X Reasons To Stay At Hotel X Toronto

My entire life I have been obsessed with hotels. There’s something about the fresh white sheets, new bath products and room service that makes me giddy – and I love the anticipation of discovering what the room looks like (even when it’s just a Holiday Inn in Grimsby for a hockey tournament!)  

So a ‘staycation’ in Toronto every once-in-a-while feels like a super special treat, and something we try to do as a way to leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind to hang out as a family and reconnect.  

Living in South Etobicoke, we drive by the stunning Hotel X Toronto quite frequently – and I had heard about the famous year round rooftop pool (see point #1!). So we jumped at the chance to check it out as part of their Toronto Aurora Winter Festival Stay & Play Package.

Here are X (Ten) reasons why we absolutely loved this hotel.

1. ‘The Pond’ Rooftop Pool

Their 55 foot partial indoor/partial outdoor rooftop pool lived up the hype and was definitely a highlight for us. It’s kept at a comfortable 80-85 degrees with a heated indoor section with loungers and an outdoor section with an incredible view of the city. The two sides are divided by a glass door that you need to see to believe! 

A second pool will be added to the hotel as part of 10XTO (see below), which will be a junior Olympic sized salt water pool!

 

 

2.  10XTO Gym

The 90,000 square foot athletic centre will take your breath away – especially the four indoor tennis courts with vaulted ceilings and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city (and direct line of site into BMO Field!).  The gym itself contains 50 state-of-the-art pieces of equipment. My husband and I attended an amazing flow class in their (stunning) hot yoga studio which was made possible by the next point!

 

 

 

3.  Child Care

There is a 3000 sq. ft. Play Centre located within 10XTO where children can play while the adults enjoy the hotel amenities. The Play Centre is equipped with its own sports court, age-appropriate toys and books, four video game consoles, a big screen TV for movie time and a designated quiet area.  Hotel Guests may drop off the kids for up to 3 hours ($10/hour per child, each additional child $5/hour)

 

4.  Theatre

An impressive 250-seat theatre offers movie screenings from Thurs – Sun.  We were lucky enough to attend the media preview of The Second City’s Improv Showdown.

This family friendly show features two teams of top-notch improvisers and high-energy characters who compete in a comedy face-off.  It’s a highly interactive show, even providing kids the opportunity to join the team on stage to help build the story line.  The audience helps the performers by shouting out various prompts, as a friendly competition ensues between the right and left half of the auditorium. 

 

Don’t worry – this isn’t like your shady Las Vegas comedy shows – all audience participation is completely voluntary and you won’t be called in unless you want to be!

The show runs From December 13th to January 5th, 2020.  Tickets can be purchased here , or better yet – book a stay at Hotel X Toronto and your tickets are included!

 

 

 

 

5. The View

Photos don’t do it justice. You have an incredible 360 degree view from the Terrace, and from many other points throughout the hotel.  Floor to ceiling windows in the rooms highlight the best Toronto has to offer.

 

 

 

6.  Dining

With seven dining options to choose from, you don’t ever need to leave the hotel to ensure your family is fueled for fun!

We found Maxx’s Kitchen is be the best atmosphere for our family (two thumbs up for the avocado toast!) but there’s also a Nespresso Café if you’re looking for caffeine, snacks or a quick healthy lunch.  

Pétros82 is a new Mediterranean restaurant and Falcon SkyBar is a three-level rooftop bar and lounge – a great choice if you decide to drop the kids off at the Play Centre for a few hours. 

Of course, in-room dining is always fun when travelling as a family.  We loved how the menu was displayed on the TV screen…and when the 9pm munchies hit, the sweet potato fries did not disappoint!

7.  Library Club Lounge

Guests with Library Club Lounge Access can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese reception in the Lounge (simply select the Library Club option when booking your room).   

After our show we popped in for the wine & cheese expecting it to be adults only with just a few bar snacks.  We were blown away when we saw it was actually a very family friendly atmosphere and the ‘snack’ was a full buffet of artisanal cheeses & meats, baked goods, delicious salads & even hot dishes like beef stir fry.  

 

8.  Nespresso Machine

Okay, so this may not seem like such a big deal to some, but I am obsessed with coffee.    So it will come as no surprise that I loved our in-room Nespresso machine and chilled milk stored in the in-room refrigerator (no powdered coffeemate for this girl!)

 

 

 

9.  Proximity 

Once you’ve parked at the hotel (self parking is $30/day) you can easily walk to BMO stadium, Budweiser Gardens, the CNE, Ontario Place, and more.  In our case, our Toronto Aurora Winter Festival Stay & Play Package  included passes to the festival (which was a short five-minute walk across the street)  The hotel offers similar packages for other events like the CNE when it’s in town.  

Hotel X Toronto is also literally across the street from the Enercare Centre (I was tempted to sneak off to the One Of A Kind show, but ran out of time!)

If you want to go further than walking distance, the hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to Union Station & Billy Bishop Airport (based on availability)

It’s also less than a 10 minute walk to a Go Station (Exhibition Place) – so if you live along the GO line you can make it a true ‘staycation’ and leave your car at home (I know many minis who would find a train ride to be one of the highlights of your vacation!) We were having so much fun during our stay, my son and I requested a late check out and took the train home (since hubby had to take the car to leave for work).

10.  The Spa 

Luxury French skincare brand Guerlain opened its first Canadian spa inside the hotel, which pretty much says it all. While we didn’t personally get a chance to enjoy the spa, I did stop in to snap a pic (and take a smell…heaven)  

 

 

 

 

Want to plan your own holiday ‘staycation’?  Hotel X Toronto has a special Black Friday Offer available Nov. 25th until Cyber Monday on December 2nd: book directly via the hotel and enjoy 25% off Best Flexible Rates, a complimentary fitness class, and self-parking.

At the time of posting this, you can reserve a Luxury Room (with Library lounge access, self-parking included and access to the awesome yoga classes) for $329. A great value for what you get – and excuse to treat yourself to something special!

If your kids are anything like mine, the talk about Santa has probably started in your house. Luckily for us here in Toronto, Santa will be making several local appearances over the coming weeks.

Here’s a round-up of his upcoming appearances in the west-end so you can get out to see the big man in person.

1.  Baby Point Gates – Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Sat Nov 16th, 2019 10am-4pm

The Baby Point Gates BIA is hosting their 6th Annual Baby It’s Cold Outside Holiday Open House and Sidewalk Sale.

The event includes a bouncy castle, carolers singing traditional holiday songs, Santa and other family entertainment.


2.  Toronto Santa Claus Parade: Sunday Nov 17th 2019, 12:30pm

A Toronto tradition since 1913! Check out their website for handy tips, fun activities, and more.  There is a new parade route this year.  It starts at Bloor & Parliament and finishes at St Lawrence Market.  See below for a full map of the parade route.  If you can’t attend the parade in person, check it out on CTV at 4:30pm.

Santa Experience 2017 Sherway

3.  Santa Experience At Sherway Gardens: Nov 14-Dec 24, 2019 Various Times

Sherway Gardens takes the ‘mall Santa’ experience to a whole new level with their (aptly named) Santa Experience at the mall’s centre court.

Book in advance and come participate in a special interactive session that concludes with your child’s opportunity to chat with Santa and receive complimentary digital photos. Tickets are $22 per child (yes, even babies) and adults are free. The show runs approximately 30 minutes from start to finish.

CP-Holiday-Train-2012

4. Canadian Pacific Holiday Train: Tues Nov 28th, 2019 8:15pm

With brightly lit festive box cars and a great line up of musical talent, the goal of The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which is a real train that visits over 150 communities across North America collect food and money for local food banks while raising awareness of the fight against hunger (while delighting local children in the process).

The train’s ONLY Toronto stop happens to be at our very own Runnymede Station on Nov 28th!  Meet the train at 750 Runnymede Rd, in front of CP Lambton yard office – and don’t forget your food and monetary donations for this important cause.

etobicoke-lakeshore-santa-claus-parade

5.  Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade: Sat Dec 7th, 2019 10am

The Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade is a good old-fashioned holiday parade that includes 10 marching bands, 15 professionally built floats, assorted clowns, and – of course – Santa himself!  It starts at Dwight Avenue (one block west of Royal York), travels west along Lakeshore Blvd. W. and ends at 36th Street (Just before Browns Line). Families are invited to join Santa for a free community Skate With Santa at the beautiful Colonial Sam Smith Skating Trail following the parade from noon to 4pm.

 

toronto-christmas-market

Honourable mention goes to one of my favourite Christmas activities – even though it’s not in the west end.  The Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District runs Nov 14 – Dec 22 and is absolutely magical.

Let us know what events you plan on visiting – and comment below if there are great events we’ve missed and should know about. Happy Holidays!

Would you like to win tickets to The Baby Show, Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting event this Spring?

The Baby Show is Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting event for expectant moms, new parents and families with babies. It takes place Saturday, Oct 5, 2019, 9am to 6pm and Sunday, Oct 6, 2019 – 10am to 5pm at the Enercare Centre, Hall B, Exhibition Place (100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto)

Tickets are $15 online – but you can save $3 with our exclusive Baby Show promo code MC3 (Kids 12 and under are free.)

Better yet, enter to win a set of 2 tickets here.  Contest closes Oct 1, 2019.  Winner will be contacted via email.

With over 250 brands, national and local exhibitors, The Baby Show highlights include:

Toddler Fun

Watch your little ones’ faces light up as they get face to face with one of their favourite characters! Attend three very special meet & greets throughout the show weekend with Peppa Pig & George, PJ Masks and to help celebrate Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary be sure to snap a pic with our very special guests: Elmo, Abby Cadabby & Cookie Monster!

Saturday

PJ Masks 9:30am – 12:30pm

Elmo, Abby Cadabby & Cookie Monster 1pm – 4pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Sunday

PJ Masks 10am – 1pm

Elmo, Abby Cadabby & Cookie Monster 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Photo opportunities, colouring sheets, hugs and so many smiles! 

Medix College Tranquility Spa

Designed for both prenatal and postnatal massage, Medix College wants to give you some relief! Did you know that massage can help you sleep better and can also reduce fluid retention and swelling? Stop by and receive a complimentary massage!

Babies R Us Seminar Stage

Plan your visit and hear local and national parenting experts speak on a variety of topics ranging from what parents need to know about starting solids to getting more sleep. All speakers are also available for question and answer periods after their talks. Visit our website for a complete schedule. 

Silver Cross Health & Wellness Mat

Take part in a fitness demo with your baby & stroller! Shake it up with a Salsa Bellies dance class! Learn about infant massage, how to help your pelvic floor and more from top experts. Visit our website for a complete schedule.

Safety 1st Product & Safety Stage

This stage offers an introduction to cloth diapering, sleep solutions, car seat safety as well as babyproofing your home seminars!

Pampers Baby Change Station

A safe and clean area to change baby, moms and dads will have the opportunity to learn all about Pampers! Parents will leave the show with a special sample bag filled with Pampers goodies to try out at home!

Medela Nursing Room

The Medela Nursing Room offers attending moms with a comfortable and private space for peace and quiet with their baby. Designed to provide a safe and clean area to breastfeed your baby, you will have the opportunity to sit down, relax, and feed your baby in a well-furnished fully-stocked environment.

Safety 1st Baby Proofing Discovery Zone

It’s easy to become “blind” to the hazards in your home that your little one won’t realize they should avoid.  Come take a tour of our RV outfitted with child proofing tools and tips to consider so you can be ready to let them start exploring in your own home.  Be Confident.  We’ve got safety covered.

Etsy Junior Area

A dedicated area on the show floor for select exhibitors showcasing handmade, local products from brands found on Etsy.

3D Ultrasounds

Visit the Tiny Hearts booth for your very own 3D Ultrasound, performed on site, all weekend!

Speaker Series Highlights:

Julie Cole – Bringing Home Baby #2

Catherine Ramey (CPSAC) – Car Seat Safety 101!

Lianne Philipson – First Foods

Margaret Wallis-Duffy – Baby Massage

Dr. Sarah Mickeler – Practical Tips for an Easier Pregnancy & A Better Birth

Amy Gildner – Pelvic Floor Basics

Will you be joining us at MomFest, on Tuesday September 10?

The mom Super Bowl has arrived with an “all-you-can” experience. For the second year in a row, MomFest offers you all you can sample (wine, beer, spirits), all you can eat, all you can learn, and of course all you can laugh. They have a daytime event to wine, dine, and learn (all with baby in tow!); and then they have a night time event for all of you working mamas and party animals!

Both the daytime and evening events take place at THE WAREHOUSE EVENT VENUE, Downsview Park, located at 35 Carl Hall Rd #2, Toronto.

It takes place on Tues Sept 10, 10am to 4pm for the daytime event (all ages – babies are welcome) and then doors re-open for the evening event from 7pm to 11pm (19+ – no babies allowed!)

During the day, they have everything you need to make the experience enjoyable for you and your babe.  Stroller parking, feeding and changing stations, on-site child care and fun activities like music and a sensory play zone.

Check out the full schedule including the roster of amazing speakers, including the infamous Cat & Nat!

Unique to this festival is the The Glam Zone and The Wine Down Zone.  Each mom gets to pick one Spoiling Activity from each zone (selections will be on a first come first serve basis) 

Pick one (1) of the following in the Wine Down Zone: 

A Mama Mobile Massage, a Strolf Deep Fascial stretching, a seat at the coveted HOAME meditation garden or a bougie nap from our friends at Fort Boutique. 

And in the Glam Up Zone: Pick one (1) of the following pamperings for moms: 

An eyebrow shaping from our friends at WAXON, A VENT hair experience, A Spa Nails Speed Shellac Mani, A Festival Face Makeup or a Well.ca mini facial!

Appointments will become available on a first-come, first-serve basis launching on August 26 – only for advance ticket holders! 

(photo courtesy of Pictonat Photography)

Last but not least, Mommy Connections will be onsite at MomFest with some fun surprises!

Once the sun sets, the MomFest Gala begins.  It’s an evening of fun, food, music, entertainment, pampering – and a celebration of motherhood.  This is a 19+ event (no babies) and is the perfect event for those of you who may be back at work and unable to attend during the day. 

And the best part?  We have an exclusive MomFest discount code for our Mommy Connections network!  You can save $10 off the ticket price with the MomFest promo code MOMC10.

Daytime Tickets $55 ($45 for our fans!)

Evening Gala Tickets $45 ($35 for our fans!)

Daytime & Gala Combo Pass $75  ($65 for our fans!)

We can’t wait to see you there!

Our local Stockyards Walmart has had an amazing makeover.  Join me as I show you around some of the highlights! 

When you first walk in, the first thing you’ll notice is the new community hub.  There’s lots of seating space, designated places to store your cart, free wi-fi, charging stations and even a sushi bar from Naoki Sushi and a Freshii area – where you can warm your wraps or get delicious healthy smoothies.  

I’ll admit – I LOVE a good theme party.  My son’s birthday parties tend to be a bit Pinterest-y (if I do say so myself!), but I was blown away by the new party shop section.  It has absolutely everything you need to pull off a themed party, all in one convenient-to-shop section.  Helium Balloons, decorations, cutlery, loot bags supplies and more.  There are tons of themes to choose from (including First Birthday Party!) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The redesigned toy section is massive.  My favourite part is the fact that they have lowered the store fixtures so that you’ll be able to see your child wandering from aisle to aisle (assuming that you have a wanderer like me!).  They have wisely located this section right next to the party shop – like I said – one stop shop! 

MINISO is a Japanese retailer that produces high quality goods, at affordable prices.  You can find accessories, health and beauty, electronics, lifestyle products, and more.  The ‘store-in-a-store’ concept is a bit different than a pop up – it will be there permanently.  Note that it has its own separate hours so you may want to check those ahead of time. 

The family nursing rooms (and yes, I love that it’s called ‘family’ nursing rooms – not just for nursing ‘moms’) are next level.  There are two designated rooms with comfortable chairs, change tables – and they even have a TV!  Located in a quieter area, right next to the baby section.  

They have a special themed area featuring special collections – when we visited they were set up for Canada Day.  I was thrilled to see that they also had a section set up for Pride.  This area is located right next to their sports section that was all set up for Raptor domination!  

The My Walmart app users now have the option to use the Fast Lane.  You can scan your items on your phone before putting them in your bag, and then just swing by the checkout zone where you are greeted by a store associate to help you scan your one barcode and pay via your credit card.  No need to unload your items and scan them individually at checkout – one less step saves moms valuable time getting their shopping done!  Plus the app automatically adds any available in-store coupons! 

Part of the appeal of the new Fast Lane, are the newly designed shopping carts that have been specially designed with young families in mind.  There’s enough space for 2 kids, a designated cell phone holder and it’s designed so that you have a least 3 reusable shopping bags held open so that you can sort your items (pantry, refrigerated, health & beauty, etc.) as you shop.  So much easier to unload when you get home!  

Not all of us can take a week to head south during the winter, be it finances or time. To help get through the long slog of February we book a one-night getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake. We have done so for the last few years since returning to Canada after living abroad. We have come to love the joy of not making the bed for a change, sipping tea in a beautiful setting, lounging poolside (yes, inside but better than nothing, right), and just taking a break from the normal routine. It’s amazing how revitalized you can feel with a 24 hour stint away! 

So here’s a little recap of our very mini-vacation…

We love to start the day early and with an 11 month old we don’t really have a choice in the matter- we embrace it. We packed our bag with a change of clothes, a bathing suit each and a few nibbles for the room. Last year I was 7.5 months pregnant on the same trip so you can imagine there were a few differences. With playpen, ‘baby doll,’ shake-shake-shake bunny,’ and ‘STG’ (Sophie the Giraffe of course) we loaded the car and hit the highway. We love the short drive and close proximity to home of NOTL, so just an hour or so later we arrive at our destination: The Prince of Wales Hotel

We arrived early. 11am or so, but it was a little to early for early check-in so we made our way to a pizza place I had sussed our online: Pieza Pizzeria- a cute, little house converted into a restaurant. Now I know the dining options in NOTL are endless but this place was great! Reasonably priced, just off the main strip, and a few minutes walk to our hotel. 

Following a delicious shared lunch of homemade meatballs to start and a ridiculously delicious pizza we received news that our room was ready. 

The Prince of Wales hotel has some serious history, the most beautiful tea room, extravagant hallways, ambience that takes you back 100 years (Not bad for a 24 hour trip). Our room featured a king size four poster bed with step to reach the top, fireplace, and many little low lying trinkets and wires for a very active baby to explore.  

After a quick baby-proofing we headed out to grab a few bites for our picnic dinner and a few beverages to enjoy post-babe sleep time. Mark then headed down for his pre-arranged massage at the Secret Garden Spa. I hung out with the babe and we got very familiar with our new home for the next day, crawling under the bed, standing at the unlit fireplace that had to stay off for the whole visit (the babes little hands would not have resisted that) and then got suited up into our pool attire.  We met daddy in the pool and had a great time splashing around the saltwater and rinsing off in the warm shower.

Now it was time for mommy to head off for her massage treatment!  I had decided to take the second booking seeing as I thought the babe would nap during the first, so just that little bit of extra ‘me’ time, but did I get that wrong. She was very awake while Mark was away and of course slept while daddy went to grab a Starbucks while I was in treatment. 

We dined in our room on a charcuterie board of goodies we had put together, had a nice cold beverage and played until bedtime (for one-of the three of us). We enjoyed some time together thinking back to how much our lives had altered over the past year. We couldn’t imagine another life and are so lucky to have our beautiful baby girl with us, even on a romantic 24 hour getaway. 

With one more swim we started our day. The breakfast the next morning was exceptional- pancakes stacked higher than I have seen before.  Bacon, eggs, toast, oatmeal, fresh baked and piping hot cinnamon sugar muffins, juices and tea- I couldn’t have eaten one more bite upon departure. Just the perfect send off to a beautiful time with my two favourite people. 

Side Note: My booking platform of choice (if possible) is Travelzoo. This night away included a bottle of wine and morning breakfast (our breakfast alone was $75) all for $199. This deal has come up for the last few years with few black out dates- here’s hoping this great deal continues to appear year after year. 

Did you survive the “Hunger Games” (aka Toronto Parks & Recreation registration)?! If you found yourself hitting refresh for 2 hours, and still you only ended up on waiting lists, fear not! We have you covered with 3 local Summer Camps guaranteed to please any aged camper!

1. Nike Sports Camps Canada (Formerly Lytton Sports Camp)

NIKE Sports Camps at James Gardens combines fun based learning and instruction in tennis from a team of certified tennis professionals. Nestled along the Humber River in Etobicoke, Nike Sports Camp at James Gardens is perfect for soccer, nature walks, discovery learning and of course playing tennis on three hard court surfaces and two mini court areas for kids who are learning the game. The atmosphere at Nike Sports Camps is perfect for all skill levels and provides a safe and supportive environment for game-based learning for students aged 4-14.  Participants will leave with improved confidence, friendships and awesome Nike Camp Shirts and Prizes! Join Nike Sports Camps for some SERIOUS FUN this summer!

Age: 4-14 years

Location: James Gardens, 235 Edenbridge Drive

Cost: Full Weeks: $385.00 (HST included) for Full Days, $255 (HST included) for half days. Before and after care available.  Visit the camp page to register: https://www.sportscampscanada.com/tennis/nike/summer/

2.  CJ’s Skatepark

CJ’s Skatepark camp & programs are some of the best in Canada, and they provide campers with a brand new world-class air conditioned facility located on the border of Mississauga and Etobicoke! They offer a variety of skateboarding and scooter riding programs for all skill levels and ages. From introductory programs geared to gradually introducing people to their very first experience on a board through to advanced skateboarding programs. In addition to skateboarding, campers will enjoy organized games, make your own tie-dye shirt, movies, arts and crafts, and more.  The best part?  All snacks and refreshments are included – no need to pack a lunch!

COST: $299 / week, half day programs also available

Age: 5-16 years

Location: CJ’s Skatepark 560 Hensall Circle, Mississauga, ON L5A 1Y1 905-272-6888

3.  Pedalheads Bike Camps

Set your child on the path to a lifelong love of riding with Pedalheads! You’ll be amazed at how quickly your child picks up the skills to be safe and competent on their bike. From training wheels to trails, Pedalheads provides safe, fun and challenging bike camps for children aged 4-12.  Since 1995 they have taught over 200,000 children to ride, using their own Pedalheads® teaching method, combined with small classes and exceptional instructors. They teach beginners right up to competent riders the skills they need to succeed on the trails and the streets.

Age: 4-12 years

Locations: Toronto – Bloor West: James Culnan Catholic School, 605 Willard Avenue and Sait James Separate School,

Etobicoke: Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Blvd

Etobicoke: St. Gregory Elementary, 126 Rathburn Road

Cost:  Full Day $439, Half Day $249.  Before and after care available.

Would you like to win tickets to The Baby Show, Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting event this Spring?

The Baby Show is Toronto’s premium pregnancy and early parenting event for expectant moms, new parents and families with babies. It takes place Saturday, April 6, 2019, 9am to 6pm and Sunday, April 7, 2019 – 10am to 5pm at the Enercare Centre, Hall B, Exhibition Place (100 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto)

Tickets are $15 online – but you can save $3 with our exclusive Baby Show promo code MC2019 (Kids 12 and under are free.)

Better yet, enter to win a set of 2 tickets here.  Contest closes April 2, 2019.  Winner will be contacted via email.

With over 250 brands, national and local exhibitors, The Baby Show highlights include:

Toddler Fun

Watch your little ones’ faces light up as they get face to face with one of their favourite characters! Attend three very special meet & greets throughout the show weekend with Peppa Pig +& George, Ranger Rob & Stomper and PJ Masks!

Saturday

PJ Masks 9:30am – 12:30pm

Ranger Rob & Stomper 1pm – 4pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Sunday

PJ Masks 10am – 1pm

Ranger Rob & Stomper 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Peppa Pig + George 2pm – 5pm

Photo opportunities, colouring sheets, hugs and so many smiles!

Medix College Tranquility Spa

Designed for both prenatal and postnatal massage, Medix College wants to give you some relief! Did you know that massage can help you sleep better and can also reduce fluid retention and swelling? Stop by and receive a complimentary massage!

Babies R Us Seminar Stage

Plan your visit and hear local and national parenting experts speak on a variety of topics ranging from what parents need to know about breastfeeding to starting solids. All speakers are also available for question and answer periods after their talks. Visit our website for a complete schedule. 

Health & Wellness Mat

Take part in an Access Ballroom dance class! Learn about infant massage, how yoga can help you during birth and how to help your pelvic floor and more from top experts.

Safety 1st Product & Safety Stage

This stage offers an introduction to cloth diapering, sleep solutions, car seat safety as well as babyproofing your home seminars!

Pampers Swaddlers Baby Change Station

A safe and clean area to change baby, moms and dads will have the opportunity to learn all about the NEW Pampers Swaddlers Collection and more! Parents will leave the show with a special sample bag filled with Pampers goodies to try at at home!

The Pampers Photography Studio

From expecting mother and fathers to doting grandparents, attendees can have their photo taken and leave The Baby Show with a special memento of their time!

Etsy Junior Area

A dedicated area on the show floor for select exhibitors showcasing handmade, local products from brands found on Etsy.

Sleep Clinic

Free sleep consultations from the sleep experts at KinderSleep! Consultants will be ready to help you with your sleep concerns and answer all of your questions.

Munchkin Milkmakers Lactation Lounge

Visit with a lactation consultant and try out a new lactation cookie. Every cookie is delicious, nutritious and packed with ingredients traditionally used to support breast milk supply.

3D Ultrasounds

Visit the Tiny Hearts booth for your very own 3D Ultrasound, performed on site, all weekend!

Speaker Series Highlights:  

Ann Douglas:  Happy Parents Happy Kids

Dr. Jack Newman:  What your health provider should know about breastfeeding!

Allison Martineau:  Feeding Your Baby: Introducing Solids 

Margaret Wallis-Duffy:  New Mom’s Holistic Health Toolbox

Dr. Sarah Mickeler:  Practical Tips for an Easier Birth & Better Pregnancy

Dr. Harvey Karp:  Happy Babies

Are you looking for some fun activities to do with your child in Toronto this March Break?  Here are some of my favourite Kid Friendly March Break Activities in Toronto in 2019!

1.  SpringFest TO

SpringFest TO (formerly known as Wizard World) offers Toronto families an indoor fun park with the latest in children’s entertainment, games and activities.

With over 25 mechanical and inflatable rides, food vendors, a little tots area for kids under 5, arts and crafts, and 4 daily Children’s Shows.  The best part is the all-inclusive pass, which allows your little ones to go on as many rides and inflatables as they’d like.

Now in it’s 17th year, the event runs March 10-17 at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place.  Get your tickets here.

2. PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue” 
It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. PAW Patrol to the rescue! Using their unique skills and teamwork, the pups show that “no job is too big, no pup is too small,” and share lessons for all ages about citizenship, social skills and problem-solving as they make several heroic rescues on their race to the finish line.

The show takes place at The Sony Centre in Toronto March 15-17, and we’re giving away 4 tickets for you and your family to see the show!  Enter here.

For more info about the live stage show and how to get tickets, you can visit https://www.pawpatrollive.com/city/toronto-on-rtr/. If you want tickets now, use the discount code “ALLIED” to receive 25% off!

 

3.  Toronto Comicon

Toronto Comicon is offering fans of all ages three days of discovery and adventure in a newly expanded Family Zone at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 15-17, 2019. Now bigger and better than ever with over 10,000 sq. ft. of nonstop programming and its own dedicated event stage, the Family Zone invites guests of all ages to explore comics, sci-fi, cosplay, anime and gaming in an interactive environment dedicated to fandom.

Learn about the seafaring life in Pirate School; enjoy the full Hogwarts treatment with a Sorting Hat Ceremony and Quidditch Matches organized by Quidditch Canada; get up close and personal with the world’s newly discovered dinosaur, Zuul Presented by the ROM; build your very own Lightsabers and much more.

Single Day Child and Youth Passes and All Access Family Passes, valid for two adults and up to four children, are available now at comicontoronto.com/tickets.4.  Explore the ROM this March Break!

4.  Explore the ROM this March Break!

Learn what it’s like to be part of a research expedition at Field Camp ROM. Explore field techniques, specialized tools and technologies, and camp life with ROM scientists.  Enjoy ROM Storytime,  engage in some friendly competition at the ROM GameZone, and learn about the joys of camping with program partner Parks Canada.  For more information, visit www.rom.on.ca.

 

 

5.  Kids Break Events At Indigo

Wondering what to do with your older kids this March Break? Our friends at Indigo, Chapters and Coles have some amazing free programs happening daily – check them out here (and be sure to check your local store to make sure they are participating) 
 
MONDAY MARCH 11 AT 11AM – CRAFT WITH KLUTZ | AGES 4+
 
TUESDAY MARCH 12 AT 11AM – COLLECTORS CLUB | AGES 6+
 
WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 AT 11AM – BUILD WITH LEGO® | AGES 5+
 
THURSDAY MARCH 14 AT 11AM – ARTS & CRAFTS | AGES 5+
 
FRIDAY MARCH 15 AT 11AM – PRESCHOOL PALS | AGES 3+

Your family is growing and you need a home that can grow with you. So, as you start thinking about your impending move, you’re left with the lingering question “should I buy first or sell first?”

“While there is no ‘right’ answer, it’s important to know the potential pros and cons of both options,” says RECO Registrar Joseph Richer. “Regardless of whether you buy first or sell first, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan in case your closing dates don’t align, leaving you with two homes, or no home,  for a period of time.”

Speaking with your registered real estate professional before starting the buying or selling process can help you decide which route is better suited to your family’s needs.

Buy first

Buying first can make the house hunting experience more enjoyable. Without a closing date looming on your existing home, you’ll have time to wait until the right home comes up for sale. It can also be less stressful knowing that if your offer is unsuccessful, you can wait for the next opportunity to come up.

The downside to buying first is if you are unable to sell your home fast enough, you will find yourself owning two homes at once. The result could mean paying two mortgages at the same time, not to mention all the other costs of home ownership. Additionally, you may have trouble securing a mortgage for the new home.

As a buyer with an existing home to sell, you can protect yourself by making your offer conditional on the sale of your current home. That means if you’re unable to sell within a specified period of time, you’re able to back out of the transaction. However, it’s worth pointing out that this condition will likely make your offer less attractive to the seller, especially if you’re buying in an area with a hot market.

Sell first

The biggest benefit of selling first, aside from removing the risk of owning two homes at once, is you’ll know how much money the sale brought in, which will help determine how much you can afford to pay for the next place.

As helpful as that is to know, the challenge is that you’ll find yourself in a race against the clock, with your closing date looming and potentially no home to move into when you move out of your current one. If you’re not careful, you may end up rushing the buying process and settling for a home that isn’t ideal for you, or paying more than you planned because you feel pressured.

Have a contingency plan

Regardless of which route you choose, it’s a smart idea to have a back-up plan in place in case you are left with two homes, or no home, for a period of time.

If the sale of your home closes first, you might consider a short-term rental or moving in with family or friends. This could be better than settling for a less-than-ideal home because you are rushed.

If the purchase of your new home closes first, you might need something called “bridge financing” to cover the down payment and other closing costs until the sale of your current home closes.

“No matter which option you choose, it’s important to remember that a registered real estate professional is knowledgeable about market conditions and will offer advice and solutions to guide you through the process,” says Richer. “They will be able to discuss various scenarios to make sure you have realistic expectations about what may happen and help you come up with a plan that works for you and your growing family.”

 

There’s a lot of information out there about market trends and how to get the best price, but you also need to know about your rights and responsibilities as a home buyer or seller.  The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) can help you with that.

When it comes to real estate transactions, the more you know, the better you’re protected. Visit RECO’s website to learn more.

Check out some more helpful articles including 4 must-do tips before you start the home buying process, as well as the 5 questions you should ask before selecting a real estate representative.

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