Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Part of what I love about being a mom and being at home with the boy-o is that we've gotten to explore around our neighbourhood. Before I had the boy-o I didn't really consider where I lived "home," it was just somewhere I happened to be living. And although I'm not sure I'll ever really consider Toronto *my* home, this is where the boy-o is from and since he's arrived our neighbourhood really has become our neighbourhood. I never used to spend any time here and so I  had never visited all the little cafés and stores and shops. But now when we're out and about we see other moms and babies we know, we have our favourite cafes for coffee dates, our favourite places to go and play, and we spend a lot more time just being where we live.

These are my Top 5 Favourite Neighbourhood Haunts:

Coco-Latte: This is a great little family owned café on St. Clair. They have all kinds of vegan and gluten free options, delicious gelato, and of course the full run of fancy coffee beverages! (Can you tell I don't drink coffee?) They have a nice wooden patio out back as well if you're craving some fresh air to go along with your Americano. The staff there are part of the reason I love this place so much. I discovered this place through one of my mom groups that meets up there once a week, and they are incredibly accommodating to our gang of strollers. We love you!

World Class Bakery: This place seems to be a huge hit or miss with people, and so far I've only had great experiences there! I've only ever stopped in for the goodies, which let's face it, look AND taste amazing! Never have I been anywhere else before where I feel like the size of the piece of cheesecake/cake I just got is actually worth the $6 I'm being charged for it! Hubby and I have gone there for date evenings before and had to bring home some of our dessert because we just couldn't finish it. The place has a nice atmosphere, and lots of room to accommodate a stroller.

Dutch Dreams: This place is probably my favourite Ice Cream store. EVER. The amount of themed kitch on the walls and ceiling is unbelievable and the Dutch versions of pop-songs playing on the speakers will certainly get your toes tapping to a song you swear you know... but can't possibly actually know. They make their cones and ice cream by hand and their menu is quite extensive including shakes, waffles, splits and tons of delicious ice cream flavours! To top it all off they add whip-cream and fresh fruit to the top of their cones. No matter what the weather is like outside there always seems to be a line up at this neighbourhood treasure. So show up early and be prepared to sit on one of the milk cans outside because the limited seating inside is usually full!

Oakwood Library: This isn't the closest library to where we live, but it's our favourite! The staff are great, they don't make you leave your stroller outside, and the librarian that does the Friday morning story time for the babies is excellent! The staff in generally are all pretty relaxed and there's always a bunch of kids running around in there. It's a great spot to go and hang out, and this summer the boy-o and I spent a lot of time there enjoying their air conditioning! They have a large children's section too with a bunch of adult sized comfy chair to sit in. (Which are also great for nursing in!)

Ceadervale Park: Hubby and I discovered this park a little while ago and have gone running and cycling there, as well as played tennis! It's a beautiful long park that is about 2 km from one end to the other. Most of it is a gravelly walking path, but there's also a fenced in dog park, some open fields, tennis courts, and an arena. There are lots of lovely big trees to provide some shade for taking the boy-o there to enjoy the fresh air, and the park is always full of people so there's lots of opportunity to do some people watching. It's also really refreshing to have such a large green space near us in the "Concrete Jungle"!

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