Toronto Ontario Adventure - I love birthdays, and I especially love planning epic surprises for the people I care about. Therefore, when I thought about Chris' upcoming birthday, I realized that although we had known each other for almost half of my life, we had somehow never celebrated his birthday together! I set to work right away to remedy the situation!
I booked a really cool immersive theatre experience at Casa Loma (which is a whole additional post itself) and got a stellar deal on one of the fanciest hotels in Toronto, the Fairmount Royal York. But with that, my birthday budget was pretty much spent, so I set out to find some awesome, quirky adventures throughout Toronto to make this birthday one Chris would not soon forget!
After checking into our beautiful hotel the day before the big birthday adventure, we decided it was time for a quick walk to get food and see some of the area. As we walked we were met with sculptures and art installations galore, including an entire building that was a work of art itself!
Art Tip: If you want to know what you're looking for instead of wandering aimlessly for art, you can check out an Art Walk website like this one!
Our first stop on the Toronto Ontario Adventure birthday excursion was to Rouge National Urban Park. Some of my best memories with Chris were on hikes, so I thought this was a fitting place for us to start! Rouge National Urban Park is Canada's only urban National Park (although three more are in the works). We hiked the main trail, used the lookout platform, and eventually reached the river. As we waded in, feet wet, baby splashing and playing, and ebony jewelwing damselfies flying all around us, I knew this had been the perfect way to start our day.
Tip: Parking is free, so take your time! Bring a picnic lunch and stay the day or hop over to the nearby Toronto Zoo for a full day of adventure!
Whenever I visit a place I do my best to find the most obscure cool attractions the city has to offer. When I came across the Leslieville Dollhouse, I knew it had to make it onto our Toronto Ontario Adventure birthday list! Located on Bertmount Avenue in Toronto, this weird, quirky, and, dare I say creepy, attraction is not to be missed if you love the unusual.
We arrived on Bertmount easily found street parking. This house, completely covered in toys and other kitsch has to been seen to be believed. We were all mesmerized at what was, to us, a fun mix of whimsical and mildly horrific. We spent our time finding the strangest tableaus The Dollhouse had to offer and capturing them on camera
Attraction Tip: This attraction is popular enough that you can use Google Maps to get there just by searching for "The Dollhouse".
Next, I mapped us to the Toronto Public Labyrinth at Trinity Square. When we arrived, we were confused to see what looked like an empty town square - there was no labyrinth! However, upon closer inspection, there was! Made of stone on the ground was an intricate labyrinth! Where we were expecting something akin to a hedge maze, we found what a labyrinth is supposed to be - a calm an meditative experience. We spent some time reading the interpretive panel telling us all about the difference between a maze and labyrinth. However we were please to see a braille version on the attraction (yeah inclusivity!), and explore the surrounding grounds before moving along to our next location.
Although we'd gone to High Park for a different purpose, much to our surprise, there was another labyrinth there, this time painted on the ground in the middle of a circle of seating!
Attraction Tip: If you want to find labyrinths near you, you can use this handy labyrinth locator tool!
Next, we were off to The High Park Zoo which, in my humble opinion, is one of the best kept secrets for Toronto Ontario Adventures. Although huge awesome zoos like the Toronto Zoo are great, there's something to be said for a small, quaint zoo that you can get through in an hour, especially one that's free!
As we wandered this tiny zoo, we were very impressed with the care of the animals, the cleanliness of the grounds, and the well-executed educational materials.
Attraction Tip: For a $60 donation, you can have your own private tour with up to 20 people!