Kate from EmmettsABCs.com is today’s guest contributor:
Hi there! I’m Kate, the founder of Emmett’s ABCs. In my past life I’ve been a marketing professional, a brand strategist, and in corporate sales. And now? I’m a mom! But it wasn’t an easy path, and I’m the first to admit that in the beginning I was barely keeping my head above water! Emmett, our sweet, noisy, crazy, non-sleeping, rambunctious, little boy is the inspiration (and front line product tester) for Emmett’s ABCs. Let me tell you, when we had him, we were in deep… REAL DEEP. My level of sanity during those early days was directly correlated to the mamas in my life who had walked before me, who sweetly intervened and provided recommendations, reviews and suggestions, in a clear and thoughtful manner, to make my life easier. It’s that very sentiment that is the inspiration for Emmett’s ABCs. We’ve started walking this path, and are living the decisions every day. We’re always looking for the best baby and family products available, that make your life easier… and we want to share the insights with you
We hope you pop by, check us out, find some helpful info, and that we make your day a little brighter! We’re in this parenthood thing together, and we’ve got this!!!
I grew up in the country. In a little, bitty town that had all the fresh air and green space you could ever need, and I loved it.
School, work, life, and love all led to us transitioning to life in the city (my hubs grew up here!). We have a small corner of a beautiful Toronto neighbourhood that we call our own, and I can truly say that I love almost everything about living in the city… almost. I’ll admit, there’s the odd time when I crave some space. Some green space, with trees, grass and peace and quiet, that can seem hard to come by in a big city.
Our family loves getting outside to explore, walk (or run in a crazy circle if you’re our pup Finnegan), and take in the fresh air… so needless to say we’ve spent some time staking out some of the best green spaces in the city. Some that you might not have heard about! We’re deviating from our typical ABC review format today to talk ‘our top 3’, because we want to tell you about all of our fave spots! Read on.
1. Glendon Trail
This might be our absolute favourite. In fact, most weekends you can find us here early in the morning, with Em in his carrier, and Finnegan in tow, exploring the trail. It’s located just behind Sunnybrook Hospital, in the ravine behind York University’s Glendon campus… and if you didn’t know to look for it, you might never know it was there. There’s parking and a fenced in official off-leash dog park, but our favourite spot is the hiking trail. A kilometre in and you’ll feel like you’ve left the city altogether, and you’ll be exploring streams, wetlands, forest and trail along with the other joggers, hikers and four legged friends who’ve found this gem.
2. Riverdale Farm
We should start by explaining that this is a farm in the city. Yes, an actual working farm, in Toronto proper. I spent years living in Toronto before I knew it existed, and I’m soooo happy to have finally found it. It’s located just to the West of the Don Valley Parkway, just north of Gerrard, and it’s completely free to visit (however there’s an optional donation box at the entrance to help support ongoing costs of operating the farm). They have working barns, stables and paddocks, with cows, horses, ducks, goats and sheep… oh my! It’s the perfect size for toddlers who might not make it through a full day at the zoo, but would love an hour or two spent checking out the animals!
3. Evergreen Brickworks
You may have heard of the brickworks, and you may have even visited on a weekend to check out the awesome farmers’ market (if not, do it!). But some of the best kept secrets at Brickworks are the outdoor activities. In the winter, they have an outdoor (but sheltered) skating rink that winds through their evergreen gardens, and is covered in twinkle lights. If your fam loves to be on the ice, this rink is definitely worth checking out. The other brilliant part of the brickworks are the guided tours of the Don Valley trails. Toronto has the largest ravine system of any major city, and the brickworks team guides you through the wildlife, ecology and river systems surrounding their location so you can maneuver through the city ravines like a pro!
If you’re in our beautiful city, and are looking for a way to get your family outdoors, we really hope you check these places out – you won’t regret it. But more than anything, we hope this short list inspires you to explore your own city and find your own favourite green spaces… and when you do, share them with a friend, and with us!
Happy exploring, from our family to yours.
Kate & Emmett