Last week, I decided to show my nephew around downtown Toronto for the first time. He just turned 10. He lives in suburbia (not Etobicoke – the real suburbs you need to take the GO Train to get to). When I asked him what he does when he comes to Toronto with his family, his response was, “Jays games. Pick my dad up from work. Pick you up.” Needless to say, my ideas for the day were wide open.
He’s at that age now where privacy and looking cool is a thing. I’ll keep the finite details of the day to ourselves. However, if you’re wondering how to keep a pre-tween entertained in Toronto for the first time, here are some ideas:
- Subway/Streetcar ride (kids under 12 ride free)
- CN Tower
- Toronto Sign
- Kensington Market
- Toronto – Chinatown
- Toronto – Queen West
- Harbourfront – Queen’s Quay
- Ferry ride
- Toronto Island
(not necessarily in that order)
It was fun being a tourist in my own city for a day. I saw Toronto through new eyes. I visited areas I normally have no reason to go to. The CN Tower (where I once worked for a summer and rode that elevator hundreds of times) was new and the view was special again. Missing a streetcar by 10 seconds made me laugh. I shrugged off a short delay on the subway with, “That’s Toronto!” instead of my usual response:
“Why couldn’t I take a cab?! For $6, my whole life could have changed.”
If you find yourself jaded, bored and all-around disgruntled by the big city you live in, show a kid around who’s never been there before. You’ll be surprised by how different the city looks and the adventure may conjure up some love for it again.