Mother’s Day in Toronto: Spoil Yourself Instead of the Kids

by Jennifer Merrick

April 2014


Let’s face it. A lot of what we do on vacation is for the kids.

Yes, sweetie, let’s stand under those giant pails of water and wait until they tip.

And when they’re older.

Yes, mom would be happy to hold your stuff so you can ride the rollercoaster, and while I’m at it, I’ll stand in line under hot sun for the next ride……

This Mother’s Day let’s treat ourselves. Toronto offers plenty of indulgences for moms, whether it’s a leisurely brunch or high tea, shopping or spa. For one weekend, let’s think about what we would like to do.

High Tea

An experience as much as a meal, high tea has all the prerequisites for a perfect Mother’s Day outing – elegant, refined, scrumptious, and the only finger mom is lifting is her pinky as she sips her tea.

Black Creek Pioneer Village

This living history site has always been popular for families, especially kids, but it’s Mothers who get a special treat with a tea menu based on fresh local produce and ingredients.

The Omni King Edward Hotel

This historic downtown hotel, known as the King Eddy, has been serving high tea for 110 years. Their scones are legendary, once served to the Royal Highness herself, Queen Elizabeth. Pass the Devonshire cream and strawberry jam, please!

Fairmont Royal York

Also fit for a queen – in other words Mom – is the Royal Tea Experience at this landmark hotel. A multi-course feast awaits, complete with Moet champagne and caviar canapés.

There’s little that can make sleep-deprived moms happier than sleeping in late and enjoying a leisurely meal. Toronto has an incredible array of brunch choices, so I took it to the experts and asked moms about their fave brunch spot. Here’s what they said:

Lula Lounge

“not fancy, but fun and kid friendly. Great music and a dance lesson!”


“too cute café in Kensington Market. It takes its name from the Swedish term for coffee break.”

Hot House Café

“delicious, fresh… great music and a lovely relaxed atmosphere.”


“for lunch–I’m not really into brunch–because I love the southern Italian menu and there’s plenty that appeals to kids too.”

La Cubana

“an amazing menu, fantastic food. A relaxed and funky vibe plus they cater to kids!”

Crown Princess

“love their Dim Sum. The atmosphere of the restaurant is a little fancier, suiting a special occasion like Mother’s Day.”

Casa Loma

“beautiful gardens to roam about. They do a lavish and decadent brunch for Mother’s Day.”


A meal that you don’t have to cook yourself is a good start. But why not spoil yourself even more. Carve out a couple of hours of kid-free time (convince a loved one to take the kids to Legoland or the Science Centre) and slip into a robe and slippers for some pampering at some of the city’s best day spas like Stillwater, Elmwood, Hammon or Body Blitz to name a few.


Afterwards, treat yourself to some retail therapy at one of Toronto’s fabulous neighbourhoods. Try Yorkville for designer brand names, Leslieville for original décor ideas, Queen West for cool and funky, West Queen West for modern art and Kensington Market for vintage heaven. Whatever you choose to do this Mother’s Day, make sure it’s something you’ll remember when you’re saving a place in that two-hour line-up at their favourite amusement park.

Jennifer Merrick is the author of Toronto Essential Travel Guide iPhone app, where you’ll find insider information on the best Toronto attractions, restaurants, theatres, festivals, neighbourhoods and green spaces, along with useless trivia to impress or annoy friends. As a freelance writer specializing in family travel, she has written for numerous print and on-line publications, including Buffalo New, Montreal Families, Latitudes,,, 24hours, Today’s Parent, Forever Young, Chill, Sudbury Living, Ontario Magazine, Washington Times and Via Destinations.

Twitter: @jenmerrick