Welcome to GTAParent: Parent Education, News, Views and Things to Do Together in Toronto and the GTA!

RED SANDCASTLE THEATRE’s Jacques and the Bean Stock Market #redsandcastletheatre in #leslieville

What we thought: On the first winter storm of the season, my family and I braved the elements to see Red Castle Theatre's Jacques and the Bean Stock Market. The show was amazing because of the interactive elements, music and comedy. Our children were thrilled to be in the dance routine which was super funny and cleaver. My favourite characters were Ronald Bump (awesome take on Donald Trump) and the sassy cat! All actors involved were very witty and the plot was cleaver. Affordable show to take the family to, in the fun neighbourhood of Leslieville (just west of the beaches). 

Pantomime Definition: A theatrical entertainment, that involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas.

Jacques and the Bean Stock Market

It’s panto time again (oh yes it is!) and the Red Sandcastle Theatre’s Panto Players are presenting their 5th annual, magical, traditional family pantomime for the festive season.

Jacques and the Bean Stock Market is full of fun and sparkle, with more than a sprinkling of pantomime magic.

Jacques and his mom the Widow Twankey live in a quaint little Leslieville cottage, with their ever-reliable cow, Buttons. It’s a nice life until the milk goes off.

Selling their cow for magic beans to the Cheshire Cat, (A cat who has found employment with the rude and greedy corporate giant, Ronald Bump), turns Jacques world upside down and makes everything rather unpleasant as shiny new condos seem to grow around them over night.

But can Jacques profit from this Bean Stock Market?

If Twankey “looks out behind her” can she keep her home?

Now a Leslieville tradition this year’s Jacques and the Bean Stock Market is a fun-filled family pantomime brought to you by the creative team of Jane Shields and Rosemary Doyle who brought you The Shoemaker and the Pantomimes, Alice in Blunderland, Sleepy Beauty, and Dick Whit for Mayor. Jackie English will be bringing her directing talents, and of course returning with her crowd favourite “Cheshire Cat” as always, the Cat is BACK!

Filled with catchy songs, silly jokes, dastardly villains, delightful dancing and a huge dose of slapstick, the Red Sandcastle Theatre once again serves up a sparkling festive treat!

Starring:Taran Beaty, Robert Keller, Michael Posthumus, Matthew Donovan, Victor Pokinko,

Kristen Foote, Rosemary Doyle and Jackie English as the Cat!

SHOW DATES: DEC 18, 19, 20, 26,27,28,29,30,31, Jan 2,

Tickets: $25 Adult, $15 Child, $55 Family Fun pack-4 tickets

922 Queen Street East, Toronto Ontario
BOX OFFICE 416 845-9411

Please contact Rosemary Doyle, via redsandcastletheatre@gmail.com

Discover the Children's Discovery Zone Before It's Gone | @kidsdiscoveryTO


Children's Discovery Centre has been designed to encourage parents or caregivers to play together with their young children. Admission tickets are required for every visitor, similar to the ROM, Science Centre or other major cultural attractions in Toronto.

Located at 45 Strachan Avenue in downtown Toronto, next to Liberty Village; just north of CNE. We are a grassroots pilot project hoping to find a permanent home, so please visit us today to show your support! LEARN MORE HERE 

General admission(ages 7+) | $13 + hst
Children(ages 1-6) | $13 + hst
Infants (under 12 months) | No charge
5-DAY PACK  (Includes 5 Play All Day Passes):
General admission(ages 7+) | $55+ hst
Children(ages 1-6) | $55+ hst
Infants (under 12 months) | No charge
*Online ticket buyers avoid line-ups.  

Weekend Programming and Activities

10.30 am - Storytime
11.30 am - Song Circle
1.30 pm - Movement Time
2.30 pm - Storytime
3.00 pm - Music Circle and maybe a parade!

* all programming & activities are led by Children's Discovery Centre staff who are professionally trained early childhood educators or primarily school teachers.

Location: Children's Discovery Centre is located at 45 Strachan Avenue, Toronto,Ontario M6k1W7
(north-east corner at East Liberty Street, next to Liberty Village; just north of CNE/Fort York, between Lake Shore Blvd. and King St. West)

Children's Discovery Centre is Toronto's only children's museum designed by a team of early childhood development professionals, specifically for kids aged 0 to 6 years, to play, create, explore and use their imagination.
Come for an unforgettable educational experience where your kids can build, ride around, go camping, paint, dress up, sing, make music, cook, help animals, read and just wonder ; imagine in our 10 Discovery Zones, all under one roof in our 20,000 sq.ft. building!
Regular Hours:  Open Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Closed weekdays. 

Special Holiday Hours:  Open Daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm from Dec 19 to 23, and Dec 27 to 30.  Open 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on Dec. 31st.

Home Services in a "Jiffy"? There's an App for that!

Fall is here, and while the changing leaves are beautiful to look at, cleaning them up can be a nightmare. Then there’s your furnace, which you should probably get serviced before the cold hits; you might want to have your car detailed after your labour day road trip with the family; the carpets need a good shampooing and you should probably get the barbecue cleaned before you cover it for winter. How will you possibly find the time to get everything done?

Convenient Scheduling Solutions

Toronto startup Jiffy has the solution - the web and mobile app connects you with service providers in real time, based on proximity and availability. Imagine having your service needs met all in one place, by pre-vetted pros, with transparent fair prices and exactly when you want, all billed to your credit card on file? Jiffy offers just that, along with a satisfaction guarantee.

My Experience with Scheduling Home Services - My Furnace

I had the opportunity to test out Jiffy and I was really impressed by how easy the service was to use. I signed up for the account and used the scheduling app on my phone to choose my service and time in just a few minutes. Then I received an email from the heating service provider who asked me when specifically it would be convenient to have the call scheduled. Canada Climate Service's Mike showed up on time and was extremely personable. I loved that he gave us suggestions that had never been offered in previous furnace cleaning appointment like switching to a smaller furnace in the future to save money on our gas bill. He also checked to make sure that there was no potential for carbon monoxide leaks (beyond just our detector). I also received an e-mail after the service visit to ensure I was happy with the outcome of the service call. I was!  Based off the quality of the service repair person that was sent I would definitely use the Jiffy on Demand service again.

Jiffy On Demand - My Scheduling Hero

What sets Jiffy apart is the all-in-one, on demand platform offering over 20 services, including plumbing, electrical, appliance repair, heating and cooling, and many more. Customers can connect with nearby professionals all in the palm of their hand or by visiting online at jiffyondemand.com. It’s as simple as requesting the service you need on the app or on their website. Jiffy takes care of the rest, so there's no uncertainty on the timeframe, the cost, or the service provider.

Jiffy is now servicing customers in the Greater Toronto Area, with plans for expansion in early 2016. The app is currently available for iOS in the App Store, or on the web. For a full list of services and more information, visit jiffyondemand.com.

Family Move With Kids? Ten Tips For a Tantrum-Free Transition #theredpin

2015 CNE Amps Up the FUN

NEW: XPogo Stunt Team, Parkour Demonstrations, Craft Beer Fest,
and Star-Studded Concert Series Featuring Alan Doyle, Chubby Checker,
Rick Springfield, Cody Simpson, Dallas Smith and more!

The 137th edition of the Canadian National Exhibition marks the culmination of a spectacular summer in the city of Toronto.  The excitement and thrills continue following the closing ceremonies of the Pan Am Games with Canada’s largest and favourite fair, the CNE, which runs August 21 – September 7, 2015.  New and exhilarating attractions join many returning favourites in the 2015 CNE line-up including an all-new Craft Beer Festival in the heart of the Food Truck Frenzy, performances by Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir starring in a new Acrobatic & Ice Skating Show Bon Voyage!, the gravity-defying XPogo Stunt Team, and feel the adrenaline RUSH with Parkour demonstrations showcasing the extreme sport of free-running and leaping from buildings and urban spaces.

CNE MEDIA ACCREDITATION IS NOW OPEN: All media must submit an online accreditation request form at http://holmespr.com/media-accreditation/cne-2015.  Deadline to apply is August 28th, 2015.


NEW – XPogo Stunt Team:  Be awed as the best extreme pogo performance team takes to the CNE grounds to perform flips and tricks on next-generation pogo sticks that can bounce up to 9 feet in the air!

NEW – West Coast Lumberjack Show: This “chock-a-block” 45-minute show features mighty lumberjacks who will compete and showcase high-energy stunts including: Axe Throwing, Chainsaw Carving, Underhand Chop, Pole Climbing and Log Birling on water!

Food Truck Frenzy:  The CNE hosts one of Canada’s largest food truck rallies on August 28 – August 30. Foodies can rejoice in unique offerings from 23 of Toronto’s trendiest food innovators featuring internationally inspired fare and indulgent treats that have become part of the CNE experience.

NEW – Craft Beer Fest:  Enjoy a refreshing cold one in the heart of the Food Truck Frenzy featuring 11 regional master craft brewers.

NEW – RUSH: Parkour Demonstrations: Witness the excitement of Parkour, the sport of free-running, jumping, climbing, and vaulting through urban obstacle courses and buildings. Set to high-energy music, the show features athletes from Toronto’s Monkey Vault Training Movement Centre whose movements are as fluid as they are rigorous.

NEW – Concerts:  Catching a concert at the CNE Bandshell is the best way kick-start an evening at the Fair. This year’s line-up spans the entire musical spectrum, headlining some of music’s hottest acts including Alan Doyle, Cody Simpson, Brett Kissel, Tokyo Police Club, MKTO, Dallas Smith to name a few, as well as classic icons America, Chubby Checker, Rick Springfield and Foghat. All concerts are FREE with admission!

NEW – Bon Voyage! Acrobatic & Ice Skating Show: Canadian ice dancers and Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir star in a new Acrobatic & Ice Skating Show inside Ricoh Coliseum.  Performing twice daily throughout the run of the Fair, the theatrical skating show is complemented by a stunning aerial acrobatic showcase featuring the husband and wife team Karen Goudreault and Dominic Lacasse, aka “The Flag Man,” who has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and America’s Got Talent.

Northern Comfort Saloon: Back by popular demand, the CNE’s country music bar is always bustling with young crowds, great music, comfort food, cold refreshments, and a saloon staple: the mechanical bull!  Performances by country artists Kelly Prescott, Jaydee Bixby and Cory Marquardt to name a few, are sure to get the line dancing started.

Yate Dance & Acrobatic Team:  One of the most dynamic acrobatic acts to hit the CNE International Stage, the Yate Dance & Acrobatic Team will captivate audiences with their sheer gymnastic power, artistry, dance and theatrical costumes.  Performances include human pyramids, contortion, and an amazing hula-hoop act that will leave visitors in awe.

NEW – The Tivoli Youth Guard:  The 100 boys (aged 8 to 16 years) who make up The Tivoli Youth Guard are the most recent incarnation of a tradition that began in 1844 to celebrate the opening of Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens.  An iconic symbol recognized far beyond Denmark’s borders, The Tivoli Youth Guard regularly travels around the world to entertain audiences in full pageantry (characteristic uniform of bearskin hats, red jackets and white trousers) to represent Denmark’s unique sound.

Celebrity Chef Stage:  Canada’s top chefs take to the stage inside the Enercare Centre, formerly Direct Energy Centre, to share tips, cooking demos and their diverse culinary perspectives with foodies alike. Chefs Lynn Crawford, Bob Blumer, Michael Smith, Chuck Hughes and Vikram Vij are some of the food superstars participating.

Celebrity Butter Sculptures:  The art of carving butter into beautiful sculptures and life-sized replicas will be showcased in The Farm. This year’s theme of “celebrities” features iconic stars of film, television and pop culture.

The PC Financial Sky Ride: The Sky Ride returns to the CNE, extending 40 feet above ground, transporting riders across the grounds with breathtaking panoramic views of The Midway, Lake Ontario, and the Toronto skyline.
NEW – HollyWoof: The President’s Choice SuperDogs Show: The SuperDogs return to the Enercare Centre for a brand-new blockbuster show celebrating all things Hollywood, from movie soundtracks to storytelling magic.

Kids’ World: A wonderland designed just for kids with amusement rides, onstage entertainment and animals in the park. A fun-filled day includes pizza-making and art studio at the KidStreet Interactive Zone, performances of Peter Pan and Cinderella by DuffleBag Theatre Company, appearances by popular characters like Applejack, Barbie and SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as daily performances by Splash’N Boots.

KINDER® SURPRISE® Interactive Zone:  KINDER® is making family time more fun with an interactive Smile Booth offering souvenir keepsake photos to capture memories at the CNE, as well as the KINDER® Smile Play Zone and much more at Kids’ World, presented by KINDER® SURPRISE®.

66th Annual Canadian International Air Show:  The Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) soars over Lake Ontario Labour Day weekend for another awe-inspiring show featuring amazing feats of aerobatics.

DATES:                         August 21 – September 7, 2015

LOCATION:                  Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON

TICKET PRICES:           

Before Aug. 20:         
General Adult Admission                                             $14 ($4 savings)
Ride All Day Pass**                                                     $38 ($20 savings)
*Savings calculated based on General Admission.
**Includes grounds admission and unlimited midway rides.

Aug. 21 – Sept. 7:      
General Admission (14-64)                                          $18
Adults 65 & Better                                                        $15
Children (13 and under)                                               $15
Children 4 and under                                                    FREE
CNE Family Pass                                                         $52
(2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children)

Ride All Day Pass                                                         $40 (rides only; does not include admission)


Before the CNE:       

Online at TheEx.com
At participating Pizza Pizza restaurants (walk-in only)
At GO Transit stations and Union Station
CNE Gift Card Tickets will also be available in major grocery stores within the GTA

During the CNE:       

Online at TheEx.com
At GO Transit Stations and Union Station
Onsite at the CNE gates

WEBSITE:            www.TheEx.com

About the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)
The Canadian National Exhibition is Canada’s largest fair and one of the top 10 exhibitions in North America. The CNE generates an economic impact of approximately $69.3 million for the Greater Toronto Area and $102.3 million for the province of Ontario each year. It is celebrated as the “greenest” fair in North America. In 2014, the CNE attracted 1.43 million visitors over its 18-day run.