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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Five season passes to guarantee a great year visiting Toronto and area

(News Release)

Get adventurous with your family in Toronto without breaking the bank
TORONTO, Ont. – With the year off to a great start and warm weather fast approaching, what better time than now to decide on the adventures that will shape 2016. Going forward, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Toronto is encouraging Ontario families to get out and enjoy some of the great attractions the city has to offer, but without breaking the bank. 

The LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre team has searched the city for some of the best locations that offer family season passes at an affordable price. Each unique and stimulating in different ways, this list of family attractions in Toronto is sure to have something for everyone.

"It’s important for families to get out and experience adventures together," says Lara Hannaford, Marketing Manager of LEGOLAND® Discover Centre. "By purchasing a family season pass for any of these locations, your family is sure to build tons of lasting memories together." 

Easter Weekend events at Region of Waterloo Museums

Are we there yet? Spring Cottage Life Show welcomes the season at the lake

   One-Tank Trip for March 26/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   A harbinger of summer and a ritual for Ontarians preparing to open their lakeside retreats is the Spring Cottage Life Show.
   For cottage doers and dreamers alike, the show from April 1 to 3 at the International Centre in Mississauga is Canada’s biggest with more than 550 exhibitors.
Sunrises, vivid sunsets are part of cottage life, with Cisco keeping watch. (Jim Fox photo)
   The show helps those preparing to head off to the lake, stream, cottage, cabin and bunkie with insight into what’s for sale and how much for those entering the market or moving up to a year-round retreat.
   “The show reignites the excitement of heading back to the lake with everything a cottager needs and wants,” said publicist Peggy Sheffield.
   This includes boats, docks, water toys, paddle sports, decor and furniture as well as hundreds of experts in cottage building, renovations, septic systems, water treatment and green-energy solutions.
   Among the special features are walk-through model cottages, grilling demonstrations, a dock party, kids’ activities and special appearances from Cottage Life show celebs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waterloo Central Railway set to kick off service for this season

(News Release)

WATERLOO, Ont. — The early arrival of Easter is getting the Waterloo Central Railway off to an early start in 2016.

The 2016 Easter Bunny Train will run three return trips between the St. Jacob’s Market and Elmira on Saturday, March 26 to kick off the popular attraction’s 2016 season. The Easter train will be followed by the ninth annual Elmira Maple Sugar Festival train on Saturday, April 2. Regular service for this year will resume May 7.

“The Waterloo Central Railway is an iconic feature in a historic village,” says Minto Schneider, Chief Executive Officer of Waterloo Tourism. “Sit back and relax, enjoy the idyllic countryside and allow yourself to be transported back to a more simple time.”

Stratford Festival bids farewell to the dean of Canadian actors, William Needles, a veteran of 47 seasons

  A celebration of the life of William Needles will be held as follows:

DATE: Sunday, April 17
TIME: 2 p.m.
PLACE: Festival Theatre, 55 Queen Street, Stratford

Speakers include Colm Feore, Geraint Wyn Davies, Benedict Campbell, Seana McKenna, Lucy Peacock, and Jon Lovitz (by video), with performances by Loreena McKennitt, Gerald Isaac and Berthold Carriรจre, and Nicholas Van Burek, Trent Pardy, Roger Shank, Jesse Aaron Dwyer and Jean-Michel Le Gal.

Mr. Needles, a regular member of the Stratford Festival company since its first season, died two months ago at the age of 97. Details can be found in the press release below from January 13.

It is with sadness that the Stratford Festival bids farewell to the man who was Canada’s oldest working actor. William Needles died January 12, at the age of 97, surrounded by his family, at a hospice in Alliston, Ontario. Just days earlier, he had left his adopted hometown of Stratford after suffering a heart attack on December 19.

True to form, Mr. Needles surprised doctors and loved ones, showing enormous resilience despite a dim prognosis. The Stratford General Hospital saw a steady stream of actors pour through its doors during the Christmas period, as faithful friends visited a man whose support of the theatrical industry is unparalleled. Expecting to find an invalid drawing his last breath, his visitors instead found their longtime friend and mentor reciting Shakespeare – the Chorus from Henry V one day, Shylock’s admonition to Antonio another. His mind was razor sharp, though his body was letting him down.

Spring has sprung at the Toronto Zoo on Easter weekend

Our Rhino calf is five weeks old!

Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo

CLICK HERE for the latest video of the male Indian rhino calf.

This "little" guy is now over 200lbs and has become quite brave, often venturing further from mom Asha and interacting more with our Keepers. Although still nursing, he is starting to mouth some food including bamboo, apple, browse and carrots that Keepers provide Asha, but he doesn't consume it quite yet.
He loves his afternoon showers, and is often observed playfully rolling around in the water and encouraging mom to come play with him. See below to watch him as he enjoys one of his daily baths.

Honk, if you love spring in Stratford

   One-Tank Trip for March 19/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Stratford is embracing spring in a sweet and sticky way as well as with a somewhat boisterous welcome by its swan ambassadors.
   Happening now is a sweet tasting tour along the Maple Trail this month and next while the highlight of welcoming spring is the annual Swan Parade Weekend on April 2 and 3.
Stand back as Stratford’s famous white mute swans head to the Avon River.
   The Stratford Tourism Alliance presents its Maple Trail Adventure highlighting Canada’s delicious and iconic maple syrup that is “palpable as the first sign of spring,” said Cathy Rehberg, marketing manager.
   “Culinary artisans invite you to sample their delicious maple creations along our self-guided trail in Stratford’s downtown heritage district and at the source, McCully’s Hill Farm (in St. Marys),” she added.
Sweet! Making maple fudge in a copper kettle at Rheo Thompson Candies.
   This taste of spring offers choices such as aged maple balsamic vinegar; a maple sundae; creamy fudge; maple creams wrapped in chocolate; maple cupcakes; maple frozen yogurt; maple tea and coffee; and traditional hand-poured maple sugar candy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Eat, drink, horses and fun in Norfolk; big winners in Top 100 Festivals

   One-Tank Trip for March 13-16
   (c) By Jim Fox

   The Norfolk County Fair organization has reason to celebrate after winning several honours in this year’s list of Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario.
   Eat & Drink Norfolk next month and the fall Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show were among the esteemed top events named by Festival and Events Ontario (FEO).
   As well, it won for having the Best Promotional Campaign and Best New Single Sponsorship Opportunity, said publicist Wendy Brick.
   “These Top 100 recipients represent festivals and events that excel within the industry,” said Nichole Fogarty, FEO marketing and communications coordinator.
   So, for a good time, check out some of the best of the best in entertainment across the province.
Food, drinks and fun in Simcoe
    Eat & Drink Norfolk takes place on April 7 and 8 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and April 9, noon to 10 p.m., at the fairground auditorium at 172 South Drive in Simcoe.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Take a break this mid-March across Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for March 5/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   This March Break “Tap into Maple,” take a guided Segway tour around Toronto’s Distillery District, spend the night at the Toronto Zoo and explore the great outdoors.
   Ontario’s Lake Country is where maple syrup producers have been harvesting the sap for more than a century.
   The area, north of Barrie and taking in Orillia, has its annual Tap into Maple passport with 24 locations along the maple route and sweet events.
Tom Shaw shows the traditional method of tapping maple trees with a hand drill used by his grandfather Norman who founded the syrup business. (Jim Fox photo)
   Stop by Shaw’s maple syrup operation to visit the sugar bush and pancake house that’s open daily now through mid-April from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ontarioslakecountry.com/tapintomaple
   Here’s a chance to ride a Segway, those “two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicles,” around Toronto’s Distillery District.
   Segway Ontario guides lead participants and tell “some wild historical facts about Toronto through the ages.”
   Other fun recommended by Tourism Toronto is a kid’s overnight pyjama party at the zoo with an educational program, bedtime snack and accommodation on cots.
   Zoo visitors can learn about wildlife conservation and Canada’s first giant panda cubs.
Observe marine life above in Shark Bay’s tunnel at Ripley’s Aquarium.