By Martha Jette
For Local Storm Media, Inc.
The City of Toronto dates back to the early 1800’s and has become Canada’s largest urban center. Now the capital of Ontario, the city is a vibrant mix of business, industry, commerce and cultural life. Since 1881, great care has been taken to acquire and care for works of art and objects that reflect the city’s long history and today, this bustling metropolis boasts a total of 10 museums.
Visitors to Toronto will also find such informative and interesting sites as the Ontario Science Centre, an eye-opening Planetarium and a vast Ontario Place complex mixed with such old treasures as Fort York and Casa Loma, as well as a family favorite – the Toronto Zoo.
There is much to explore in this city of 2.7 million people, with its Victorian and Edwardian-era residential buildings in such communities as Cabbagetown on the city’s east side, The Annex in the downtown area and the famous historical shopping district of Yorkville. You can even hop a ferry to travel across Lake Ontario to a waterfront picknic park where you will find such sites as the Franklin Children’s Garden, the Gibralter Point lighthouse and the rides and attractions of Centreville.
Explore the mysteries of science at 770 Don Mills Road (corner of Eglinton Avenue East), such as the Amazing Aging Machine in the Human Body hall. Using state-of-the-art software, you can find out what you’re likely to look like later in life and learn such things as how brain cells survive over time and how skin cells rejuvenate themselves over the years.
In the CA Technologies Planetarium in the Space Hall on Level 4, visitors can view the magnificent heavens on the Planetarium dome, learn to identify the planets and gaze into distant galaxies. A Cosmic Journeys demonstration will take you on an amazing trip through the Milky Way and beyond. There is now a new program entitled Eyes on the Skies for children 5 years of age or younger.
Until March 18, 2012, the Ontario Science Centre is featuring the works of Leonardo da Vinci, a special exhibition that explores the science of machines and art. Known as one of the world’s first inventors, da Vinci created a Mechanical Lion, Robot Soldier, Great Kite flying machine and a Self-Propelling Cart.
While at the centre, be sure to drop by the Shopper’s Drug Mart Imax Dome at the front entrance where films are shown on a huge screen with wrap around six-channel sound creating an exciting theatre experience.
For dates, times and entry prices, call 416.696.1000.
This medieval castle was at one time the home of Sir Henry Pallatt, a well known Toronto financier, industrialist and member of the military. Sir Henry hired an architect to create a one-of-a-kind home. He lived in this 98-room castle for 10 years until he lost his fortune and the site is now owned by the city. Visitors will find beautifully decorated suites, secret passages and even an 800-foot underground tunnel. Outside there is an expansive garden featuring Ontario perennials and wildflowers, along with colorful annuals in season.
Designated in 1995 as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the CN Tower stands proudly over the city core. Visitors can take a glass-floored elevator up 116 stories to the top of the tower for a breathtaking view of the city and across Lake Ontario. There is also a 360 revolving restaurant and the amazing EdgeWalk – a hands-free, five-foot wide ledge that encircles the tower, which has received a Guinness World Record as the highest external walk on a building.
Visitors can also take a Motion Theatre Ride and will soon be able to enjoy the newest addition, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which is being constructed at the base of the tower.
This site, located at 955 Lakeshore Boulevard West has received visitors from around the world for the past 30 years. Situated on Toronto’s waterfront, this complex covers three man-made islands. Originally designed as a showcase for the provice, it has now become a prime waterfront park and entertainment facility.
Visitors can enjoy more than 30 rides, as well as sports and movies, making it a great family attraction. The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre has seen many first rate performances, while Soak City® – a new expanded waterpark with a sand beach, children’s play area and pool that overlook Lake Ontario. Other features include Echo Beach, a new 5,000-seat lakeside concert venue, a large marina, many restaurants, an IMAX® cinema, bumper boats, rides to Dino Island and an animatronic flume ride through northern Ontario on the Wilderness Adventure Ride.
This gallery located at 317 Dundas Street West, houses a vast collection of historical Canadian art, as well as the works of many of the world’s old masters, modern art and photography. The gallery’s permanent collection includes more than 73,000 works. Visitors will see everything from the Group of Seven collection to African art, special installations and the ever popular The Massacre of The Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens. Vistors can also enjoy a newly designed gallery that includes showcases that run as long as two football fields, a spiraling staircase leading up to Walker court and more.
Visitors will see species in the various pavilions from such places as the African Savannahs, Malaysian Woods and of course Canada, with its bison, penguins and much more. There are also films on animals and natural habitats for visitors to enjoy.
The ROM as it is better knows, offers a variety of themed galleries that include everything from world culture to natural history. Located at 100 Queen’s Park, visitors will see part of the ROM’s $6 million collection and there is always something new and spectacular on display. The mummies of Egypt have been featured, as well as other world-class artifacts.
On the first level of the gallery visitors will find Shaping Canada: Our Voices and Stories, which explores the country’s history and people. On Level 2, children will find an interactive area with hands-on activities involving real artifacts, such as a Dinosaur Dig, replica historical armor and a teepee.
One of the must-see treasures includes the Tomb of General Zu Dashou. This Ming tomb is part of Chinese history celebrating his defense of the dynasty from the Manchu invasion.
The ROM is open daily from 10 a.m. and the cost is $15 (adults), $13.50 (seniors/students) and $12.50 (children) with drastically lower entry prices on Friday.
This museum located at 952 Queen Street West features both Canadian and world-renowned artists. It has a permanent collection of approximately 400 works by 150 artists within Canada. This site is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free.
- Bright lights, big city. – Toronto, Canada (travelpod.com)
- Casa Loma joins ScreenScape to Educate and Entertain Visitors (prweb.com)
- CN Tower – Canada, North America (place2visit.wordpress.com)
- Family Activities in Ontario (leggotunglei808.wordpress.com)
- Ontario’s Colleges Pursue Aboriginal Students (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Ontario pension fund plans $300-million Toronto complex (theglobeandmail.com)