As a father, Joseph Tito has faced more hardships than most.
For starters, he discovered that his Canadian citizenship could not be extended to children born outside of Canada, so he found himself stuck in Kenya with newborn twins in December 2018 and didn’t return to Toronto until January.
There is a happy ending. With his two daughters having been granted visas to stay in the country, Tito is in Toronto and taking solace from DadsTO. The new social group hosted its inaugural event at a downtown pizzeria in January in hopes of uniting fathers living in the city.
“To be able to attend an event like this, especially being home, is amazing,” Tito said.
DadsTO was founded to create a community for these fathers and provide a space for them to bond and share stories of fatherhood, says Daniel Lipton, the founder of DadsTO.
Lipton sees it as a way of creating a support network.
“It’s not as easy being a dad here in Toronto in terms of resources available to us,” Lipton said. “We’re looking for a way to get dads together and do things that we do normally, which is eat pizza, deal with kids and have a drink.”
Tickets were nearly sold out on the online event page, with the reserved space at Pizzeria Libretto getting smaller as the 24 families arrived.
It was a joint effort between DadsTO and established Toronto social group MomsTO.
That group’s founder, Alana Kayfetz, who was present at the event, believes that a community for fathers who get together and bond was long overdue.
“In 2019, this is the time to have amazing communities for dads,” she said.
DadsTO was inspired by the creation of MomsTO, Kayfetz said, and Lipton was an early supporter of the group.
“He was the first person to support MomsTO, and he saw us grow over the last year and a half, so he saw an intrinsic value in what we could do, so it was his brainchild, and together he’s now executing it and I’m here supporting him along the way,” she said.
With its inaugural event a success, DadsTO has confirmed its next gathering for Saturday, March 23. More details will be shared on its Facebook page.