Written by Brooke Tucker-Reid
A few months ago, I was riding the subway after work en route to pick up my daughter from daycare. I overheard the guy behind me say, “My wife wants to stay downtown when we have the baby, but I think we should move to the ‘burbs. It’s so much easier to raise a baby there. The city is NOT baby friendly.”
I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my own brain. But I honestly couldn’t care less about his assumptions. After all, I know from experience how delightful raising a baby in the city can be.
Condo living for the win
Just like larger homes outside of the city, living in a condo building has its perks too. Not only do we have access to shared elements like an indoor swimming pool, gym and underground parking, but we don’t have to lift a finger to maintain them. Sure condo fees put a dent in our monthly income, but the less time we spend maintaining our home means we have more time to spend together.
Mat leave in the city
We only have one car in our household. I was dreading going stir crazy in our while I was on leave so while I was pregnant, I started researching low or no cost activities in my area. I was thrilled to learn we were in walking distance to three Ontario Early Year Centres, a community centre, a brand new library and a family yoga studio. My daughter and I had a drop-in program or class to take advantage of nearly every day of the week. My condo building has a Facebook group for parents where members arrange group play sessions in the party room. With all of these options, we wouldn’t have to go too far to interact with other sleep deprived humans, even in bad weather.
Daycare ups and downs
When I was pregnant, we were warned that getting into a daycare in Toronto was a brutal process. We were on three waitlists for nearly a year and luckily the only daycare we were accepted into was our top choice. It’s located across the street from our condo which makes pick-up and drop-off a breeze.
The suburban town I grew up in wasn’t very multicultural whereas Toronto is quite the opposite. My daughter is fortunate enough to benefit from the families and caretakers at the daycare who have diverse backgrounds. For example, she just learned about Chinese New Year and one of her favourite daycare lunches is chicken curry.
Coming full circle
Ironically, I found out Random Subway Guy and his wife live in my building. She’s still pregnant but I wonder how long they’ll stay. My advice to new parents: if you love living in the city, you don’t have to flee to suburbia just because you’re about to start a family. The experience can be wonderful if you do a little research and embrace it.
Did you raise your baby in the city? Why did you love it or hate it?