Whether she’s pushing a stroller, pulling a wagon, bike-chauffeuring or wearing her little one in a sling, when a Toronto mama passes one of her own kind as she makes her way down the busy city streets, expect a warm smile or a knowing nod; after all, we are all in this together. We know the sacrifices we’ve made to remain living within city limits with our kids. Is it super convenient? No. Is it worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely.
So in case you need a reminder… here’s how to know for sure if you’re a bonafide downtown mama:
1. It freaks you out when people tell you they’re giving birth somewhere other than Mt. Sinai or Sunnybrooke.
2. You are suddenly appalled by the serious lack of wheelchair accessible subway stations on the TTC.
3. You can’t plan play dates with anyone who doesn’t live in your neighbourhood because traffic is so bad that by the time you get to their house, your kid has to nap again.
4. You get jealous when you find out that your friends have a new LCBO within walking distance of their house.
5. You get excited at the end of winter when the temperature hits the -5 mark because you can finally go for a walk with your baby without him getting frost bite.
6. Your favourite gifts come in Jacadi boxes or Advice from a Caterpillar bags.
7. You purchased a compact stroller so you would be able to easily get in and out of narrow coffee shop doorways.
8. You bring your baby to brunch – because NOTHING is getting between you and your grapefruit mimosa.
9. You’re buddies with the girl who works at your local fresh pressed juice spot.
(oh hey there Jessica at The Raw Chemist!)
10. Come hell or high water, your brows are going to look fresh.
11. Your baby daddy has a beard.
12. Everyone thinks you do yoga for the health benefits, but really, your yoga studio is just the only place you can go and experience an hour and a half of uninterrupted silence.
(My silent escape is Breathe Yoga Studio in The Junction)
13. You shed a tear of joy when Uber Eats launched and you could order tacos from literally anywhere you want while your baby holds you hostage during normal eating hours.
14. You anxiously await the SALE e-mails from mini mioche.
15. Your baby has been to Florida 3 times before his first birthday because one of your friends or family members has a vacation pad there.
16. Your idea of going to the park is less jungle gyms and more laying out a blanket in Trinity Bellwoods with your buds.
17. Your nursery is curated with little treasures found at the many little shops you pop into during your strolls around the city (these CANNOT be compared to Pottery Barn grabs, sorry).
18. When you’ve run out of Mum Mums, your go-to baby snacks include gluten free oatmeal and date cookies from the bakery around the corner.
19. Your baby sees *actual* firetrucks, ambulances, cop cars and street cars on a daily basis – Not just the ones in pop up books.
20. You are obsessed with baby wearing.
21. You get REALLY excited when you see a new stop-gap ramp leading up to the doorway of your favourite shop or restaurant.
22. You have accepted the reality of summer construction and now look at the random detours as a forced (but welcome) change of scenery.
23. You develop a knot in your stomach when you realize you’re coming up to a section of “THE PATH” that is not wheelchair accessible.
24. You say a little prayer before your streetcar approaches in hopes that a friendly stranger will help you hoist you stroller up the steps.
25. You are super grateful for parks and the free city programs at libraries, community centres and drop-ins because they allow your kid to go wild without completely destroying your 1000sq.ft home.
26. You find it appalling when there is no handicap button on any given door; you find it even more appalling when people watch you struggle to maneuver your stroller through entryways without offering to help (luckily, this is actually quite uncommon because Torontonians are usually nice as hell).
27. You know which restaurants have high chairs and/or you have a portable one that comes EVERYWHERE with you.
28. When people comment on how un-baby-friendly the city is, you don’t even argue with them. Instead, you let them keep living in the ‘burbs and pray they never find out how amazing it is to raise a kid in Toronto – we don’t need any more potential home buyers driving up the cost of real estate around here!
Can you think of any more tell-tale Toronto Mama signs? I’d love to hear them! Feel free to leave your additions to the list in the comments!