We had a warm welcome on a chilly fall morning when we visited its current location on Bloor St. W at Shaw. (The Storefront was originally on Bathurst when it began bringing families together in the 70s.) We loved the spacious foyer and light-filled main floor with books, toys, crafts and an eating area. However, we ended up spending most of our time in the downstairs play space – more activities with the delicious scent of home cooking. While there is no structured programming (the beauty of dropping in), there is a meal schedule. Lunch (and dinner during the fall/winter hours) are offered for small price.
Stay, play, eat, connect. Need we say more?
Getting there: Driving, there is paid street ($1.50/hr) and Green P parking in the neighbourhood. On TTC, it’s located in between Ossington and Christie subway stations (FYI neither are accessible.) Stroller parking on site at the end of the building.
Low-down: Free. (Although not part of the Toronto Parenting & Family Literacy Centres or the Ontario Early Learning Centres.) Open weekdays except Mondays. Extended fall and winter hours started in October – 9 am to 6 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, closing at 2 pm on Fridays. Spring and summer hours start again in March – 9 am to 3 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, closing at 2 pm on Fridays. Shoe-free.
Eat: Nut-free environment. Lunch (11:30 am) and supper (as of 4 pm) are vegetarian (often gluten-free and dairy-free), made on site and served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for $5 for adults and $2.50 for kids.
Run: Lots of room to keep busy but no space to run. If you need to burn some energy, head outside and around the corner of Shaw to Irene Avenue Parkette pictured above. Christie Pits Park is just to the east.