Go: (Travel) - Amélie & Max

The Toronto City Guide for Families

Toronto Skyline

At 150 years young, Toronto is eager to celebrate Canada’s major milestone as a nation. Recently, Toronto was named one of the most multicultural cities on Earth by BBC Radio. With over 230 nationalities squeezed into the bustling metropolitan city of 6 million residents, the city is deserving of this distinction. And yes, the views are great from here.

Where to Eat

If diversity is the spice of life – come to Toronto hungry. During the 2016 NBA All-Star games players and sports commentators raved about the plethora of fine dining available across the city. There’s surely something to please the palates and pockets of everyone. 


169 Niagara St, Toronto | 416. 703. 4222| edulisrestaurant.com

This cozy West End restaurant is a Bon Vivant's dream. If you haven’t the time to take a coast-to-coast trip across Canada, the Edulis might suffice. The chef does brilliant things with fish and takes the humble heirloom tomato to championship levels. It’s a romantic choice for a date and a low-key spot for a stellar Sunday brunch.

Mushrooms from Edulis


1 Benvenuto Pl, Toronto, ON | 416.961.8011 | www.scaramoucherestaurant.com


Tucked away on Avenue Road and St. Clair Avenue West, 37-year old Scaramouche Pasta Bar & Grill is a Toronto institution. If you’re looking for cutting edge cuisine, sorry, you’re not at the right place. Not exactly, anyway. Here, they specialize in classical cooking methods and ingredients with real integrity. Cue the celebrated coconut cream pie.

Calli Love

367 King St W, Toronto, ON | 416. 791. 5683 | caliilove.com

Calii Love

Led by Chef Joe Friday, Calii Love’s menu is inspired by Hawaiian staples and positive vibes. It features a fresh, seamless combination of super food smoothies, coffee, vegan snacks, signature poké, and DIY bowls that can be topped with colourful ingredients that include blueberries, raspberries, pineapples and mangoes, for example.

The King Street location (a Yorkville post will be opening later in the spring) boasts a menu that offers healthy alternatives for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - all ingredients are sustainable and locally sourced, delivered daily to support farmers and communities.

Fish is delivered twice a day to ensure quality and freshness. Calii Love’s refined, minimalistic design is an arranged marriage of Californian sensibility and Hawaiian soul. The offspring this union produces is a warm and hospitable atmosphere; a feeling brought to life through welcoming pops of bold colour and animated art promoting health and wellness. This is one place where you’ll want to hang ten.


See & Do

TIFF Bell Lightbox

350 King St West | 416-599-8433 | www.tiff.net


Spring has sprung in the city and TIFF International Kids Film Festival is in full bloom. The annual event continues until April 23, 2017 and is a delight for both kids and kidults.

The award-winning digiPlaySpace exhibition is also opened during the festival (runs until April 23). At digiPlaySpace, kids, families and educators will discover a curated, interactive playground that includes multi-player installations and learning-centric videogames, robotics, a camp ground of mobile apps for preschoolers to indulge in, green screen escapades of Canadian landscapes and wildlife, and hands-on activities from acclaimed Canadian and international new media artists. With 23 installations from eight countries, digiPlaySpace showcases the evolution of play in the 21st century. Visitors can collaborate with friends and family to inspire creativity through playful, innovative, and educational installations.

Robots at TIFF

TIFF kicked off the heralded kids’ festival with a blue carpet and the guests of honour were Smurfs: The Lost Village director Kelly Asbury and a Smurf. “I think this movie is for families and everyone. I really don’t make a movie with any group in mind. I just sort of just try to make a movie that I hope people will enjoy. At the bottom of it all, it’s about entertainment. I feel like I’m in the entertainment business and I want as many people as possible to enjoy the film. If they walk away with a message that’s fantastic,” said Asbury during opening night. The festival is aimed at children, however, there’s something here for everyone.

During the screenings a jury of kids critique each film with an astuteness that rivals any adult. For attendees screenings include a unique opportunity to engage in discussions with filmmakers and special guests to delve deeper the film’s ideas, themes, and the film making process. TIFF Kids is family time well spent.


Ontario Science Centre

770 Don Mills Rd, Toronto, ON | 416. 696.1000 | www.ontariosciencecentre.ca

Energy Show at The Ontario Science Centre

The Ontario Science Centre, a centennial project, celebrates Canada 150 and Ontario 150 in style by offering three original, thought‐provoking experiences to inform, engage and inspire you. , Canada 150:  Discovery Way, an installation that celebrates Canadian innovation and ingenuity in science and in everyday life. There is also The Energy Show, a theatrical modernization of the Ontario Science Centre’s iconic electricity demonstration.

You won’t want to miss Canada 150: Discovery Way, an exhibit that highlights the uniquely Canadian stories behind transformational inventions and innovations, from the far reaches of space to common household items. Researched, designed and fabricated in‐ house by the Science Centre’s scientists, designers, writers and craftspeople, Canada 150: Discovery Way emphasizes the curiosity, critical thinking and courage required for scientific discoveries. Through 22 notable artifacts, ranging from the hockey mask to the flight recorder, and from the original Jolly Jumper to the Blackberry pager, you’ll be astonished at the contributions Canadians have made to modern society.

If you’re up for hair raising adventure head over to the Electricity Demonstration at The Energy Show. Through interactive investigation, experimentation and collaboration, audiences will learn about renewable and non‐renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and fossil fuels, to deepen their understanding of the essential roles of energy generation, transmission and storage.   Guided by an Ontario Science Centre presenter, audiences will assist with energy‐related research by making hypotheses, conducting experiments, uploading data and testing very unique equipment, including a seven‐foot, 500,000‐volt Tesla coil, a captivating Faraday cage and a hair‐raising Van de Graaff generator.

Explore the concept of animals and plants as machines at the Biomechanics: The Machine interactive exhibit. This interactive exhibition provides visitors with an insight into the incredible characteristics that living things – including humans – display every day based on centuries of evolution and adaptation. The exhibition is on now until May 7, 2017.




July 29, 2016

Amber Mac ›   kids ›   nintendo ›   Petit Nomad ›   tech ›   travel ›  

The Ultimate Guide to Family Road Trips: Part 1

Road trip season has arrived! Are you ready? In the first instalment of this three-part series we're going to discuss must-have gadgets for your next trip. We've teamed up with tech expert Amber Mac to share with you her top five tech essentials to get you through your next family road trip. These tips are not just great for summer, but anytime you find yourself on the road with munchkins.

1. Kid-friendly Headphones

LilGadgets Headphones

Designed by parents, loved by tiny humans. LilGadget offers high-quality headphones specially designed for sensitive little ears. These colourful headphones are made for children ages 3-8. What we love about them is that they are light, durable, and are comfortably padded.


•  built-in shareport that can be connected to an additional pair of headphones          without  additional splitters

•  maximum volume of 93 db

•  a padded, fixed-earcup design that helps reduce ambient noise so that even in loud situations, kids won't need to max out the volume; therefore, extending battery life and preserving their hearing

LilGadgets are available in Connect + (wired) or Untangled Pro (bluetooth) models are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

2. Gamers Paradise

Nintendo 3DS XL

Keeping the littles occupied during your road trip is a must if you want to preserve your sanity. This is where Nintendo 3DS XL comes in. The system offers one of the best on-the-go gaming experience for kids, giving them access to their favourite characters -- possibly yours too --  like Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Link, and Pikachu. You don't need to have access to WiFi to play either.


•  parental controls allow parents to manage what their kids can access on their system

•  face tracking 3D, which will immerse you in game worlds that you have to see to believe. If this becomes too much you can always turn off the 3D feature for two-dimensional viewing.

•  the ability to take 3D photos, create 3D movies, and view AR Cards that bring characters to life.

•  the added fun of amiibo, which give you access to bonus items, unique content and/or the ability to customize your character with amiibo-compatible games.

3. Road Ready Apps

Amber is a fan of Trekaroo, a free iPhone app that helps on-the-go families discover kid-appropriate activities, hotels, restaurants and pit-stops based on your current location. User generated reviews submitted by the growing trekaroo.com community share tips, recommendations, and advice on the best and worst places to take children.


•  search for nearby kid-friendly activities, hotels, and restaurants

•  read reviews from Trekaroo's network of travel savvy parents

•  access directions, hours of operation, and constant information for destinations

4. Listen to Podcasts

If they radio selection has got you down or you've run out of songs to sing, tune into a podcast. Here are three of Amber's fave picks for kids:

•  Brains On! A weekly science podcast co-hosted by kid scientist and reporters from public radio who offer unique insights on a variety of scientific subjects, such as gravity, space and anatomy

•  Storynory a British podcast that provides new family-oriented audio stories every week. You'll enjoy fairy tales to myths to adventures to original stories all beautifully narrated by Natasha Gotswick.

• The Old Time Superman Show rebroadcasts the classic 1940s Superman radio show. Each episode is approximately 20 minutes in length.

5. Power Central

Nothing is worse than running out of battery power while you are on the road. To avoid this disappointment, BESTEK offers the space-saving BESTEK 200W Car Cup Power Inverter. Yep. It looks just like a coffee cup to fuel you for the day. The cup holder power inverter gives you two AC outlets, two USB charging ports and a 12V cigarette lighter socket so you can charge up to five devices at the same time.

Fave Nintendo Games

Kirby: Planet Robobot


Brand new Nintendo 3DS family game is backed by one of his most technologically advanced 3D adventures to date. Jump into Kirby's powerful Robobot Armoujer to life heavy objects with ease, scan enemies, gain abilities and transform into new Modes to complete a wide variety of creative stages. The game is full of features new to the series.  

6. Stash It


If you want to keep your car or RV nice and organized get a Car Organizer from Petit Nomad. There's a pocket for just about everything. You can place a your Nintendo games and console in the tablet holder, stash books, headphones, crayons in the pockets, too.  


November 12, 2015

Toronto ›   Travel ›  

Country Strong: Family Time at Toronto’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Respect is well deserved when someone won’t quit just because they broke their right hand. That’s exactly what cowboy Ty Parkinson did last Sunday afternoon in front an excited crowd of thousands at Toronto’s 93rd annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

After falling off a raging bull, he simply got off, asked to have his hand taped during the rodeo show, and continued to compete. CBC Television star Amber Marshall and her co-host looked on in amazement as they marveled at his determination. Or, maybe insanity? In any event, he was in the running for first place along with Canadian Ty Ewart.

Parkinson traveled all the way from Australia and he wasn’t going home empty handed – broken hand – but at least not empty handed. Wow. It paid off though. In just a little over 16 seconds the man from “Down Under” won the rodeo competition.

Canada's Cowgirl Amanda Marshall at Toronto's Royal Winter Fair

The Royal Winter Fair is a Childhood Tradition

Going to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a childhood tradition. I think every kid in Ontario has gone on a school trip at one point during his or her formative years. I remember always loving my taste of the country life during my visits. The sites, the sounds. It was always a fun and educational day. It’s even more magical now that I have my child to share the experience with.

The Fair is a big deal as it attracts visitors and participants from across Canada and around the world (over 300,000 people a year). In fact it is the world’s largest combined indoor and outdoor agricultural and equestrian show.

Bull Riding at Toronto's Royal Winter Fair

What to Expect

  • More than 5,000 animals will be on display including beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, swine, and fancy birds - all competing for the title of Royal Champion.
  • The President’s Choice Animal Theatre will showcase the talents and contributions that working animals make to our lives with 10 hours of programming daily
  • President's Choice Superdogs, Goats on the Go, Spirit of the Horse, 4-H rabbit jumping, sheep herding and Jack Russell races.
  • Daily food competitions
  • Fantastic kids area and petting farm

Schedule of Events

Check out the schedule for specific event dates and times.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs until Sunday, November 15th.

Tickets prices range from free (children 3 and under) to $56.

Honestly, this fair is a sight to behold. Go!

Visit www.royalfair.org for more information.