Travel With Kids! Yeah! As Much As Possible, Please!

I opened my Twitter feed this morning (I’m @urbandaddyblog if you’re not following me yet – and if you’re not… SHAME!) and the first tweet that greeted me was this one;

“Up next with on Travel Edition. Are healthy eating and traveling even possible with hotel stays and security restrictions? Tune in to hear more…

Then I thought about all of the travel we have done over the years with the kids and food, make that nutritious food, has never been an issue… anywhere!

By “travel”, I’m not just referring to East York, Mississauga, or GASP, Richmond Hill – which if you live in or near the Greater Toronto Area, you will know take 40 minutes to an hour no matter what time of day, and literally used to take “5-minutes” when I was younger…

Here are some of the places we’ve taken the kids (current ages are 8-13);

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • PEI
  • England
  • France
    • Paris 3 times
    • Drove the country heading south
  • Spain
    • Barcelona
    • Madrid
    • Seville
    • Drove the country / took trains
  • Italy
    • Venice
    • Rome
    • Amalfi Coast
    • Florence
    • Drove the country / took trains
    • Tuscany
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Holland
    • Amsterdam
    • Ghent
    • Edam
  • Florida

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some…

We’re big into the experience, so I’m not including cruises, but we backpack – take the least amount possible, and when we look for places to stay, there are no hotels.  We want to experience our destination as the locals would, which is why Air BnB is great for us.

With Air BnB not only do we save on accommodations because 5 people at hotels require an extra room, or extra charge, but we ensure we have WiFi, Air Conditioning and most importantly a kitchen!

With a kitchen, the food, especially healthy food, never becomes an issue.   We are so lucky to have a spouse who is almost certified as a nutritionist, and who is so incredibly organized that when we (read: she) plans our accommodations and itinerary around grocery stores so we can gather the food we need for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Without having to rely on eating out all the time, we save money, and eat much better and much healthier, plus we have snacks available for taking with us on our excursions / day-trips.

That’s how we get to experience the world with children, while eating healthy, and having a ton of fun.




What to do if you Witness an Accident in Toronto?

I had a very interesting day yesterday and I’m left wondering what to do with the information I have about an accident I witnessed yesterday afternoon.

I was on my way back from a visit with my friends at Creative Hockey Development who had their March Break camp at Chesswood Arena, and on my way to pick up my two oldest children from their day at The Monkey Vault.

I was driving South on Keele Street in the left-lane, and just approaching the traffic light just north of the 401 (south of Wilson Avenue) when the light turned amber.  There was a car in front of me, so I took my foot off the gas, and began to brake.

At the moment that I began to brake, the car beside me and a bit behind me, in the middle lane slammed his foot on the gas and accelerated towards the intersection.

As I was the second car in line, when I heard the acceleration, I looked up towards the intersection to see that the light was red, and there was a car turning left (heading West) crossing in front, and then I saw the car beside me enter the intersection and hit the car making the turn.

Fortunately, the car making the turn was aware enough to turn away from the car, limiting the impact to the drivers side door such that both cars ended up facing almost southbound, side-by-side.

They both popped out of their cars and looked at the damage – thankfully.

I couldn’t stop in the middle of the intersection, but I felt that the poor driver making the turn would be charged, when it was totally the car beside me who was at fault.

I circled trying to get close enough to hand my car to the driver who was hit, but by the time I made it near, tow trucks were already moving the cars.

I looked online and much of the information relates to hit-and-run accidents, which this was not.

In those cases, it is recommended to provide police with as much information as possible, including:

  • Your name, address and contact details
  • Time and place of the hit and run incident
  • Licence plate number of the fleeing vehicle
  • Vehicle description (colour, make & model)
  • Driver’s description
  • Description of what I saw.


Undaunted, I found this information from an article by the Globe and Mail;

Constable Melissa Wutke, with B.C. RCMP traffic services recommends, “If you witness an accident – and don’t just see the aftermath – you have to call police to tell them what you saw.  If you pull over immediately to report this collision, it is appropriate to dial 911. If it is hours after the collision and you call once you are at your destination, please use the non-emergency line to the police department nearest to where the collision occurred.”

So I will gather my information and provide it 12 Division and see what happens…

What would you have done?

Maybe a better question, what would you want others to have done if you were the car that was hit?

March 8th, 2018: International Woman’s Day!

IWD logo 2018

Today, March 8th, 2018, is International Woman’s Day, and as I said to my wife this morning, “Happy International Woman’s Day! I wish we didn’t need this day”, to which she responded, “Neither do we!”

International Women’s Day commemorates the movement for women’s rights, and is observed around the world with celebrations, protests, marches, and awareness that woman are people too.

It astounds me to think that in 2018, some women cannot drive, be elected to government, and cannot live their lives without being sexually harassed or assaulted just because they are women.

The “MeToo” movement really brought up a lot of controversial topics which were swept under the rug for way too long, which is why on this day, I support my wife and my daughter and hope that they will one day not be judged in comparison to men but on their own merit.

It still sickens me to think that on a daily basis, women all around the world are concerned about their physical well-being by the actions of men, just because of the fact they are women.

While so much has changed…  As a society, we still have SO far to go!

Remember how we would muse that if women ran the world, there would be no wars, no wasted money, and everyone would get along…

It’s time!


Federal Budget: Paternity Leave, The Urban Daddy on CTV!

Yesterday was the 3rd Federal Liberal budget and if you paid any attention to the news leading up to the budget, you would have heard that this was going to be a “gender” budget, as our Prime Minister and Finance Minister hope to save Canadian “Peoplekind”,

What made it a “gender” budget was the inclusion of policies aimed to equalize pay between men and women and adopting a paternity leave benefit program which was implemented in Quebec just over 10-years-ago.

As a father of 3 children, I was lucky to have the opportunity to take parental leave with 2 of my three kids.  I was working for the Canada Revenue Agency, and the CRA topped up my salary from the 66% which I would have received while on EI, to 93% of my salary.

Who wouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity to support his spouse, bond with his children and help out with everything that comes with children, which is why I took 9-months with our first child, 4-months with our second child, and by the time our third child rolled around, I was in the private sector and took just one day.

So who better to speak on the government’s policy than me, right?

I was on the CTV News Network, live, in the morning with Marcia McMillan, and then in the evening, CTV Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks interviewed my wife and I for a well done piece on what worked and what didn’t with regard to paternity benefits.

Watch the clip here; CTV Parental Leave The Urban Daddy

It was my first foray into TV – I have been on the radio quite a lot to discuss tax-issues – and I really liked it (except for the way I looked in the evening interview – exhausted!)

Here is how I feel about the Liberals intention vs plan of action; They talk a great game but always seem to fall short, with an ultimate cost to the taxpayers, for their plans.

They said that providing fathers to take 5-weeks off would lure more women into the workforce.


There were no new day care spots made available, nor any changes to the Live-In Caregiver program, so it left my wife and I puzzled as to how this was going to lure women into the work force.

Is it possible that behind this message was a belief that men don’t do anything around the household and that if, in 5-weeks – with them being home, changing diapers, cooking meals and keeping the house clean – men will realize they can help out at home, thus lessening the burden on women?

I think that’s a stretch, to say the least, but for $1.2 billion dollars – and starting in June 2019 – men will be able to take 5-weeks off with their partners to help, support and bond.  It’s certainly better than nothing.

It doesn’t change the stereotype that men don’t do paternity leave.

It doesn’t change the hesitation of some firms to hire woman who are in their child-bearing years.

It does make the Liberals look hip, and cool.

I just hope the last point wasn’t the motivation behind this initiative…


Fun Video Shoot with Pediatric Nutritionist Danielle Binns

Danielle BinnsThis past weekend, we had the wonderful opportunity to take part in a video shoot with Danielle Binns a Pediatric Nutritionist and Health Coach for parents.

Danielle needed the assistance of our youngest child – Boo – who helped to prepare some delicious green pancakes – inspired through the Green Eggs and Ham book – and some super healthy and easy to make cookies.

Danielle’s story is absolutely incredible.  Reading her story on her website after having met her brought tears to my eyes.  I’m not going to re-tell her story.  You just need to go read it yourself.  You will be emotional, then inspired, and then understand why the services that Danielle offers are so incredibly valuable.

As the parent in our family who cooks breakfast and makes lunches for our kids – one child who has become very picky with food – I found immense value in just learning 2 simple food options from Danielle which we are going to cook at home.  Sorry, which Boo is going to cook at home!

Danielle is more than a mother who is incredibly passionate about providing the BEST natural and holistic solutions for other moms (and dads) and babies.  She has obtained credentials/certification in the following:

  • Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP)
  • “Naturally Designed Pregnancy and Postnatal Nutrition”
  • “SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding”
  • “Feeding Matters”

Danielle can be found on Facebook through her Facebook Group: Holistic Solutions for Moms & Little Ones.

Her Facebook page is @ daniellebinnsnutrition

On Twitter and Instagram @daniellebinns4

Her Website is and her email is