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“My first words to parents are that their child will be taken very well care of, so that they can focus on their treatment,” says Alketa Kumbaro, a registered Early Childhood Educator at the Magic Castle. “Some families are here for a short time, others much longer. But what stays with me is that we’re here to help the whole family through a difficult experience.”

The first time Heather Smyth took her son Nathan (Nate) to the Magic Castle, The Princess Margaret’s free daycare, he was ten days old. Heather’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer and she needed childcare for her infant son during her mom’s appointment.

Having begun her own journey with cancer nine years earlier, Heather also had many appointments at The Princess Margaret, and when Nate was six months old, he became a regular at the Magic Castle for many years. “The Magic Castle was a place where Nate felt loved and cared for. The hospital was never a scary place for him. It was like his second home. And the staff there became like extended family,” says Heather of the world’s first childcare centre located in an adult cancer centre, for children of patients undergoing cancer treatment.

Located on the main floor, the Magic Castle was recently renovated as part of our Space Transformation Campaign. “It’s beautiful, with the natural light coming in off University Avenue. It’s just a really peaceful, calm place for children to come and play,” says Heather of the transformed space that cares for over 1,000 children every year.

The Magic Castle is operated entirely through philanthropy. Thank you for helping to fund this outstanding resource for children and their families.

  1. “I can never be thankful enough to the amazing donors who continue to keep this service going. I’m really grateful.” – Alketa Kumbaro, Early Childhood Educator
  2. Heather receiving treatment with her husband, Jeff, and son Nate by her side.

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