Greetings to the many thousands of readers from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Doors are opening across Ontario for visitors, tours

   One-Tank Trip for April 22/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Unlock the secrets and happenings behind closed doors in some 145 communities across Ontario.
   It’s time again for the Ontario Heritage Trust program that opens the doors, gates and courtyards of some of the most-interesting cultural sites often off limits to the public.
   This free event called Doors Open Ontario was launched in 2002 and now has had almost seven-million visits to “thousands of unique buildings and spaces.”
Watching ships squeeze through Welland Canal's Lock 3 including the bulk carrier Federal Mackinac. (Jim Fox photo)
   Things start today (April 22) with the Guelph open house and continue through to Halton Region on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
   Here’s a sampling of events to the end of June with variable hours, often 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

   Iconic watercraft
   Doors Open Peterborough on May 6 celebrates the boat-building industry at the Canadian Canoe Museum.
Canoes and kayaks jam the Peterborough Lift Locks during an event organized by the Canadian Canoe Museum.
   It highlights the “enduring significance” of the canoe, called one of Canada’s “seven wonders,” with displays also of kayaks and related artifacts.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Great eats! Come and get 'em

   One-Tank Trip for April 15/17

    (c) By Jim Fox

   Discovering food sensations and local dining favourites are a big part of day-tripping.
   We get some help finding these favs from Festivals & Events Ontario that has selected this year’s mouth-watering top events to “delight your taste buds.”
   “Pack up the family and your appetite and savour the season’s culinary delights,” said FEO’s Nichole Fogarty, who offers these food fest highlights.
Some of the two tonnes of fresh berries at the LaSalle Strawberry Festival.
   - Streetsville Founders Day Bread & Honey Festival, June 2 to 4, in Mississauga.
   This fun-filled family fest features a big parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, two stages of live entertainment, a petting zoo, pony rides, children’s inflatables, crafts and souvenirs. breadandhoney.ca
   - Lasalle Strawberry Festival, June 8 to 11, in this Greater Windsor community.
   The fest features a carnival, fireworks, pageants, a parade, live entertainment, vendors and juicy local strawberries. lasalle.ca
   - Jerkfest, Aug. 11 to 13, in Etobicoke (Toronto).
Tacos anyone? Spicy treats are at Jerkfest in Toronto.
   Experience tantalizing tastes, mysterious flavours and captivating aromas of spicy chicken, pork, beef, lamb, seafood and vegetables. Live entertainment, kids’ activities and prizes. jerkfestival.ca

Guelph Arts Council announces Doors Open 2017 sites

(News Release)

Guelph, ONDoors Open Guelph is a day-long celebration of Guelph's finest buildings, creative spaces, and artistically or architecturally relevant sites.

Presented annually by Guelph Arts Council since 2002, the program showcases and celebrates Guelph’s hidden gems, as well as our great resources, businesses, and creative spaces.

The 2017 event will take place on Saturday, April 22, from 10 am to 4 pm. Site details are posted at guelpharts.ca/doors-open-guelph#thisyearsevent, and listed below.

On average, Doors Open Guelph attracts 6,000 people to its sites each year, 25-50% of whom are visitors to the city.

Since its inception, Doors Open Guelph has been part of Doors Open Ontario, an Ontario Heritage Foundation province-wide initiative that was also launched in 2002 to celebrate community heritage. Doors Open Guelph has had the distinction of being the kick-off event for Doors Open Ontario, opening the province-wide initiative for several years.

Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate

2017 Site Listing

Five ways to celebrate Earth Day at Ontario Parks

(News Release)

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2017). After a long winter, spring is a season of celebration at Ontario Parks. Forests are a rainbow of green. Wildflowers carpet park woods. Songbirds are back.
Sunset at Bass Lake after the ice 'went out' or in. (Jim Fox photo)
Creatures bear young and lake ice has all but disappeared. It's an exciting time to reconnect with nature. Opening dates for seasonal parks vary, so be sure to check park operating dates before you go at https://www.ontarioparks.com/operatingdates/2017.

Here are five fun ways to celebrate Mother Earth this spring: 

1.  Take your kids on a kid-friendly hike
Matt Cunliffe, an Ontario Parks naturalist, has written a post for the Parks Blog that shows you how to get your kids interested in the magical sights, sounds and smells of the season. http://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/5-kid-friendly-signs-of-spring/

Sunday, April 9, 2017

'Springlicious' starts Monday at Blue Mountain Village

(News Release)

Springlicious is back!

Find $25 prix fixe menus at 15 restaurants, plus retail offers, spa specials, accommodation packages and weekend dining specials at participating locations. 

Toronto Zoo's African penguin chicks hatched -- Easter weekend just became more "egg-citing"

For Video of the African Penguin Chicks!

TORONTO, APRIL 7, 2017 - We are proud to announce the successful hatching of four African penguin chicks at the Toronto Zoo! The yet to be named chicks can be seen in their Indoor Viewing Area beginning Good Friday, April 14, 2017 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm daily.*

The first two chicks were laid by a new pair, Thandiwe and Matata, who were recommended to breed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Although the new pair bonded very quickly, they didn’t do well at incubating their eggs.
Toronto Zoo photo

Their first egg was laid on January 5, 2017 and the Keeper team swiftly intervened and swapped the egg to be raised by surrogate parents Ziggy and DJ, who have been great penguin parents in the past.

The second egg was laid by Thandiwe a few days later on January 8, 2017 and Keepers were initially delighted to see her sitting on the egg very tightly, however she had to sit on the egg for seven days in a row. In the wild, penguin parents trade off egg-sitting duties as they both need to hunt and drink for themselves, however, Matata was a first-time parent and did not participate in sitting on the egg. As a result, the second egg was also given to surrogates, proven parents Shaker and Flap.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Drop us a line at the Orillia Perch Festival

   One-Tank Trip for April 8/17

    (c) By Jim Fox

   Go fish!
   Orillia’s the place where they’ve even melted the ice at the great fishing spot, the Narrows connecting Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.
   The perch are waiting as the waters warm and they’ll be quick to take the bait.
   If the fishers are lucky, they’ll pull in one of 70 tagged perch worth $500 each during the Orillia Perch Festival from April 22 to May 13.
Boats and anglers jam the Narrows for the Orillia Perch Festival.
   There are also thousands of dollars in daily, weekly and grand prize draws including five tagged fish worth $1,000 each, three of them a Bonus Jackpot perch from Casino Rama, in this live-release program.
   The Fishermen’s Dream Grand Prize is a Lund fishing boat with 50-horsepower Mercury motor and trailer sponsored by Gordon Bay Marine.
   Children’s Grand Prizes include $1,000, $700 and $300 shopping sprees.
   This is one of Canada’s largest registered fishing derbies and marks its 37th year.
   “The Orillia Perch Festival attracts anglers of all ages,” said director Doug Bunker.
   Those kicking off the fishing season at the festival are in for a good time.
Kerri-Anne Jeffels of Orillia holds her tagged perch worth $500 from the Bayside Restaurant.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It's that sweet time of year again to Tap Into Maple in Ontario’s Lake Country

 (News Release)
ORILLIA -- We invite you to get out and discover the sweetest route in Ontario this spring. Pick-up your brochure, print your coupons and experience all things maple on the Tap into Maple route in Ontario's Lake Country and the Heart of Georgian Bay.

With some mild weather and cool nights, the local maple syrup producers are busy with the sap flowing in this sweet time of year.

With snowshoes providing solid footing, Tom Shaw was traipsing through his Oro-Medonte Township acreage, drilling metal spigots into the 4,000 maple trees that will produce about 160,000 litres of sap – that magnificent watery liquid needed to create mouth-watering maple syrup.

“We have been tapping trees in this forest since 1904 and many of those original trees are still producing liquid gold today,” said Shaw. “We have multiple generations of customers who come out to visit us each year … because we offer a family atmosphere where you can experience a tradition that is unique to this part of the world.”

Stratford Tourism's Spring Maple Trail Adventure celebrates the season

(News Release)

(Stratford, ON) The anticipation of Canada’s delicious iconic maple syrup is palpable as the first sign of spring. To celebrate, Stratford Tourism Alliance presents the Savour Stratford Maple Trail adventure. This self-guided tasting tour offers 22 unique maple tastings for a tasty culinary experience that continues this month (April 2017).

The 2017 seasonal Savour Stratford Maple Trail was launched with a tasting of a maple bacon poutine at Downie Street Burgers. Maple syrup is Canada’s first crop of the season and is most often thought of as a sweet treat, but Downie Street Burgers has used it in this delicious savoury dish and it is featured on the maple trail.

“The Maple Trail presents 22 maple inspired offers, the most offers available ever on this trail and so fitting in Canada’s 150th year of celebration. This year six restaurants present maple syrup in exciting savoury and sweet creations. Trail participants will enjoy the variety of choices, but it is only available until the end of April, so don’t miss out on our taste of spring.” says Cathy Rehberg, marketing manager for Stratford Tourism Alliance. 

Eat & Drink Norfolk for a taste treat

(News Release)

 April 3rd, 2017 Simcoe – The Norfolk County Agricultural Society is excited to announce that “Eat & Drink Norfolk” is back for its eighth consecutive year.

Dates for this year’s event are Thursday, April 6th from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, April 7th from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and open again on Saturday April 8th from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Continuing to ride the wave of success, “Eat & Drink Norfolk” was recently named one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals & Events for the third year in a row.

"We are so excited to receive this provincial designation. Our success is a reflection of the high quality of the participating local restaurants, wineries, breweries and food producers as well the community that continues to support us year after year. The dedication of our vendors, staff, volunteers and sponsor partners has resulted in a truly amazing event” states Zorad.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

All in the Avon River for the annual wiggle waddle swan walk in Stratford

   One-Tank Trip for April 1-17
   (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s time for the annual wiggle waddle walk in Stratford.
   All the world’s a stage in this “Festival City” as 20 celebrated swans, cooped up for the winter in a cozy barn, waddle their way tomorrow (April 2) to the Avon River.
   With much pomp and circumstance, they’ll be accompanied by pipers and watched by thousands of revellers, many of whom are adorned in swan hats and regalia.
Stratford’s famous swans make the wiggle waddle to the Avon River. (Terry Manzo, Stratford Tourism Alliance)
   “The parade is really eccentric, a massive hoot – perhaps honk – and deserves to be experienced,” said Helen Lovekin of Ontario Tourism.
   “Local restaurants and merchants also get in stride with a competition for the best swan flora arrangement. In a town that loves drama, this is a dashing spring celebration,” she added.