THE SUSTAINABLE TORONTO CITY GUIDE WITH KIDS
Preserving our environment is important but can be challenging in a big city. Toronto has been making strides and was ranked #2 by LEED as one of the greenest and most innovative cities in the world. Rebelstork is inspired by cool Toronto locales who are working towards better practices. Every step towards a more sustainable lifestyle counts. Here are some of our favorite sustainable (kid friendly) Toronto spots.
Where to Stay:
The Annex Hotel-
Rebelstork loves to check out the local hot spots and values places that fully welcome chaos (aka. Kids). The Annex Hotel is a fab option, it offers the perfect middle ground between a private Air BnB and luxurious full-service hotel. This trendy boutique hotel is newish to Toronto, nestled away in an inconspicuous alley in the heart of the Annex (a central and coveted hood.) It’s chic, it’s minimalist and it’s accented with works by mostly local artists. They offer an unconventional yet refreshing hands-off approach, with no physical front concierge. This makes it a great option for families who prefer to go unnoticed when travelling (massive temper tantrum in the lobby? No biggie!) The Lobby bar, which operates as a café by day and a wine bar at night, features an extensive list of rare, biodynamic organic wines from around the world. Bamboo straws only here, these guys are working hard towards a plastic free facility.
Rooms are cozy but entirely open concept so you can safely tuck your kid into a playard and still have clear sight lines from any angle. Looking to win a free nights stay? Get involved in one of their fun, kid friendly activities during the holidays.
One of the most buzzed about additions to the TO hotel circuit, the Hotel X combines luxury with a true focus on sustainability. Starting with the complimentary shuttle that runs regularly back and forth to Toronto Pearson Airport, the hotel places an emphasis on being green in every element of their business. With six green roofs to help reduce reflective heat radiation they have built the hotel to be highly energy efficient. It sits on 9 acres of land and has 6 gardens that are irrigated by collecting rain water. All of Hotel X’s food, aside from being delicious, is sourced from Ontario grown produce that incentivizes the local economy. They’ve also implemented a food composting and garbage compression program to minimize the transportation and volume of disposed waste, lowering carbon emissions. For the kids- well, they’ve just added a junior Olympic sized salt water rooftop pool for them enjoy in the summer time. Enough said!
Where to Eat:
Brunch: Harvest Kitchen
Located on Harbord street (a popular haunt for hip Toronto foodies) it is a tried and true brunch spot that features a farm to table style menu. Stacked with delicious dishes that offer options for vegetarians, vegans, gluten or dairy free eaters and carnivores alike. All food and produce that Harvest Kitchen sources is ethically raised. An emphasis is put on making their dishes affordable without compromising on quality. (We love that.) It’s a real community and family friendly vibe here.
Dinner: Annette Food Market
This west end gem is a must-visit. Annette Food Market is trendy and delicious yet intimate and totally unpretentious. Tucked away in the up and coming Junction neighbourhood, walking in feels like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure. It features a fab cocktail list and curated wine selections, and delicious Italian food that’s great for sharing. Their menu has some unique, interesting flavour combinations for the adults, and the basic staples for the kids. (What kid doesn’t love an authentic margherita pizza?) Annette sources their produce locally as much as possible and keeps it green with their minimal waste policy through food and drink preparation. Like many of our fave Toronto restaurants, they have eliminated plastic and have transitioned over to biodegradable straws.
Vegan– Hello 123
Vegans with kids, we have the perfect spot for you! This plant-based restaurant is a fantastic option for any meal of the day, and has an amazing cocktail list too. Offering a diverse menu of deceivingly delicious healthy food- the kids will think they’ve gone to heaven! (Once you’ve had the Hello Burger you’ll never go back.) Plus, you can’t beat the location, which is right in the heart of queen west, arguably Toronto’s coolest neighbourhood. Take advantage of the prime people-watching seats if you’re lucky enough to snag a spot on their cute side patio. Feeling full? walk it off with a family stroll through the infamous Trinity Bellwoods park, which is just a few blocks down the street.
Dessert: Dough TO
How to stop a screaming kid? Head to Dough TO for a scoop of guilt-free cookie dough! That’s right, the ingenious mavens behind this new Queen West pop up have created a safe to eat raw cookie dough, with an egg free and heat-treated flour recipe so you can enjoy your dough without the health risks and tummy ache. (Or take it home and bake it into cookies!) These guys offer both Vegan and Non-Vegan flavours.
Mom’s Afternoon Off:
Looking for an alternative experience? Escape into tranquility at this unique Meditation and Salt Cave spa, which offers Light and Dark Guided Meditations. We particularly recommend taking a load off in the salt cave, which contains over 6 tonnes of raw Himalayan Pink Crystal salt. This all-natural, ancient treatment has been used for centuries to reduce stress and anxiety, relax the body, cleanse the skin, and strengthen immune function. (Literally the perfect “get away from me everyone” escape.) You’re also given a noise cancelling headset that provide a selection of guided meditations and relaxing ambient music to further enhance the experience.
The Detox Market–
This Toronto based beauty and skincare store carries a selection of chemical-free products for both parents and kids. The Detox Market was born from a love for purity and an eagerness to support communities in their healthy, toxic-free lifestyles. We could spend hours in this store picking out some pampering natural, eco-friendly products for ourselves and kids. Definitely try this new Calm Down body wash. (I mean, we could all use a little zen in our lives, right?)
Got an hour for some retail therapy? VSP offers Haute couture for HOT prices. This gem carries a carefully curated selection of luxury fashion consignment for the designer fashion lover on a sensible budget. (Plus, slow fashion and buying vintage is like, so hot right now.)
Treats for the Adults:
For those of you that enjoy a legal toke, this new age Canadian shop is already being coined “The Starbucks of Cannabis,” offering great coffee and cannabis combined. Each flagship marries third wave coffee with best in class smoking products, a carefully chosen selection that allows visitors to develop their perfect session. Take your pick of three Toronto locations, two of which are conveniently located in our favourite Queen West neighbourhood.
Got a sitter for the kids? Check out this amazing all organic wine bar on Queen West – the perfect spot for an after-dinner night cap (or 5).