Contact: Ontario Early Years Centres
Location: Contact for Details
This incredible free government-run program is an invaluable resource for new mamas. These neighbourhood drop-in centres provide an informal atmosphere for bedraggled moms to trade war stories about breastfeeding over coffee while babies (aged newborn to six) play on mats with educationally correct toys. There is circle time, reading programs, workshops (baby massage, infant first aid, etc.) and even field trips. Professional and easygoing staff can answer any question about your child’s development — or they will find the information for you. Samantha Ouimet brought her son Liam, who suffered from colic, to the Turtle Creek location in Mississauga, where she met an instant support network of friends. “People were so accepting, even when he cried non-stop,” she says. “Talking with these women was critical to my survival in those early weeks.” The South Riverdale location is also particularly welcoming, with music and movement classes that rival pricey alternatives, and outings to Riverdale Farm. Many Bugaboo-pushing moms, who have tried out all the expensive activities the city has to offer, prefer to hang at this centre.