The 26th week
Explore Places of Interest in Your City
Each Canadian city has a lot of places where you can spend good times, have fun and rest from everyday troubles. Because Toronto is a city where half of the population is immigrants, I have listed below places of interest in Toronto but if you live in another city, use the Internet and you will find places of interest in your city as well.
Parks and recreation centres
Toronto has over 1600 named parks (https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/) and the largest of them is High Park featuring many hiking trails, sports facilities, a dog park, a zoo, playgrounds for children and more. Also visit Earl Bales Park, where there is a ski and snowboard school, snowboard and downhill rentals, chair lifts, night skiing, a snack bar and a fireplace in winter.
If you like hiking, you will find a lot of trails on the site https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/recreation/walking-hiking/trails/. Recreation centres are listed on the site: https://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/recreationcentres/index.html. Also, you will have a good time in Pioneer Village Toronto (www.blackcreek.ca) where you can see old buildings and people wearing old- fashioned clothes. Toronto festivals are described on the site: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/.
If you go down to the shore of Lake Ontario, you will see located off the coast a group of seventeen islands. There, it is not hard to get on a small boat or a ferry that regularly goes back and forth. It is especially good to go to the islands during the summer: There is fresh air and in the peaceful parks you can relax from the busy city. You can go on different children’s rides, play volleyball, visit the ancient village and a beautiful lighthouse, go boating or simply soak up the sun. Details are on the site: https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/toronto-island-park/.
From Toronto, buses will take you to the zoo, an excursion which will bring a lot of joy to your children. It is home to over 5,000 animals, birds, reptiles and other animals and fauna of the earth. They are located in zones, so there are animals from places such as America, Africa, Australia, the Arctic and, of course, Canada. There are many animals you have never seen before. There is also a playground for children. You will see newly born lions and the other animals, which your kids will remember for a long time. The zoo address is 361 Old Finch Avenue, Scarborough, phone 416-392-5929, website: http://www.torontozoo.com/.
You can also visit the African Lion Safari, where you can ride through a huge park in your car or on a tour bus and see the wild animals roaming freely. The address is 1386 Cooper Road, Flamborough. Tel. 1-800-461-9453.
CN Tower and Rogers Centre
If you want to see Toronto from above, climb the CN tower in Toronto, which was built from 1973 to 1976. It is the tallest tower in the world; its height is 553 meters. A high-speed elevator will lift you up in one minute and you will be standing on a glass floor in the elevator that separates you from the abyss! The observation deck offers an extraordinary view - on a clear day you can see even Niagara Falls. There is a revolving restaurant at the top which makes the full rotation in 72 minutes. The address is 301 Front Street West. Phone 416-868-6937. Interesting facts about the CN Tower are also on the site: https://www.tripsavvy.com/cn-tower-fascinating-facts-1481769.
Another amazing building was earlier called the Sky Dome; now its name is the Rogers Centre. This is a huge stadium with a capacity of 67.000 people; it has a sliding roof which weighs 9.000 tons. In summer, this roof is moved apart and in winter, the stadium is protected from snow, so that it can be used in any weather. The baseball team, "Blue Jays” and the football team, "The Argonauts”, are constantly training and performing competitions there. There are guided tours of the stadium which are open to adults and children. The stadium address is 1 Blue Jays Way, phone 416-341-3034.
Ontario Place and Wonderland
A good place to rest on Sunday in Toronto is the amusement park called Ontario Place, which opened in 1971. It is located on three artificial islands in Lake Ontario. There are more than 30 attractions which operate in the summer but from October to April, only the IMAX cinema is open. This theatre is located in the original building in the form of a sphere and it shows three-dimensional movies. You'll be amazed at the three-dimensional effect that is created by the most modern technology. In the summer, you can ride on boats and spend a day at the beach. Ontario Place is currently under a partial reconstruction, so find out the business hours before you go by phoning 416-314-9900 or looking at the site: http://ontarioplace.com/en/.
Not far from Toronto (half an hour by bus) is a city of attractions: Canada's Wonderland. There are more than 200 attractions, which can be a fun and interesting way to spend time for both adults and children. In the summer, there are many fountains and water playgrounds; in the winter, you can skate. There is an active theatre scene and many restaurants and cafes. Come here with the whole family for a day. See details on the site: https://www.canadaswonderland.com/.
Royal Ontario Museum and Casa Loma
This Royal Ontario Museum was opened in 1912 and then reconstructed in 2007. A new wing called Michael Leo-Chin Crystal was added to it. It is a museum of national history and world culture. First, it was part of the University of Toronto and then it became an independent museum. In its four galleries, there are more than six million items. Children are always interested in models of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. The museum offers lectures and tours. The address is 100 Queen's Park, telephone: 416-586-8000; website: https://www.rom.on.ca/en.
Casa Loma is a real castle, built in the Gothic style. The owner of this castle was a Canadian financier, Sir Henry Pellatt, who built the castle for himself in 1906. Each of the 28 rooms was equipped differently and one of the rooms was designed for the Queen, in case she wanted to visit the castle and spend the night. Later, the owner went bankrupt and the castle passed from hand to hand until it was bought by the government. Visitors can get around the whole castle by themselves using the audio guide in several languages or take part in guided tours of the castle. They can climb on the highest tower and go down to the basement which is connected by an underground passage to the stables. Here, besides the usual tours, representations are organized in medieval style. The address is 1 Austin Terrace; tel. 416-923-1171; website: https://casaloma.ca/.
Ontario Science Centre
The progress of modern science and amazing natural phenomena are introduced to visitors at the Ontario Science Centre. This centre is unlike other museums where artefacts are kept under glass or enclosed by barriers; here all exhibits are accessible. You can touch all the exhibits, turn all the knobs and press all the buttons! You can make a landing on the moon, go to the end of the universe and hunt hares. You can even come with your sleeping bags and spend the night there, seeing many things in the night light. A visit to this centre will leave deep memories. The address is 770 Don Mills Road. The site of the centre is https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/
Cinemas, Theatres, etc.
There are many more opportunities for recreation and entertainment in Toronto, presented in the following table:
3The Toronto Centre for the Artshttp://www.tocentre.com/
4Art Gallery of Ontariohttps://ago.ca/
5Roy Thomson Hallhttps://www.roythomsonhall.com/
Every summer, free concerts, movies and presentations are held at Toronto Yonge-Dundas Square. For their schedule, please visit https://www.ydsquare.ca/.
Concerts are held on Sundays in Mel Lastman Square. You can listen to contemporary music or songs of the past and dance. Look at this site: http://www.northyorkarts.org/project/sunday-serenades/. In Earl Bales Park, free concerts which serve different ethnic groups are held in the summer. At Harbourfront, free concerts take place in the Music Garden most Thursdays at 7pm and Sundays at 4pm and are approximately one hour in length. Bench seating is available but limited, so feel free to bring a lawn chair - and don't forget your hat or umbrella and sunscreen as shade is also limited. Roy Thomson Hall also holds free concerts.
In Toronto libraries, you can get free tickets to various museums and exhibitions (https://www.tripsavvy.com/library-card-free-toronto-museum-pass-3251372).
You can attend many museums in Toronto free of charge on certain days and hours. A schedule is on the site: https://www.todocanada.ca/free-family-activities-Toronto/. Also, every year on two days, May 26 and 27, all the museums of Toronto are open and admission is free.