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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer fun getaways across Ontario await

   One-Tank Trip for July 2-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Here’s what people are talking about regarding summer fun getaways.
   Make this the summer to learn how to camp at Ontario Parks.
   Register for a guided, overnight camping experience at one of eight locations, said Sheila Wiebe of Ontario Parks.
   Participating in southwestern Ontario is Selkirk while Grundy Lake has the program in central Ontario.
   Others near the Greater Toronto area are Bronte Creek, Darlington, Earl Rowe, Emily, Sibbald Point and Six Mile Lake.
Learn to Camp programs continue this summer. (Ontario Parks photo)
   Through September, participants can choose either a one-night or two-night experience.
   They learn to set-up camp, cook meals on a camp stove, light a campfire and enjoy recreational activities.
   Provided is all the equipment needed (except food, bedding and personal items), a site for up to six people and learning sessions and family friendly activities led by experienced staff.

   Transportation is available on the Parkbus running from Toronto to Grundy Lake Provincial Park.
   Also offered are learn to fish programs at six parks and camping graduate programs with additional training and experience for past participants.
   The cost per group is $93 plus tax for one night and $139.50 for two nights. Details: ontarioparks.com/learntocamp
   Look, up in the sky
   The night skies burst into colour with fireworks through Oct. 30 every Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and holidays at 10 p.m. at Niagara Falls.
Fireworks burst over Niagara Falls through the end of October.
   The “spectacular fireworks display” takes place from Queen Victoria Park overlooking the Horseshoe and American falls.
   Publicist Stephen Murdoch says Niagara is an “ideal getaway spot” to mark the Canada Day weekend, with fireworks, history and boat tours to mark the country’s 149th birthday.
   Visit Queenston Heights park for a picnic or hike along one of its many trails.
   Self-guided tours are available of the Battle of Queenston Heights site including a climb up 235 steps inside the monument to Major-General Isaac Brock, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Upper Canada, for a “stunning view” of the Niagara Gorge.
Niagara Falls is a popular summer getaway spot, with Maid of the Mist boat tours right up to the base of the Horseshoe Falls.
   There are wet-and-wet wild Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, leisurely rides on the Niagara Belle, New Orleans-style paddle wheeler, and the Maid of the Mist boats heading to the base of the falls. niagarafallstourism.com

   Arts and more
   Festivals and Events Ontario suggests experiencing the “magnificent intermingling of flair and creativity” at arts festivals.
   “Organizers have crafted a spectacular blend of art, music, literature, theatre, film, dance and visual arts uniting communities and drawing visitors from far and wide,” said publicist Nichole Fogarty.
   The highlights include the Toronto Fringe Festival, now until July 10, with more than 120 productions at 35 venues.
   The Buckhorn Fine Art Festival, Aug. 12-14, showcases gallery quality fine art for sale.
   The Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 8-18, is an internationally acclaimed event screening more than 300 films from 60 countries.
   Hamilton has the SuperCrawl, Sept. 9-11, that’s a free arts and music festival. festivalsandeventsontario.ca

   All that jazz and tango, too
   The 30th edition of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival winds down Sunday after a 10-day run with more than 1,500 musicians performing in some 350 concerts.
   There’s still music all around the city with free concerts including venues such as the Distillery Historic District and Nathan Phillips Square. torontojazz.com
   Care to tango? Harbourfront Centre in Toronto gets down on its outdoor dance floor for Dancing on the Pier, a free event.
   On Thursdays through Sept. 1, dancers are invited to move to sounds from around the world performed by a live band.
   Featured styles include flamenco/rumba, Latin, swing/jazz, electro-swing, Celtic, Latin-Caribbean/dancehall and more, with instructions, too, said Diana Webley, senior artistic associate. harbourfrontcentre.com

   Towering over TO
   It’s been 40 years since Toronto’s CN Tower opened to the public and there’s lots happening there this summer.
   The engineering marvel that’s 553.33 metres high (1,815 feet, 5 inches) rockets visitors to the top in 58 seconds aboard glass-fronted elevators.
Toronto’s sky-high CN Tower is marking its 40th anniversary this summer. (Jim Fox photo)
   There are spectacular views up to 160 kilometres from three observation levels including LookOut, the Glass Floor and Outdoor Sky Terrace, and the towering SkyPod.
   Inside are three restaurants with great views at 360 The Restaurant with revolving sights while dining.
   Displays and exhibits tell the history and there’s the KidZone play area, artisan and souvenir shopping, and new live views on-line. cntower.ca


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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