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While the winter months in Toronto are filled with snowbound activities such as skiing, ice skating and sledding, visit the city during summer and you’ll have a different experience entirely. From aquariums and zoos to one of the world’s great natural wonders, Culture Trip has selected some of the best family-friendly activities when it warms up in Canada.
Just north of Toronto, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a dynamic, open-air, historical experience for visitors of all ages. Especially fun for children, the site recreates village life in 1860s Ontario, offering theatrical re-enactments, artisan demonstrations and historical interpreters in full regalia. Encounter a range of 19th-century artefacts as you step inside heritage buildings including a general store, a church, a water-powered gristmill and a one-room schoolhouse. Kids can get up close with a range of animals in the village farm.
During summer, there’s no better place to beat the heat than at Kidstown Water Park in Scarborough. The only water park operated by the City of Toronto, it offers free aquatic activities for young children including a tipping bucket, spray rings, squirting aquatic animals and a wading pool. With a large grassy area to picnic on, Kidstown is open from mid-June until the Sunday of Labour Day weekend. Hours for leisure swim times vary, so check the website before visiting.
Toronto is a foodie paradise, and spending a day at one of its many food festivals is a great way to experience its culinary diversity. Winterlicious – a premier prix-fixe food event – is a popular choice during the colder months while its sister festival, Summerlicious, invites you to try the city’s best restaurants at affordable prices during summer. Popular past events include Taco Fest Toronto, Food Truck Fest, Toronto Pizza Fest and vegan festival – Toronto Vegandale Food and Drink Festival.
You might not know it, but Toronto is home to lots of beaches, offering the perfect escape from the busy city on a hot day. Among its most visited spots are Sunnyside, Woodbine, Cherry and Kew beaches, all of which are easy to access and have lifeguards on duty throughout the summer. Bluffer’s Beach – a long, sandy stretch at the foot of the Scarborough Bluffs – has great views as well as hiking trails, bike paths and picnic areas.
Additional reporting by Emma Gibbins