COVER STORY — RAISING TORONTO
Eight Toronto families tackling the challenges of raising kids in the big city
The parents: Grant van Gameren, chef/owner of Bar Isabel, & Sunny Stone, metal worker and chef on mat leave Home: Detached house in Trinity Bellwoods Kids: Wylie van Stone, nine months
What has it been like so far having a baby in the city?
Sunny: We had a midwife for the birth. The midwife was amazing; the follow-up care was unbelievable. There were a lot of babies this year at my GP. They just did a whole group together for their checkups, and then individually at the end you see a doctor.
What’s the biggest headache about city life?
Grant: Parking sucks around here. I drive everywhere, mainly because at any given moment I need to rush somewhere. We pay for two cars to park, but there’s generally no parking on our street. I’ll just park on Dundas and hope to God I wake up at 8 a.m. Sometimes I’ll wake up and be so tired and pay for parking, but I got a ticket at 8:03 a.m. I’m constantly paying for parking.
Do you eat out as much since having a kid?
Grant: Since we had the baby, we eat at home 99 per cent of the time. Sunny was a professional chef for most of her career, so she cooks amazing dinners.
Have you had many dealings with child care yet?
Sunny: We’ve had three dates in nine months. We take him to every event, every restaurant opening. Daycare is so expensive here in Ontario. Babysitters start at $15 an hour. As it is, child care would be more than my annual salary.
Are there many neighbourhood programs accessible to parents?
Sunny: The Artscape has cool programs; I’ve taken him to the drop-in. Grant: I want to get him in the restaurants, washing dishes.