metro mama

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Toronto the Good, Part 1: The Arts

One of the things I will explore on this blog is why I think it best to raise Cakes in the city (reasons beside the fact the city is better for us and happier parents make for a happier baby).

One of the biggest advantages of the city, in my opinion, is the access to the Arts. I grew up in a small town with one movie screen. My parents didn’t (and still do not) have a great deal of interest in the Arts themselves, but they did make an effort to expose me to some degree. They enrolled me in ballet, guitar lessons, and art classes; however, the offerings in a small town were very limited.

In my twenties, I discovered a love of the Arts. Toronto was a bonanza, the extent of which I didn’t fully appreciate until I moved here.

It is very important to me that Cakes be exposed to as much as possible. She can decide what she likes and doesn’t like. I don’t want to force things on her or make her days jam-packed with activity.

I can’t wait to see her reactions to new experiences. Oh, the places we’ll go…

The theatre. Big, beautiful Mirvish productions. I can’t wait to see her eyes widen at the spectacle. Pay-what-you-can Shakespeare. We'll take a picnic to the comedies at Dream at High Park and the lesser known plays at Shakespeare in the Rough. We’ll check out the quirky Fringe Fest shows (age-appropriateness permitting). There is so much great theatre in Toronto--we will take in as much of it as we can.

Dance. The Nutcracker every Christmas. Free ballet by the water at Harbourfront. Hip-hop classes (something else we can do together?)

Literature. Readings by her favourite authors. Shopping for new books at The Word on the Street festival.

Music. The TSO. Our brand spanking new Opera House. Broken Social Scene at Olympic Island. The Beaches Jazz Fest. Christmas choirs at Massey Hall. I will even suffer through children’s concerts.

The visual arts. I want her to have a membership at the AGO. Perhaps we can take some sort of class together--I am woefully ignorant on this topic.

Film. Foreign films on small screens. The Toronto Film Fest.

I know some of this stuff is expensive but there is also a lot for free. Plus, it is all about priorities. We may not have cable but dammit, we’ll have opera tickets.

We’re also surrounded by art in our community. There are many galleries nearby. Artists live here--our next-door neighbour is a sculptor; the next door houses an actor.

There is so much here to offer her. I hope she’ll have more interest in the concert hall than the computer screen. I think her world will be so much richer with these treasures at her fingertips. I’m sure she will find something to be passionate about and her own creativity will be nurtured.

I also hope someday we will enjoy all of these things as adults, and friends, and she will open my eyes to new experiences.

I hope this city can bring joy to her life.



Blogger Her Bad Mother said...


I so agree. City life is so rich for children. And TO has a wonderful bounty. So we'll be seeing each other at Word on the Street, at Harbourfront, etc, etc... :)

11:00 PM  
Blogger Mother Bumper said...

yes yes yes!!!!!!! I can't wait until I can take bump to sprockets (the film fest for kids) AGO, ROM etc... heck! I should be doing it now!!!! If I get to meet you at the next TO mom get together (a la HBM) let's trade ideas. Who knows.. maybe we can hit some together.

9:43 AM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

bumblebee, as you well know, will also be a city kid. i am already excited for her first concert (dear goddess, please don't let it be the wiggles - or hillary duff!), first wide-eyed glimpse of the dinosaurs at the ROM, first shriek of delight when her hands plunge into wet clay, and all the other gleefully-arty things we expose her to.
she already seems to have a great affinity for interpretive-dance, yoko ono-inspired singsong, and drama.

9:49 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

I love TO for the exact same reasons. AND there are so many wonderful cultural arts festivals too in the different communities around the city. And the distillery district always has something wonderful happening lately.

I hope this city brings as much joy to my son's life too!!

8:30 PM  
Blogger petite gourmand said...

I couldn't agree more,
Toronto the good.
so much to see and do.
I wanted to see broken social scene but can't imagine bringing the wee one with us...bravo to you for wanting to include your little urbanite.
enjoy the show, I'm sure it will be amazing.

9:22 PM  
Blogger the mad momma said...

i dont know abt city life being richer.. but I do agree that i want my son to grow up and appreciate the arts. I tolerate sports and i know he will be highly influenced by his sporty father, but i pray every night for him to learn to appreciate the best life has to offer and most importantly... to be an aware and sensitive person....

3:04 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

yeah, we haven't been doing lots of cultural enrichment yet (mostly because lugging a stroller full of kid around has so far not appealed much) but I too am excited by the prospect of introducing her to these same things that my parents took me to as a kid.

3:59 PM  

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