighbourhood that is on the subway or streetcar networks.

I mean, do you spend lots of time downtown, zortation? The neighbourhoods I mentioned are mostly family neighbourhoods with tons of kids, parks, and access to the best that Toronto has to offer. Or do you think it is only hipsters and young people who live in these areas? Among the most family-friendly neighbourhoods I recommended are Roncesvalles, Riverdale, Bloor West, Harbord Village, and Bickford Park. These are all residential areas that are within walking distance to the city's main attractions, or a short subway/streetcar ride away. Why spend a vacation out in Leaside, when you can still enjoy a family-oriented area in the heart of the city that will be much more exciting and convenient for the adults and children alike?

What you're saying is akin to telling a family on vacation in New York not to stay in Manhattan, but instead pay the same price to stay in a nice residential part of Queens that is far from everything, and off the subway grid because kids won't find Manhattan exciting or interesting - all they need is a good set of monkey bars and some to play - and Manhattan doesn't have any family-friendly neighbourhoods anyways, just hipsters and bankers.

It's also important for the Op to understand that when people speak of "downtown" Toronto, they are not necessarily talking about the central-most part of the city, with all the skyscrapers and office towers. Downtown Toronto is generally meant to indicate the most urban parts of the Old City (pre-amalgamation), and can refer to many areas - but most often those that are between Dupont St. and the Gardiner (north / south) and River St. and Dundas West (east / west). Most of the neighbourhoods I recommended are in that very large swathe of real estate, but some are not. Toronto is a very safe city with many thriving, bustling residential, family neighbourhoods right downtown. You don't have to stay outside the downtown to feel safe, and staying within the "downtown" gives a vacationing family many more options as far as recreation, dining, sightseeing, etc., while being much more accessible. If one still doesn't feel comfortable in such "urban" environs, at least stay in an area like Riverdale, Danforth, High Park, or Bloor West where they will have excellent access to the subway / streetcar.

My guess is that the daughter's theatre school is in the "downtown", so why would the family want to spend their whole vacation commuting every day from Leaside, when they can stay in a residential neighbourhood adjacent to the daughter's school for about the same price, and enjoy everything the city has to offer without the crappy commute? The fact that the daughter is in theatre school in the first place tells me the family would probably be happier being in the heart of Toronto, close to its cultural institutions and within walking distance of attractions they can visit both day and night if they choose. Toronto is a town with a safe, thriving inner-city, unlike many American cities, where the suburbs are safe and the downtown dangerous. Toronto's downtown is an amazing patchwork of neighbourhoods, with both bustling commercial thoroughfares and quiet residential streets blanketed by a massive canopy of old oaks and maples that offer shade to the thousands of Victorian and Edwardian homes that Toronto families live in; it also has high-rise neighbourhoods for condo-dwellers and people who want to live as close as possible to the centre of the city; and it also has extremely sedate residential areas like Wychwood Park, that are a short walk from Bloor Street, but feel like they are no where near the city. Of all the areas to choose from, Leaside is one of the last I would recommend to a vacationing family. They can find the same great qualities downtown or much closer to it.

Anyways, there is no sign of the OP, so I'm not posting anything else in this thread until they show up and give some more details about their stay in the city so we can give them better advice in return.

BTW, zortation - when was the last time you visited Parkdale? From your reaction to the neighorhood's mention it seems like you're a bit out of touch with things downtown. This city has changed a lot in ten years, and so has Parkdale.

Last edited by TOkidd; 05-25-2013 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:49 PM
 
325 posts, read 1,002,904 times
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ToKidd +1. Nice posting.
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