Kitsilano with Kids

April 26, 2011

I am in Kitsilano temporarily with my 3 and a half year old and 7 month old. I’ve started to find my feet and wanted to share some tips.

Phoenix Gymnastics. A fantastic programme with young, energetic teachers who obviously like kids and gymnastics. My 3 year old is in their Tiny Tumbler class and loves it. Well run, no wasted time. Keeps the kids moving and interested.

– Mini Gym. The community centers have Mini Gyms a few mornings a week. It’s a big open gymnasium with stuff set up for the kids. C’s favourite is the bouncy castle. She also likes the tumbling mats (in particular the “hot tub” at Kits Community Center). There are also rings to swing from at the Kits Community Center. Kits CC has their mini gym Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 10:30 to 12 and Saturday from 10:30 to 11:30. Granville Island’s Community Center (False Creek Community Center) runs their mini gym Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings from 10:30 – 12. The cost is about 2.50$ per child (my 7 month old is free).

Les Petits Amis. We signed up our 3 year old for French classes. She gets French at home but this way she gets it from someone other than me and can play in French with friends. She loves it. We’re doing it at the Kits Community Center. My little one’s favourite part of class might be saying the name of her teacher, Nadia Lafortune. She adores her teacher and the class. I just wish it was longer than 2 hours!

– Kits Beach. We are living in Kits so we spend a lot of time at Kits Beach. The playground is fantastic and both my kids love playing on the beach. They also really like the sandbox. It’s filled with beautiful white sand. Really lovely to touch. The city just rebuild the playground and the equipment is great and the spongy floor even better! Great for really little ones right up to bigger kids.

– Delamont Park. There’s a nice little park at the corner of Arbutus and probably about 7th or 8th. Not far from Broadway. It’s got great equipment.

We’ve also been to Michael’s to buy craft supplies (exotic experience coming from Japan) and have been encouraged to head to Indigo Books on Broadway as they have a huge toy section as well as books. Good to have some outings for rainy days.


Westcoast Child Care Resource Center has a toy lending library. You can access it at their main location or through their mobile location. Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Center hosts the mobile lending library once a month at their open gym time.

Ottawa Visit Resources

August 6, 2009

Here are some resources I wanted to remember for my next trip through Ottawa:

Plant Bath – outdoor water fountains for kids of all ages. Charlotte stood for the first time here (on the concrete!!!). Great place to cool off.

Cosmic Adventures – a play center that is heaven for toddlers and kids.

Boomerang Kids – consignment store with toys and clothes.

Kijiji – Active classifieds website with great kids stuff.

A nice french meal in France that Bean loved.

2 small fennel bulbs cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1 large red onion cut into 1/2 inch wedges
6 cloves garlic
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oild
fish (salmon – we used cabillaud)

Oven to 400 F. Place veggies in roasting pan with salt and pepper, thyme and oil and toss to coat. Bake 20 mins. Rinse fish, pat dry. Move veggies to side, put in fish. I coated the fish with olive oil and s and p. Return to oven to roast for a further 10-12 minutes.

Now I can shop for shoes in Paris too! I just stumbled across Sagone, which specialises in small and large size shoes for women and men. As luck would have it, they have a shop around the corner from K&D’s at Ternes.

We arrived safe and sound in Paris two days ago and the worst of jet lag seems to be behind us. The weather is lovely and cool here (it’s late July!). I even had to buy a pair of jeans as I was a bit too cool.

Our first day we headed to the Luxembourg Gardens. Bean loved the ducks in the pond (and the croissant from Gerard Mulot). We stumbled across a fantastic play area for kids. Entrance fees area about 2,60 for adults and 1,60 for children (sorry can’t remember exact sums). I was a bit annoyed at the charge but as soon as we started to play, the fee seemed well worth it. It’s a very clean facility with great climbing structures and a huge sandbox. Bean loved the spinning red wheel and the sand pit most.

Today we were at Parc Monceau in the 8th (minutes from D and K’s flat). There’s a lovely big sandbox and two climbing structures. Nice layout and lots of shade. There’s also a second sand pit by the duck pond that is really sweet. There were even some baby ducks and some mating pigeons. The birds get more action in Paris too…

After nap, we headed to Jardin d’Acclimmation. Closest metro is Sablons – clearly marked from station (ligne 1). There’s also a cute train from Porte de Maillot. Crazy amusement park hell at the entrance but at the back there’s a sweet zoo with pigs, chickens, vaches, donkeys, a white swan and loads of goats and sheep. Bean LOVED the pigs!

There’s also a fantastic water area with things that spray water. But bring sunscreen. There’s no shade in sight.

We finished the with an apperatif and then came home for girolles fried in butter with pasta, butter and parmesan. Bean loved the “champignons”!

Sesame Crunch Tofu

July 8, 2009

One of Charlotte’s favourite dishes (courtesy of didi emmons).

drain and put in cloth

  • 1 16 oz carton firm tofu, chop into 1 inch square pieces.


  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp peeled minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

marinade tofu for one hour, up to 24.


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour and
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Fry the tofu in canola oil until golden brown on at least 2 sides (4-5 mins per side). Serve with rice, pour reserved marinade over tofu.