Top 10 Things to Do with Your Aging Parents in Toronto

Toronto is a major cultural hub with something to offer for everyone. Seniors, even those over 70 years of age, are no exception to this rule. If you're planning an outing with your aging parent you need only consider their tastes and specific needs, then pick one of the amazing locations listed below.

Consider your senior’s limited energy level. This outing presents a great opportunity for them to exercise, but you don’t want to overexert them. Make sure there are restrooms near the location as elders may lack extensive bladder control. It’s also smart to pick all-inclusive activities where-in walking, dining, entertainment and/or sightseeing are centrally located.

Photo by  Ste Hu

Photo by Ste Hu

1. Toronto Island Park

This picturesque retreat is great for families big or small to enjoy time together and away from the hustle bustle of the city. Instead enjoy a picnic or leisurely stroll with a great view of downtown or a charming wooden boardwalk overlooking lake Ontario. This location never grows old for locals, especially during the winter, when it is at its most quiet and breathtaking. Bathrooms are available and the food carts are sure to please. The ferry trip to the island adds a relaxing element to this near perfect outing.

senior meetup groups

2. Seniors Meet-Up Group Activities

Community enabling services like provide an opportunity for seniors to make new friends and enjoy from a limitless list of activities and events. It is easy for you to set up an account for your parent online, and you’ll find the service to be fairly transparent and well regulated. Popular meet-up groups in Toronto include:

  • Toronto Seniors Meetup get together for conversations at coffee houses and restaurants, and sometimes venture out to the movies or museums.
  • Resilient Aging Circle offers an eclectic list of events that include art and culture trips, dancing lessons, arts and crafts activities. This group is also concerned with providing moral, emotional and spiritual support through camaraderie and educational programs.
senior recreation centres

3. Senior Recreation Centres

These locations offer plenty of activities for senior that range from sports, games and exercise to community events and health support. Senior recreation centres abound throughout Toronto, and can be found comprehensively listed on the Senior Toronto website. The following are great examples of what these invaluable institutions have to offer:

Photo by  Shamik B

Photo by Shamik B

4. Kensington Market and Spadina Avenue

Kensington Market is a great location to revisit because it offers an interesting walking area, where Toronto’s multicultural prowess is on display, with places to rest, use a restroom or get a bite to eat. The abundance of artwork is a great way for seniors to engage their mental faculties, and serve as a catalyst for conversation. Toronto’s culinary past is in abundance here, and so are fresh market ingredients. A day out picking veggies for the night's meal is a great way to bond with your parent.

Photo by  Craig Stevens

Photo by Craig Stevens

6. St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market is a guaranteed hit for senior foodies. Chances are they’ve been going here for years already and will pose no objection in returning. It is the ideal spot to mingle with locals, check out the day’s fresh catch and get in a brisk morning walk. Bread and pastry shops offer a sweet respite from the walk and the cheese shops will no doubt rekindle your loved one’s senses. The market is closed on Sundays and Mondays so plan accordingly and be sure to bring along your appetite.

Photo by  BlogTO

Photo by BlogTO

5. Visit one of Toronto’s World-Class Coffee Shops

Going out for a cup of world-class coffee may be just the type of simple but nuanced activity your parent might enjoy. A cafe visit pairs well with any of the other activities on this list, and chances are that there is an exceptional shop nearby wherever you happen to be in the city. Here are some of the more popular cafes in Toronto:

  • Capital Espresso in Parkdale is a local favorite with a drink menu that boasts fine espresso drinks, french press coffee, loose-leaf tea and cold drinks. The staff is exceptional, and are locally renowned for their fresh baked muffins and berry mascarpone.
  • El Almacen is a South American themed cafe and restaurant with outstanding vegan and non-vegan meals. They are also popular for a great selection of herbal teas and a quality cup of coffee.
  • Fahrenheit Coffee is a noteworthy soup and sandwich joint with a great seating area, and of course, great coffee. It’s an ideal place to sit down for a while, enjoy your lunch and have a conversation.
Photo by  Mister Mark

Photo by Mister Mark

7. Royal Ontario Museum

Toronto may be lacking in an abundance of notable museums, but the extensive collection and pristine curating at the Royal Ontario Museum makes up for it. The museum is a staple for tourists, but just as great for a day out with your parent. A trip to the Royal Ontario will guarantee a healthy walk for all involved, which will include a tour of Canadian and world history. The grounds and exhibits are cleverly laid out so that you can make it a quick visit, or an in-depth foray into rich culture and art. It is easily accessible via public transportation and includes all of the amenities your parent might require.

Photo by  Buzzbuzzhome

Photo by Buzzbuzzhome

8. Mackenzie House

If your loved one is a history buff, then a trip to the historic abode of William Lyon Mackenzie might be in order. Mackenzie was a mayor, printing press newsman, rebel and exile who left behind a historic goldmine by way of his house and possessions. These artifacts tell the tale of a legendary Canadian, and a visit to his house is sure to be culturally rewarding. This activity is great for a short outing that comes at a bargain with a $6 entrance fee.

Photo by  BlogTO

Photo by BlogTO

9.  Eat at The Senator

As Toronto’s oldest restaurant, The Senator offers an incomparable dining experience. The Senator has always had a knack for reinventing their dinner menu, but the interior and dining room remain steeped in the past, making a trip to this restaurant a foray into the city's history in its own right. A meal at The Senator can be a great end to your planned outing, or a fulfilling activity in itself.

Photo by  Benny Majar

Photo by Benny Majar

10. Edwards Gardens

A walk through Edwards Gardens may just be the kind of quiet, charming and visually rewarding activity that your parent will love. A plethora of smaller gardens, pristine lawns and picturesque benches make it one of the city’s more beautiful locations. The serene atmosphere and environment abounds with bursts of colour from roses, rhododendrons, wildflowers, majestic trees and the sounds of local wildlife. Bathroom facilities and dining options make it a safe outing for seniors.

An outing with your aging parent can be a fun and engaging activity if you take the time to consider their interests and physical limitations. Toronto is full of possibilities for fun excursions ranging from a simple culinary treat to expeditions into the city’s rich history. There exists facilities and communities to help you accomplish a successful outing that your parent is sure to cherish.

Need someone to accompany your aging loved one?

You can't always be around when your parents need companionship. We understand that. We offer high quality and affordable companionship and in-home care services. Give us a call at 1-800-856-2836 to discuss how your family and loved one may benefit from companionship and in-home care. You can also have a care coordinator contact you for a free home care assessment.