Starting Your Year Off Fresh

It seems like every time that January rolls around we promise ourselves to eat better, make more time for our family and friends, and to end our procrastination for good. Often times, the goals that we make are too lofty or unachievable and so after a few weeks are slowly let go. When making year-long intentions it’s important to start small. As well, they tend to work best when you consider making ones that work with your schedule and commitments. That way, you won’t experience the discouragement of not being able to keep them.

Here’s our list of 7 resolutions that involve the entire family. Better yet? It’s largely UofT-specific!

1. Expand your network – Being a parent- especially a student parent- can be isolating at times. Attending Family Care Office events is a great way to meet other student parents. We sometimes host kid-specific activities (U Can Move & Varsity Hockey Game), so even your little ones can make new friends! Another great spot is Hart House, which hosts free Family Sundays once a month.  And… are you in Graduate Studies? Then access U of T’s Grad Talks to build skills and gain balance!

Family Care Office text graphic with cartoon depictions of diverse families

2. Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness affects tangible, positive change in both children and adults’ management of their emotions. Parent Toolkit does a great job breaking down how to incorporate a practice of mindfulness into your family’s routine. One of their suggestions is creating a “‘mindfulness corner’” in a main area to act as a “zone of peace.” Another involves fridge notes that remind you to: “NOTICE emotions, NAME the emotion, ACCEPT what is going on, and BREATHE before jumping into action.” If you’re on-campus, make time to drop-in to the free meditation and yoga classes as your schedule allows.

3. Practice self-care – Schedule a block of time for weekly self-care, but try to ensure that you initiate mini-moments of the practice daily. This could include a family activity like reading a story together, but should also involve time designated for you alone. In these moments you can step away from your role as student/caregiver/etc. and just be you.

E-reader atop of colourful notebook with eyeglasses and ceramic mug beside it.

4. Be physically active – In case you aren’t able to make use of the University’s free drop-in recreation programs, make it a point to be physically active each day. Where possible, walk with your family instead of taking transit. Also, check out  the Athletic Centre schedule for low-cost drop-in family skating, squash and table tennis, and fun swim!

5. Focus on your mental health– Need support talking through family care-specific issues? You can always drop-in to see one of our Peer Mentors, or book a confidential one-on-one appointment with a Family Care Office Advisor. Our Mentors are available in-office twice a week and/or can be assigned specifically to you.

6. Get on-top of your budget– The Family Care Office is here to help you understand the financial resources made available at the University of Toronto as well as government benefits and tax credits. Check out the  Dollars for Daycare grant, a needs-based bursary open to full-time or part-time University of Toronto undergraduate students (including international students!) or peruse the financial resources section on our website to learn about additional resources.

7. Schedule weekly family meetings – Planning a weekly family meeting is something that many of our Peer Mentors swear by. This is because it allows everyone to slow down and to communicate with each other, work through any conflicts that have arisen, and plan the weekend!

Yellow sofa with gray pillow pictured from birds eye view.

These seven resolutions, with a bit of work, can be applied anytime throughout the year -January isn’t the only time to set goals! We hope that you and your family adopt whichever intentions work best for you, and that together you keep each other on track.

Let us know how it goes!

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Advocating Parenting Literacy

At a recent Grad Talk put on by the Family Care Office, which discussed the option of becoming a parent while pursuing graduate studies, one of the panelists was Nana Lee. Nana Lee is the Director of Graduate Professional Development at the University of Toronto and is also a lecturer. She is a huge advocate of parenting literacy. In her words, “In lieu of village wisdom, we have the next best thing – experts in various fields who pass along the wisdom in the form of books. I am an advocate of reading, attending these types of workshops, and asking other parents about the experience.”

For thousands of years, mothers and fathers have relied on their support systems, including grandmothers, aunts, and other mothers to provide insight as to how to raise their children. In the past, families lived close together and were always available to provide help and advice. Therefore, literacy during parenting received little importance or support. However, times have changed and these days parenting literacy is now receiving much attention again. Here is why parenting literacy is important and why you, as an expectant or new parent, should pick up a good parenting book today.

Limited Time and Separation from Extended Family

In the past, there was a high chance that mothers stayed at home to raise their children and as a result, had the time to seek advice from relatives and other loved ones. However, over the years our society has experienced a shift. In the 1960s, 65% of families had mothers who stayed home with their children whereas more recently in 2012, it was found that now only 22% of families have mothers who stay at home (Luscombe, 2014). For graduate students wishing to become parents, parenting may have its challenges, as school and other work responsibilities may limit the time that students have to seek wisdom and advice from family members and other outside support groups. Furthermore, graduate students may travel long distances to pursue their education and can experience separation from relatives and friends they would traditionally go to for support. Considering these factors, it is important for graduate students who are parents to seek advice and authoritative information by other means. Parenting books written by experts can provide this necessary information for parents.

Important Information That Our Support Systems Cannot Provide

Certain types of information important for child development can only be attained by reading expert books and articles. Necessary information that fits this category includes health information, since health suggestions for children are continually changing as new studies are performed. Health and nutrition information that family members and friends are able to offer may not always be up to date or reliable. As a result, parents should act on behalf of their children by practicing reading and educating themselves about current health and nutrition facts for children (Velardo & Drummond, 2013). This is of utmost importance, as parental health literacy directly influences how parents make health related decisions for their children, how parents speak to their children about health, and how parents create a healthy home environment (Velardo & Drummond, 2013).

Developing Your Own Parenting Style

By consistently seeking advice from extended family members and other supporters, certain parenting strategies or styles may be imposed onto new parents without their recognition. These specific styles may not always be the right style for a particular parent or their child. Luckily, numerous parenting books shed light on a multitude of parenting approaches and provide parents with the information they need to adopt a parenting style that is not only the best for their child, but also for themselves. Furthermore, expert titles encourage parents to discover their individual strengths and inspire parents to apply these strengths to their parenting practices. Considering this, parenting literacy has special importance in helping parents develop and nurture their own unique parenting style.


Feeling inspired to enhance your parenting literacy? Check out our TipSheet, which highlights great books suggestions for expectant parents. Also, listed below are some books that expectant or new parents have found extremely helpful in their parenting journey!

5 Love Languages of Children Book

Strengths Based Parenting Book

First Meals Your Questions Answered Book

Well Beings Book

Breaking the Good Mom Myth Book

If you have any questions about our library or collection please contact Alicja at Alternatively, feel free to drop in and ask a question in person between the hours of 1:00pm to 4:00pm on Mondays, and 9:00am to 12:00pm on Wednesdays. To browse through our collection online please visit our LibGuide.

Written by FCO Library Communications Coordinator, Alicja Adamczyk. 



Luscombe, B. (2014). There is no longer any such thing as a typical family. Retrieved from

Velardo, S., & Drummond, M. (2013). Understanding parental health literacy and food related parenting practices. Health Sociology Review, 22(2), 137-150.



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How I Ended Up Taking My 2-Year-Old Daughter to Tutorial

PDH_Young Mom Studying With Infant Color-12 By Patrick House

Taking a 2-year-old to a tutorial sounds crazy, I know. But it really felt like I didn’t have a choice.

This all began because I’ve been planning a family trip to India for the winter break, and travelling to India means getting my daughter an Indian visa. I started my day by taking two buses, a subway, and another bus to get to BLS, the Indian visa application processing centre. Let me tell you, this place is not efficient: what I thought would be a one to two hour stop on my way to class ended up taking four hours! As the minutes passed I felt worse and worse; I kept stressing about missing my lectures. Because I hadn’t planned for those four hours that I lost, I ended up missing a lecture and getting to the university daycare when it was already nap time. We all know what arriving at nap time means: I couldn’t drop off my daughter.

At this point in time, I had to get to my tutorial. If I were to miss it, two points would be taken off my overall grade. Being a perfectionist means that I cannot stand missing a tutorial. Without other better choice, I decided to email my TA and ask her if I could bring my daughter to tutorial. She replied in less than five minutes saying it wasn’t a problem and that she would see both me and my daughter soon. I gave a sigh of relief… Ok, so I would not miss out on anything important and most important of all I would not be getting a grade penalty.

All the way to my Victoria College tutorial location, I prayed that my daughter would fall asleep. After all, it was her nap time. For a few minutes I thought this was the case- because she was quiet, but then I saw her smiling. This made me not as smiley…

When we got there we sat down and I put some Peppa Pig on the computer (with no voice). I waited for my little one to interrupt and to be difficult like we all know a toddler can be. But, to my surprise, she wasn’t, she was absolutely great! She didn’t even want to see the TV show. She listened when the TA spoke and laughed when everyone laughed. This made everyone laugh even harder. Together we had a great experience that reminded me of when I used to endlessly study while pregnant with her in my belly.

I wouldn’t say I think it’s possible to bring a 2-year-old with you to every lecture. But if your back is up again the wall and you have to bring your kid to university, don’t expect the worse, it might even be an enjoyable experience!

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The Joy of Reading

The winter break is the best time to curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea and a good book. Whether you’re starting a new book or diving back into an old favourite, reading is a great way to unwind and clear your mind. Not sure what to read? No problem – we have tons of great reads for everyone…

  • Are you struggling to juggle your work and family life? Are you feeling overwhelmed and can’t seem to find any time for yourself? Come pick out one of our many titles on work-life balance. Our books provide advice on how to balance your responsibilities without giving up leisurely activities. Begin the New Year with a new plan, one that includes more of that precious and well deserved “me” time.
  • Are you looking for fun activities to keep your toddler engaged over the winter break? Whether you and your little one enjoy rhyming, singing, crafting, or dancing, our library has books that can help make playtime magical again!
  • Are you expecting a child? We have books for that! Our library offers books on infant care, infant sleep, breastfeeding, health, and much more!
  • Are you a new Dad? Confused about how to change a diaper the right way? Not sure how you should bond with your new baby? Well, you’re in luck. Our library has numerous Daddy survival guides to help ease your transition into fatherhood.
  • Are you a parent hoping to reconnect with your child? Our parenting section has titles that can help you learn how to be more present in your child’s life so that you and your child can build a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.

Here’s a list of some of our most popular and recommended reads! Also, be sure to check out our new titles on Aboriginal Life & Culture! Learn the truth about residential schools and the Native American community.

Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding




The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep





The New Dad's Survival Guide





Overwhelmed Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time




Child's Play




5 Love Languages of Children Book




Parenting with Presence





Speaking my Truth

  • Speaking My Truth edited by Shelagh Rogers, Mike DeGagne, Jonathan Dewar, and Glen Lowry





We hope that you’ll feel inspired to pick up a good book from our library.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Written by FCO Library Communications Coordinator, Alicja Adamczyk. 

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Financial Survival: Best Tips Contest

On January 25th, the Family Care Office and University of Toronto Student Union are hosting a Financial Survival Workshop and Fair! In advance of the date, we’re asking YOU to send us your best budgeting and saving tips. Send us an Email, Tweet, or Facebook message with the hashtag #FCOmoney and share with us your top advice. You’ll be entered into a draw to win two tickets to Hart House’s 5-buck lunch held on Tuesday, January 31st!

This contest is open to all current UofT students. DISCLAIMER:  The Family Care Office does not endorse and does not assume any responsibility for any of the tips submitted.

Event Details

Date and Time: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 from 3-4:30 pm

Location: Hart House’s East Common Room

Guest speaker Anne Arbour, financial educator from the Credit Counselling Society, will cover student-specific topics like debt, practical ways to budget, and how to handle your student loans. She’ll also address how best to manage large lump sums of money (OSAP!) when you’re trying to pay off debts and how to save for after graduation without affecting your eligibility for OSAP.

You’ll also get to learn about filling out UTSU’s Dollars for Daycare grant application, the Food Bank service, free income tax clinics, and more!

Coins stacked atop of budget sheet surrounded by pens

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Top 10 Things to Do with Kids Over the Holidays

It can be overwhelming, having your little ones at home over the winter break. How to keep them entertained in this cold weather? How not to go crazy?

Well, here are our top 10 things to do over the holidays that’ll occupy the entire family and that won’t break your bank:

1. Help out at Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank on one of its 2016 public food sort dates. You’ll be helping in the fight against hunger and will get to teach your little ones about the importance of giving back. Shifts are two and a half hours on: December 23rd, 27th, and 28th. Registration begins on December 6th at 10am. Children must be 8 and up to assist.

2. Sift through your family’s clothing and household items to determine what it is that you no longer make use of. The City of Toronto has compiled a Holiday Wish List of the           donations that local agencies supporting individuals living homeless or on the margins      are requesting. Your donation of gently used items could greatly impact the lives of the       individuals accessing these services.

3. Check out the ‘Once Upon a Time: Fairy Tales from the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books’ event going on now to January 15th at the Toronto Reference Library.     You’ll find free guided tours, fairy tale storytimes, puppet shows, ballet workshops, a costume display from The National Ballet of Canada, and movie showings!Book lying open on wooden desk with christmas lights in background and yellow mug nearby

4. Head on over to the Toronto Zoo for Treats and Talks on Monday, December 26th for 50% off your Zoo admission! On this special day, pick from one of three Treks to attend to learn about different animals and to watch them enjoy special holiday treats.

5. Catch the Spectacle of Lights on Toronto’s Waterfront! You’ll get to see the Toronto Music Garden come alive with a fully-animated lighting experience. There are three huge installations along the water at The Westin Hotel, the Fire Hall, and the Toronto Music Garden. On now until January 1st, 2017.

6. Get tickets to Ross Petty’s Sleeping Beauty, the ‘deliriously dreamy family musical.’ Kids and adults alike love the pantomimes that Petty puts on each holiday season, they’re a winter tradition! Find the ticket calendar here.

7. Take a hike! Rouge Park, Toronto’s well-hidden national urban park, offers guided, family-friendly, themed walking tours almost every day in December. Did you know that the park is accessible by public transit? Explore it today!Forest of evergreens coated in snow

8. Make delicious holiday treats with the kids! There are so many fantastic kid-friendly recipes to choose from on the internet, but maybe you have family recipes or cookbooks from the library that you make use of? No matter the source, the results are always delicious. Here’s a fun list of 24 treats to make with the family that we’ve found.

9. Watch a holiday classic! There’s a great selection of family-specific films on Netflix and at your local library branch, but you can also always head to the Cineplex Cinema nearest you. On December 10th The Polar Express 3D is showing as A Cineplex Family Favourites Presentation, which means it’s only $2.99 per person! Find the participating locations here.

10. Go for a skate! There are many free skating rinks across the GTA, both indoors and out. Many of them even have skate rentals, helmets, and sharpening services, though it is recommended that skaters bring their own CSA-approved helmets for their little ones. Find the rink nearest you here.

Person skating alone on urban outdoor rink

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On-Campus Food Banks!

Did you know that the University of Toronto’s tri-campuses have free year-round Food Banks available to students in need? This service is available to graduate, part-time, and full-time students. As well, it can be accessed by anyone from single individuals to entire student families!


St. George Campus

The University of Toronto’s Student Union operates a Food Bank out of the Multi-Faith Centre on Spadina Avenue. To register, bring your TCard to the Centre’s main floor during the Food Bank’s hours of operation, Fridays from 12 pm- 3 pm. For the month of December, the Bank will be open on Friday the 9th and 16th. It will re-open on January 6th. Families hoping to receive toys for the holiday season can register at the Food Bank on Friday, December 9th beginning at 9 am. The toy distribution will take place on the 9th as well. This location no longer operates a Clothing Closet, though if donated clothing items have been received they will be made available to students.

Location, contact information, and operating hours can be found here.

Collection of various buns on a wooden cutting board

Mississauga Campus

The Mississauga Campus’ Student Union runs a Food Centre that is located in the Davis Building, room 2102. It’s open Mondays from 9 am -12 pm, Tuesdays from 8 am- 10 am, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 pm – 4 pm, and Fridays from 9 am – 2 pm. Also available at the Centre are toys, clothes, home necessities, and toiletries. There’s even a Shopping List System that allows students to request specific perishable items to be bought on their behalf. The Centre takes confidentiality very seriously and so keeps specific confidential hours for individuals desiring anonymity to access the space.

Location, contact information, and operating hours can be found here.

Image of sliced fruits on a wooden table- kiwi, orange, banana, lemon

Scarborough Campus

The Scarborough Campus’ Student Union is currently undergoing the process to set up a permanent Food Bank on campus. Until this happens, it is operating a monthly pop up Food Bank service. On the last Wednesday of every month, a temporary Bank is set up in the HW Kiosk and non-perishable items are given out to any student who requests them. For the month of December, the Food Bank will be available via pop up on Wednesday, December 14th from 11 am – 3 pm.

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Family Holiday Fun: 8 Historical Home & Museum Events

There are so many fantastic historical events to take in this holiday season. Even better, they are exceptionally economical! Try something new this year by going back in time with your family to see how people living in the Greater Toronto Area used to celebrate the season!

Here are our top 8 picks:

  • Colborne Lodge – Head on over to this heritage home in High Park to make DIY wreaths and centerpieces (December 18th), take part in Victorian Christmas celebrations (now to January 6th), and/or make some delicious gingerbread cookie creations (December 17th)! Prices vary by activity; tours are $7.08 for adults and $4.25 for children.
  • Gibson House Museum – In North York, learn about the Gibsons’ Scottish holiday traditions (now to December 31) and try your hand at gingerbread cookie decorating on December 10th! Tours are $7.08 for adults and $3.76 for children; decorating is $1 per cookie.Spoon, cinnamon stick, and ground nutmeg centered in an evergreen wreath
  • Mackenzie House – Enjoy Victorian Christmas ghost stories on December 18th at the Mackenzie House museum. Catch Christmas themed tours from now until January 8th and have your little ones write a letter to Santa on cards printed on an 1845 printing press up to December 24th! Tours and ghost stories activity are $7.08 for adults and $3.76 for children.
  • Scarborough Museum – Scarborough Museum is hosting festive, pay-what-you-can activity weekends in December, so head over there for treats and crafty fun! The Museum also hosts two rounds of Holiday Camps (December 28-30 and January 3-6) for kids ages 5-12. Campers get to cook over an open hearth, enjoy outdoor games, and make 19th-century toys! Camp begins at $114 per child.
  • Spadina Museum – The Spadina Museum is hosting a roaring 1920’s Christmas from now until January 8th! It’s also hosting a LIVE 1930’s comedic radio play complete with kid-friendly activities (December 11th, 18th). Tours are $8.85 for adults and are free for children 5 and under. The radio play is $12 for adults and $8 for children.
  • Toronto’s First Post Office – Did you know that the city’s oldest post office is located downtown on Adelaide Street is still fully functioning? It’s hosting its annual holiday open house and Post-a-Letter Sunday on December 11th! Free, but donations gratefully accepted.Sparse pine tree with red rocking horse hanging decoration
  • Fort York – Kids can be cooks’ apprentices for a day on Saturday, December 10th at Fort York! Kids ages 8-12 will learn to bake traditional treats in Fort York’s historic kitchen. And, from December 27-31, little ones ages 4 and up can join a hands-on gingerbread making workshop in the Officers’ Mess while their parents tour the grounds. Tours are $7.96 for adults and $3.76 for children.
  • Black Creek Pioneer Village – You can enjoy a Sunday Christmas Dinner at Black Creek Pioneer Village on December 11th or 18th. You can also enjoy festive weekends at the Village from now until December 23rd! Tours are $15 for adults and free for children 4 and under. Parking is $7 daily.


Do you have any holiday favourites not on this list? Let us know!

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University of Toronto’s Camp UofT March Break Registration

It’s that time of year again, organizing your family’s March Break plans before there’s even snow on the ground. We’ve put together a list of UofT’s child and youth KPE March Break programming in the hopes that it’ll give you one less thing to think about this holiday season.

Make sure you register soon as spots tend to fill up quickly!

Camp UofT March Break

Registration for Camp UofT March Break programming begins on December 7th at 8am. It has great options for kids of all ages including:

Adventure Camp– ages 4-5, $270: little ones will participate in a variety of low-organization games and sports, sing-alongs, scavenger hunts, and arts and crafts.

Gymnastics– ages 6-12, $315: this program is open to all children and is designed to teach them tumbling, swinging, balancing, and springing! Campers will also participate in arts and crafts and other low organization games.

MultiSport, ages 6-7, 8-10, 10-12, $270: kids will love this non-competitive activity program that exposes them to a variety of sports, thus supporting them in developing fundamental movement skills. They’ll even get to skate and swim once a week!

There are also introductory fitness workshops for youth ages 12-17.

Intro to Strength and Conditioning ($40) has time slots for young men and women separately and is designed specifically for novices new to strength and interval training. This workshop focuses on goal setting, dispelling workout myths, and supporting youth in developing their own physical activity interests.

Speed, Power and Agility ($55) introduces youth to the concept of speed, power and agility by focusing on plyometric, explosive starts and conditioning for teen athletes. Participants are welcome to register for one of these sessions or for all three.

Discounts are available for children of UofT students and Athletic Centre/Varsity Centre members, so make sure that you contact the main office for details. Extended care is also available during select times! All the info you need on these fun UofT camps is here.

Youth in goggles lying in shallow water

PS: March Break is from March 13th-17th, 2017 this year!

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City of Toronto Winter and March Break Programming Registration

City of Toronto Winter/March Break Registration

Every December, thousands of bleary-eyed Torontonians crouch over their computers trying frantically to sign their kids up for City of Toronto winter skating, swimming lessons, and March Break Camps.

This year, registration is divided by districts:

  • Saturday December 3 for Etobicoke York and Scarborough Districts
  • Tuesday December 6 for Toronto & East York and North York DistrictsNote that registration begins at 7 AM on both days.

The City of Toronto’s programs have something for everyone – children, teens, adults, and seniors. To find out what’s offered at community centers in your neighbourhood, pick up the “Fun Guide” for your area from the Family Care Office or download the Guide from the Parks, Forestry & Recreation website.

Here’s a breakdown on how to sign up:

Getting Your Family & Client Numbers

Start by getting a family account with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation program. Simply call 416-338-4386 between 8:30AM and 4:30PM, Monday to Friday to get a client and family number that you will then use to register for the programs of your choice. It is best to do this as soon as possible, certainly well in advance of registration.

Subsidization from the City of Toronto- The Welcome Policy!

While the cost of lessons and activities with the City of Toronto is less than what you would pay for private classes, it can still add up. The City of Toronto’s Welcome Policy provides a fee subsidy to help low income individuals and families access City-operated recreation programs. If you are approved for the Welcome Policy, you will receive an annual financial subsidy that can be spent on any of the high-quality recreation programs offered by the City throughout the year. Application forms are available at any City of Toronto rec centre, for download on the City’s website, and can be mailed to you should you call (416- 338- 2000) and request one. The WP subsidy is added to your account the day your application is approved and is valid for a 12-month period from the day it is issued to you. Everything you need to know about the WP subsidy can be found on this page from the City of Toronto. **Note, the processing of applications can take a few weeks when large numbers are submitted. You cannot ask for a refund of paid fees if you have received your subsidy after you have registered and paid for activities. You are only able to use it towards your next registration.

Registering Online

The online registration system is available between 7:00AM and midnight every day
including the day that registration opens. Make sure you have your family and client numbers and the registration codes for the programs you are interested in – these are found in the Fun Guides. Go to and click on the “Register Now” link on the right hand side of the page.Hand with painted red nails resting on laptop keyboard with phone and notebook with pen lying to right of hand.

Registering by Phone

The touch tone registration system is available from 7:00AM to midnight every day, including the day registration opens. Call 416-338-0000 and press 1 to begin registering for courses. A detailed prompt system will guide you through the process. Do NOT hang up when the system tells you “You have registered successfully.” You still have to pay for the course!

Registering in Person

If you prefer, you can also register in person at select locations on the day that registration opens from 7am to noon. The places and times are explained in the Fun Guides for each district.


There is fierce competition to get into some high-demand programs such as swimming and skiing lessons. To maximise your chances of getting the program you want, be sure to:

  • Be up and ready to log-in or call starting right at 7:00AM on the day registration opens. I always start trying to log in and get through on the phone just before 7:00
  • Alternate between calling and trying to get through online
  • Have your client & family numbers and course numbers written out next to you, along with your credit card to pay
  • Create a list of options: make sure you have a second and even third choice written out in case your preferred time slot is already full
  • Be sure to check out the offerings at several community centres, even those outside your immediate district
  • Talk to other families in your area, visit the community centres and chat with the staff about their programs to find out what will work best for you and your family
  • Consider signing up for a program for yourself while your child is in their session

An independent iPhone and iPad app has been created to make planning your child’s desired activities easier! It’s available for free download here:

Written By: Carla Murphy and updated by Gabriele Simmons


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