OT: Family-friendly items and places in the Toronto area??? :)

So I decided to take my family (kid is 6-7 years old) to Toronto for a couple of days in June as we finally got her a passport. I know there’s a lot of folks on here that are from the area. What would you do with a small child in a big city? Don’t care if it involves walking, riding a tram, etc. We’re still in the process of game planning hotels, but would also take recommendations on that, too :slight_smile:

Hilariously, I only know of spots from John and Wai talking about what they do w/their children…

I don’t live there but went to Summerslam 2019 and I thought the aquarium was the coolest thing I did all weekend.

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Ripley’s Aquarium

Toronto Zoo

Go to Niagara Falls for a day (lots of family friendly stuff around Clifton Hill).

Canada’s Wonderland

Ontario Science Centre

Medieval Times

Let me keep thinking…

Science centre
Blue mountain
Blue jays game
Museum of illusions

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My kids are 9/4. Feel free to DM if you want specific stuff or some discounts to these places. It’s a fun place in the summer. Even just walking downtown by the water lots going on

Oh my goodness, this feels like it was a softball question for you all :slight_smile:

Hey Alex, what’s “ROM and AGO”?

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Royal Ontario museum
Art gallery of Ontario

ROM is a great museum. I remember childhood memories of going there myself.

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Also the CN tower with the glass floor is fun

Kids too young for edge walk I think.

Niagara is probably a must see despite the drive

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All, I count 13 spots in about 4 hours of time. I legit can just easily pick 4 of these and have two days “booked”. Thank you so much!


A hilarious update: we booked our trip for next week. Looks like it’s going to rain every day we’ll be there. Appropriate :slight_smile:

Happy there’s some indoor recommendations given and if it’s wet in Niagara then I guess it’s fine as it’s a waterfall anyways!

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Canadian weather reports are kind of like wrestling shows — card subject to change, pal. Hopefully that all clears up for you and your family.

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The science centre and triplets aquarium and CN Tower are indoors

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Hope you guys (are) enjoying the trip!

Thank you! We just got here and can’t wait to actually enjoy ourselves, even if it’s wet all week.

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My family and I thought Little Canada was really cool if you’re looking for an indoor activity.


Just to give a report:

Toronto was…not amazing, but also not bad. The best way to describe it? If you have visited Chicago, you “know” what Toronto is like. My biggest highlights:


  • Thanks to now a decade of listening the city identifications were very easy.
  • Canada, or at least Ontario, is basically cashless. I recall John talking about just carrying around his phone. We brought about $250 in cash and have…$250 in cash. The cash is beautiful, to note.
  • Stayed in Brampton and that was a regular 'ol working-class city. Having a child and wanting to drive around made staying in Toronto a bit hard.
  • IT’S EXPENSIVE. I knew of the near 30% discount being American, but nobody told me that a bottle of say aspirin at the Brampton Walmart was $5…and would be about $2 in America.
  • As an American you are told that Canada has “large immigration”. It’s code word for INDIAN. Many times I thought Indians were the majority w/Asians being second. I loved it. It’s truly like the large increase of those from Mexico in America.
  • Driving was city-like, except I felt there were many spots that had bottlenecks for zero reason.


  • There’s a place called Wah G Wah and I could eat there every day. Very good. Family hated it.
  • I love fries. Canada loves fries more than me. So many places where you could get fries. Very RANDOM places that served fries as well! Wah G Wah was an example! I think McDonalds had like a Marsala blend.
  • Poutine…overrated. EXCEPT from Costco. Yep, I read online that Costco had some of the best and I agree. I probably tried about 5 variations (including on our first day a joint that had many locations specializing in Poutine) and frankly most of them were nasty.


  • Thursday Blue Jay game got veto’d (child) but made up for it by roaming around the burbs
  • Niagra Falls literally poured on us while we were doing a boat ride. Cracked us up. (New York side is awful but had a good diner w/coffee in its name)
  • The Royal Botanical Gardens was a random choice and frankly was a magical place. I’m not a “botanical” person but I somehow always wind up in them and that one rivals Portland’s Rose Garden to me.
  • Science Center? My child loved that one. In fact, my kid likely was in a clip for Global as they were filming Native American affairs and they kept gushing about my kid and for us to watch later tonight. We didn’t as we couldn’t find the channel.
  • Museum of Illusions was the only BIG BUST. Where were were parked downtown we were legit between the two (Little Canada) with about an hour before the rain started. Kid chose the illusions over Little Canada.I should have overruled. I feel it likely would be enjoyable if it wasn’t busy, which probably never was the case.

Overall, it was a good time. Not life changing but also not awful. If we didn’t have a child we’d likely stayed downtown and maybe missed actually seeing the entire GTA. Had some good restaurants, had some bad. Had some good activities, had some bad. Weather was awful. People were friendly/people just didn’t care to care. Never felt in danger.

I’d recommend Toronto to other families. Thank you all for the recommendations as I never felt like we had to think about our next steps…it was always just if the weather and my now 1st grader agreed with it :slight_smile:


Canada is a tapestry of tons of cultures. And in places like Toronto especially, it makes for an amazing array of different cuisines and such.

There is a tremendous amount of South Asian transplants throughout the GTA, and I believe Brampton specifically has a big population.

Really depends on where you are. Here in Ottawa, there are huge Lebanese and Somali communities that have immigrated here over the last 30 year.

And I’m sure there are other random pockets across Ontario of different groups (and Canada as a whole.).

Nice review. It sounds like you got the full Brampton experience. Some of your observations are spot-on.