The school bell usually rings to start the school day, but for many Ontario parents today, the only bells they will be hearing are the ones that are ringing in their heads.
With Ontario school boards notifying parents last night that schools would be closed today as a result of the planned teacher walkout, many moms and dads are scrambling for a solution. Despite a 4 a.m. decision this morning by the labour board that any walkout would be illegal, some parents are still in need of ideas for what to do with their children.
The situation has been especially tenuous in Toronto, as the Toronto District School Board changed its mind about today’s strike within minutes. At 6:10 a.m. this morning, TDSB chair Chris Bolton informed CBC that classes were cancelled, only to reverse the decision 10 minutes after his initial statement.
Education Minister Laurel Broten appeared on CBC News Network today, and said, “I understand that for Ontario families, this is a challenging morning.”
The Minister recommended that parents check the websites of their local school boards to ensure classes in their area are open.
If you couldn’t book a last-minute babysitter and are taking an early weekend from work to spend time with your kids, here’s a quick checklist for ideas on what to do with your toddlers for this impromptu long weekend in T.O.
While most people are under the impression that the zoo (2000 Meadowvale Rd., Toronto ON) is only a summertime activity, this is a misconception as there are just as many animals to see during the winter. “Keeper Talks” given by animal caretakers at the zoo are both interesting and educational. The tropical pavilions are a great way to arm up in January while also getting the chance to see exotic creatures thrive even though they are in the cold climate of Canada. Don’t feel like getting out of the cold? There’s also the award-winning Tundra Trek exhibit where you and the kids can get up close and personal with polar bears. General Admission is $20, seniors are priced at $15, and kids between the ages of 4 and 12 can get in for $11. For more information, check out TorontoZoo.com
Royal Ontario Museum
Ironically, today is Kids Day at the Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park, Toronto ON) with a special day camp available for young people. While pre-registration was available, for parents who don’t double as fortune-tellers and didn’t see a strike coming, there are still some spots open for kids 5+ and those between the ages of 11-14. There is also extended care available between 4 and 6 p.m. Registration costs $65/child and $55/child for ROM members.
The rundown of today’s ROM Camp Day is as follows:
– 8-9 am: Drop off
– 9-12 pm: Morning session
– 12-1 pm: Supervised Lunch
– 1-4 pm: Afternoon session
– 4-6 pm: Extended care
More information is available here