The Toronto Star recently published an article Downtown baby boom sparks new kind of traffic jam with a new analysis of the recently released 2016 census data showing that the number of young kids in downtown Toronto is soaring. Being a soon to be parent in the city I find this very interesting, especially because I grew up in the suburbs (Burlington, ON) and my husband grew up in the city. We have many friends that are in similar situations with growing families and a lack of space.
My doula is from the U.S, Pittsburgh and owned a house and recently sold it and still don’t have enough to buy a condo or house in Toronto. Instead they choose to share a house with another family and rent out the basement which includes a large backyard and bbq, but if and when they have another kid, they have two already, they’ll need to look at their options, for now they enjoy living in a good neighbourhood and having the additional income to spend on activities for them and the kids. Another couple we know have been looking and looking for a 2-3 bedroom apartment, condo or house and moved in with their in-laws in order to give themselves time to find the right place. A three bedroom in Toronto at a reasonable price is hard to find, that’s for sure.
According to the article the Niagara neighbourhood, an area that includes condo towers around Fort York and part of Liberty Village, the number of young kids has more than doubled along with the overall population.
In another article, Why we’re raising our kids in a condo, they talk about the benefits of raising kids within condos in the city, but they don’t mention the cost, condo fees can be as much as your rent or even more depending on the amenities so that’s not always an option for young families struggling with the housing market.
Childcare is a whole other situation, I was told as soon as I became pregnant that I should put myself on daycare lists but the truth of the matter is that unless you make over $100,000 or less than $20,000 you are stuck in the middle of a little-subsidized middle income category that makes it not worth paying for full time daycare. Luckily Toronto Children’s Services has just released a 10-year child care growth strategy. We plan to use our immediate resources including family, friends and perhaps find another mom in the area willing to take on a child for a day or two, personally I’d rather support a family than a daycare facility with a waiting list and a bunch of kids but I’m saying this now, pre-kid, we’ll see how things turn out because either way I’ll have to go back to work in a year for the income.
Although I miss the wide open spaces of the suburbs, I enjoy the hustle bustle and diversity of the city. Because we live in the west end (West of Dufferin) and have a car, I often choose to drive west of the city for shopping and excursions and I am lucky enough to have family in Burlington and Milton with large properties and pools that I can visit…the best of both worlds. We’re staying in our one bedroom condo while the baby is young and sleeping in our room and we’re on a waiting list for a two bedroom. We’re looking forward to connecting with other city families and taking advantage of local programs, parks and recreational activities which I’m sure I will find and write about..so local mamas, stay in touch 🙂