Canada’s Toronto is a bustling city that is well known for its festivals and other events and is popular with tourists all year round. That popularity continues to grow, as Tourism Toronto has recently released expectations that the city will top the record number (14 million) of overnight visitors it attracted last year.
If you’re thinking of traveling to the provincial capital of Ontario in 2016, you might want to schedule your trip to coincide with the warmer months when there is so much to see and do in the city. Read on for some of the top fun summer activities for all ages that you should put on your itinerary today.
If you’re a film buff and are getting ready to book flights to Toronto, you should add a night out at the cinema to your itinerary. Head to Christie Pits Park (until late August) to watch a weekly movie under the stars in the park’s natural amphitheater.
For the Christie Pits Film Festival’s sixth year, there is a new 40-foot-wide screen being used, and a variety of films, both classics and more boutique offerings are being shown. On the list are movies such as “Gravity,” “The Truman Show,” “Cast Away” and “Romeo + Juliet.” As well, a couple of short films are shown before each of the main attractions.
The outdoor film nights are “pay what you can,” but a rate of $10 is suggested per person. Up to 1,000 people attend each night, so it is best to arrive around sunset or earlier to grab a spot. Make sure you pack a blanket and a picnic, or bring some cash to purchase munchies from the on-site food vendors.
Marie Curtis Park
Another green space to explore in Toronto is Marie Curtis Park. A vast area in the southwest corner of the city which provides a shady oasis on hot days, the park is connected to the lakeshore’s bike trail, and is perfect for cyclists, walkers, and those who want to try and catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife and native plants. The park is also a lovely spot to watch the sun rise or set.
Quieter than more popular sites such as Corktown Common or Dufferin Grove Park, Marie Curtis Park is suitable for families, friends and solo travelers. It has a giant splash pad wading pool, an updated playground ringed by Muskoka chairs, mature willow trees to relax under, a public swimming beach, picnic spots, and walking trails.
Toronto Railway Museum
If you or your traveling companions are interested in trains, make sure you pay a visit to the Toronto Railway Museum at Roundhouse Park. This attraction is dedicated to “preserving the physical legacy, history and experience of rail transportation in Toronto and Ontario,” and features a collection of restored locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and railway structures.
On site you’ll also find smaller items such as conductor uniforms, tools used to repair trains, lanterns, and oil cans. Visitors to the museum can check out the gift shop too, or explore the interpretive plaques found around the grounds.
If you’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a train conductor, you should head straight to the museum’s simulator, which is based on the railway tracks of Toronto in the 1950s. Here you’ll have the opportunity to be an engineer for a time, as you get to set the speed, use brakes, and blow a horn with real levers. Kids will also be keen to take a ride on the museum’s miniature train. Its railway tracks loop through the park in front of the museum.
William Meany Maze
Located on Centre Island, the William Meany Maze opened officially just last year and provides locals and visitors alike with the perfect chance to test their internal GPS skills without the help of technology. The hedge maze is around 100-by-100-foot in size and is made up of around 1,200 cedar trees that take people into the center and then back again, just to ensure it is challenging enough! The attraction is named after a businessman based in Calgary who funded the project, and it is free for visitors to explore.
Ontario Science Centre
Another top spot suitable for both children and adults is the popular Ontario Science Centre. With something for everyone to love, the center is home to
- A planetarium (which screens IMAX movies on its domed screen)
- A climbing wall
- A mini rainforest
- A bubble station
- Lots of bugs and animals to check out
- A woodland playground
- Many demonstrations and experiments
This summer you’ll also find a special exhibit called “The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” to explore.
Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com