Meet the Team

Meet Our Midtown Toronto Director: Gillian Kuriyan

Hi Midtown Moms (and Moms to be!) I’m Gillian, the new Director for Mommy Connections Midtown Toronto.

I became a mother 5 years ago with the birth of my daughter Lilah on New Years Eve 2015! When Lilah was born my husband and I were just new to our neighbourhood and being a new mom in the dead of winter, it was hard to get out and meet people. I hadn’t joined any mom and baby groups and most of my friends with babies didn’t live close by.

Being a new mama can be isolating and even though I’m naturally outgoing and make friends easily, motherhood and constant sleep deprivation took it’s toll and I like many other mamas felt the effects of postpartum depression. With my second baby I decided to correct this and my plan was join ALL the activities, mom and baby classes and make so many new mom friends! James was born in November 2019 and though this mat leave has been different in so many ways because of Covid, it has been a million times better and left me feeling more connected than ever before, a large part of that is because of my involvement with Mommy Connections!

I first came across Mommy Connections Midtown when a friend invited me to a Mom-to-Be workshop in Leaside. I was blown away by the level of information delivered by local experts, the amount of fun I had and I was excited to meet so many other moms who were at the stage as me.

I joined a Mom & Baby class as a facilitator just before James was 3 months old. I immediately fell in love with the program! It was so great to get out of the house, to meet other mamas and to learn more about the great local experts and resources in our community. I made an instant group of mama friends, and without a doubt I was able to navigate this crazy pandemic, school closure and home schooling + newborn because of them, my new village! When our Mommy Connections classes moved to virtual, it still remained a highlight of my week as I would settle in with a coffee and looked forward to that ‘me’ time to connect with other moms.

In the summer when things opened up James and I facilitated several Mini Movers programs in the local parks, and it was then I was hooked! I saw firsthand just how important this community is for moms and babies, how valuable it is to have a support system of moms in the same stage of parenting as you, and how much the babies benefited from the weekly programming whether it was in person or virtual. James smiled and laughed as we participated in music classes in the park, touched the screen and ‘sang’ along when we did language classes via Zoom and even began recognizing his friends both online and in person. When the opportunity presented itself to take over the midtown chapter of Mommy Connections I knew it was meant to be!

My professional background has taken me from working in the TV/Film industry, fundraising and programming in both local and national non-profits/charities (with a specific focus on children), leading new Canadians (children and adults) in outdoor education programs in Peel region and also working as an elementary teacher with the Toronto District School Board. One of my favourite aspects of my work has always been communicating directly with families. I count as friends many of the moms of my previous students. I am excited to learn more about YOUR experiences as Midtown Mamas and I can’t wait to meet you!

“Whether you’re looking for advice or just to commiserate about the sleepless nights, I’d highly recommend Mommy Connections!”

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