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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Ontario Parks' campgrounds are coming to life after a dormant, cold winter

   One-Tank Trip for April 27-19
     (c) By Jim Fox

   Campers are getting ready to come out of hibernation after a long, cold winter.
   Roughing it in the wilderness beside a lake, stream or river is entrenched in the Canadian psyche and, for newbies, there couldn’t be a better time to learn all about it.
   Trading the urban wilderness for the wilds of the woods isn’t all that difficult and Ontario Parks can help with its Learn to Camp program.
These campsites will soon be filled in Ontario Parks. (Barbara Fox photo)
    Family camping is one of the great summer traditions, with the launch of the season traditionally on the coming Victoria Day holiday weekend.
   Ontario has more than 100 provincial parks that offer drive-up camping, with most parks open from late spring (May or June) until fall (Labour Day or Thanksgiving weekend).
   For those hardy souls, parks such as Algonquin, MacGregor Point, Pinery and Killarney offer camping year-round.
Some people like to “camp” with the comforts of home at McRae Point Provincial Park near Orillia. (Jim Fox photo)

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Wet and wild summer fun at Canada's Wonderland, Great Wolf Lodge Niagara and Santa's Village

   One-Tank Trip for April 20/19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Look, up in the sky!
   It’s the fastest, tallest and longest dive roller coaster in the world.
   Hang on to your hats – or better yet, don’t wear one – if you dare take a ride on Canada’s Wonderland Yukon Striker.
   It’s ready to roar when the park in Vaughan, north of Toronto, opens for the season on May 3 (closed on May 4 for a special event).
The Yukon Striker is the latest hair-raising coaster at Canada’s Wonderland.
    Here’s the hype:
   “Be exhilarated by Yukon Striker’s epic journey high above the park’s skyline where you'll hang over a 90-degree drop for three breathtaking seconds, staring 245 feet (75 metres) down into an underwater tunnel.
   “Then suddenly you dive, reaching speeds of 130 km/h and soaring through four dynamic inversions, including a complete 360-degree loop – the only one of its kind for a dive coaster.

   It requires 42 support columns and features floorless trains with stadium-style seating in three rows of eight.
   “Be prepared for the ride of a lifetime,” says the park’s publicity.
   They’re getting ready for a hot summer of fun at the Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.-owned 300- acre (122-hectare) theme park.
   It has more than 200 attractions including 17 rollercoasters and is the home to Splash Works, a 20-acre (8.1-hectare) water park.
   For details on operating hours, rides and admission prices, go to canadaswonderland.com or call (905) 832-8131.

   A howling good time
   They say that “family fun never ends at Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.”
   This “kid-friendly” indoor water park resort means fun inside or outdoors.
   After splashing round the pools, there’s great food, shopping options, arts and crafts and activities that change on daily.
   Just add water and enjoy as the accommodation options are growing this summer to include a “new level” of rustic Northwood’s-themed luxury cottages.
Rustic luxury cottages are being added to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.
    These “exclusive and secluded accommodations” will comprise 15 two-bedroom cottages that provide accommodations for up to 10 people.
   Each cottage comes with a master suite and ensuite with a king-size bed and walk-in rainforest shower.
   The included loft bedroom with a treehouse feel includes a bathroom, two double beds and two twin bunk beds.
   Each cottage has a fully equipped kitchen, floor-to-ceiling fireplace, large covered patios, rustic hand-crafted decor antiquities, modern retro appliances and cozy oversized furniture.
   There will be five single-family buildings and 10 semi-detached units with lock-off doors between adjoining units available.
   All units have access to a central forested patio area with communal barbecue and fire pit. greatwolf.com/niagara; 1-800-605-9653

   Ho, ho, ho
   Santa’s adding some fun attractions to his summer getaway spot in Bracebridge.
   The off-season escape for the jolly gent and Mrs. Claus is Santa’s Village located halfway between the equator and the North Pole on the 45th parallel.
Bumper boats are the newest attraction at Santa’s Village.
    This “kinder, gentler” amusement park for youngsters is set on the scenic banks of the Muskoka River.
   New for this 64th season starting on May 18 are Santa’s Jolly Bumpers (bumper boats) that hold one or two passengers and “whimsical tractors” that can be ridden around Santa’s on-site farm.
   Suited for young children, adults can go on the village’s rides with their children.
   For older kids, there’s Sportsland with go-karts, bungee trampoline, a rock wall, mini-golf, batting cages, a bowling and soccer game and arcade.
   There are also the Muskoka Zip-Lines and Aerial Park, and on-site camping with cottages, rustic cabins, RV sites and tenting. santasvillage.ca; (705) 645-2512


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

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Knock,knock who's there? Doors Open Ontario starting in Guelph, that's who

   One-Tank Trip for April 13/19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Opportunity is knocking across Ontario as the welcome mat is out for another season of Doors Open.
   The Ontario Heritage Trust program on weekends from April through October lets the public take a peek and tour behind doors that are often closed to visitors.
   Each event is said to “reveal unique and fascinating places and are open to visitors free of charge.”
   There are some 800 sites in 36 cities and towns, such as historic homes, fire stations, hiking trails, courthouses, schoolhouses, gardens, places of worship and many more.
   Some sites also offer special tours, lectures, exhibits and performances,
“Scandalous” tales will be told at the Gow Bridge in Guelph. (Photo by Leanne Piper)
to better explore the stories inside.
   Guelph, the cultural and artistic university community known as the “Royal City,” again goes first by launching Doors Open on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
   Founded by John Galt, a Scottish poet and novelist, in the 1820s on the banks of the Speed River, Guelph is known for its Victorian-era downtown buildings, distinctive limestone architecture and heritage structures.
   It was named after the British monarch King George IV with its skyline highlighted by the Roman Catholic Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate built between 1876 and 1888.
   “This is a day-long celebration of Guelph’s finest buildings, creative spaces and artistically or architecturally relevant sites,” said Patti Broughton, executive director of the organizing Guelph Arts Council.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Falling for fishing at the Orillia Perch Festival

   One-Tank Trip for April 6/19

    (c) By Jim Fox

   All members of the family can fall “hook, line and sinker” for fishing at the Orillia Perch Festival.
   The annual event to lure tagged fish runs from April 20 to May 11 in this city north of Barrie.
   Scenic Orillia is in Ontario’s vacation playground with two large freshwater lakes – Simcoe and Couchiching – and numerous smaller ones.
Anglers pack the area around the Narrows seeking the elusive tagged perch.
   There are also three provincial parks in the area: Bass Lake, Mara and McRae and the port of Orillia on the Trent-Severn Waterway.
   Situated in “Ontario’s Lake Country,” the festival attracts thousands of people in this catch-and-live release program in its 39th year that’s one of Canada’s largest registered fishing derbies.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Eat & Drink Norfolk – A Toast to 10 Years!

172 South Drive
Simcoe, Ontario
N3Y 1G6

(News Release)

April 2, 2019 Simcoe – “Eat & Drink Norfolk” is back celebrating its 10th Anniversary with dates for this year’s event as Thursday, April 4th from 5:00 pm to 10pm, Friday, April 5th from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm and again on Saturday April 6th from 1:00pm to 10:00 pm.

As a 5-year winner of Festival and Events Ontario Top 100 award “Eat & Drink Norfolk” continues to grow with gusto as the regions premier spring event.

Held in the AUD at the Norfolk County Fairgrounds this event transforms the room to relaxed perfection to mix and mingle while sampling local products from over 35 participating vendors.

Norfolk County’s best restaurants, wineries, breweries and food producers say that “Eat & Drink Norfolk” provides a wonderful way for people to socialize and sample new local wines, beer and cider from our local wineries and craft breweries as well as food from a local restaurant or food producer that they perhaps haven’t taken the opportunity to visit yet.