It’s 6 pm and we are at the Ontario Science Centre, and yes, it’s closed for the public. But we are here for a very special event – we are going to be the first to see the “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” at the well known IMAX theater and later chat with Mark Armstrong (son of Neil Armstrong ), Roberta Bondar (Canadian Astronaut), Natalie Panek (Aerospace Engineer), Shawna Pandya (Astronaut Candidate) and some other really interesting people working in the industry. We met Bob Thirsk, Canadian Astronaut, and had a chance to talk about the path to success… “Stay focused on what you are doing and you will surely achieve your goals!… ” And this applies not just to space exploration.
On July 20th 2019 the Science Centre commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing with special lunar-themed programming featuring Canadian astronauts. The adventure begins with “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” that unfolds on the IMAX Dome screen and features never-before-seen 70 mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. The film recounts the most extraordinary of human achievements and puts audiences at the centre of NASA’s historic lunar landing, capturing every moment of the mission.
The special exhibitions “Astronaut” and “Women in Space” tap into what it takes to break the boundaries of life on Earth and unlock the mysteries of our universe. You will see and touch a piece of the Moon, spend an evening gazing at the stars or go to a space camp (fitness level and age restrictions apply)! Or, experience the G-force powers… feel the powers of the Shuttle right in the seat of the spacecraft… check your knowledge and test how well you are prepared for a long space journey!
Lots of fascinating facts, hands on experiences and challenges await those ready to conquer space and travel the universe!
The house and the park located on 11.5 acre property covered with mature trees. The park offers perfect place for walks and picnincs, beautiful shaded lawns and paths during the summer. The house opens for visitors from October till Chrismas.
Mackenzie King House
The house dates back to Victorian period, was built by James Colquhoun. After his death in 1877 varuois tenants occupied the house. One of them was the Kings family. They lived in this house from 1886 till 1893. The house was a home for a boy who later became Canada’s tenth Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. Tha family had four children, and while visiting the house we can see their rooms and well kept personal items. His father John King was a lawyer, and he taught his kids English, French, math and science. There is a large collection of boks, many of them are rare originals…
The house has a spacious living room with piano. The room was filing up with various guests during many holidays…
Travel at that time was a challenge, so the house has a nice guest bedroom with all the necessary items…
The sisters were sharing the bedroom, we can see some of the clothing and original furniture.
We had a chance to enter the room of William, quite small and with very modest furnishings. The bedrooms are all on the second floor and interestingly, there is no heating – only the first floor of the house is heated, so in the winter the heavy blanket and the hot water bottle did the job!
Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King
The most important item of the kitchen is the original wood-buning stove. It is fully operational and if you visit the place during Christmas Holidays you may be lucky to try fresh baked cookies or bread! They say tastes amazing!
The House is not just a museum, there are different events and workshops offered for students.
Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube
Gloria the Gopher, from CBC’s vintage “Under the Umbrella Tree” children’s series, is very happy to tell everybody that she and her friends Holly, Iggy the Iguana and Jacob Blue Jay, are now streaming on Canada Media Fund’s new channel, Encore+ on YouTube. This is a channel that features Canadian television classics that viewers will enjoy seeing again and again.
Saturday August 25, 2 pm. Rock the Arts performance
Rock The Arts puppets performance will perform at the museum on Saturday August 25, starting at 2 pm to complement Noreen Young’s Puppet Retrospective exhibition, which runs July 14 to September 22. They will perform “Animal Adventure.” More details on the website rockthearts.ca
Saturday September 22, 2018, 1pm. Come play puppets with a PRO
Ever wonder what it would be like to puppeteer on a TV show? Always wanted to give it a try?
Well, here’s your chance.
Puppeteer, Bob Stutt, has decades of TV and film experience including seven years with the Friendly Giant, ten years with the Muppets and ten years as Basil Bear on Canadian Sesame Street where he was also lead writer. He performed Iggy Iguana on CBC’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” and also “Molly Doll” on The Big Comfy Couch. Bob has also filmed over 100 TV commercials in Denmark for the Danish National Railway.
And now he would love to spend some time playing puppets with you!
We’ll provide the cameras, monitors and a few puppets. You provide enthusiasm, imagination and any puppets of your own that tickle your fancy.
Come be a star for a day and experience first-hand the challenging, inspiring, silly world behind the puppets you see on TV.
Admission is $20 per person. This three-hour workshop is open to adults and kids over the age of 10 with a limit of ten to twelve people.
Toronto music lovers will have a rare opportunity to hear “When I Sat Down to Play the Piano” performed live at Gallery 345 on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.
Inspired by the poetry of Al Purdy, the collection of compositions (several of which appeared in the 2015 feature-length documentary “Al Purdy Was Here”) will be presented by East York pianist and composer Gerry Shatford, accompanied by Neil Swainson on bass and Barry Elmes on drums. Toronto poet, editor and educator Paul Vermeersch will also be on hand to provide introductory narration for each of the pieces, reading the Purdy poem from which its inspiration was drawn.
Proceeds from this concert will be donated to the Al Purdy A-Frame Association which has overseen the preservation and restoration of Al Purdy’s historic residence in Ameliasburgh, Ontario. During Purdy’s lifetime, the house was a gathering place for famous Canadian writers including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering, Lynn Crosbie, Dennis Lee, Margaret Laurence, and numerous others. The A-Frame Association continues this tradition by financing a residency program for aspiring writers.
Gallery 345 is at 345 Sorauren Ave. Tickets cost $20 for general admission, or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only), and can be reserved by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
After lunch at the (nearby) Boston Pizza, we came in to the Bingeman’s Big Splash. After changing into our bathing suits we stepped out on to the deck exited about all of the slides that awaited us. They had many slides to choose from and better yet, the height restrictions are very reasonable so that everyone can go (most of the required heights are around forty inches). My personal favourite slide was the Cyclone.
Over all, the park quite fairly spread out which makes it feel like there is less of a crowd, there also is a big wave pool
which has a shallow end
and a deep end however the tubes have to be rented for five dollars each and Cabana rentals are also available, another thing to note is that most of the rides are one person at a time, however there are a couple that two people can ride on at the same time.
We highly recommend that you try it out especially if traveling with young ones.
Overall it is the most fun water park in the region.
As soon as we knew that we are going to CTRL-V we were so impatient that could not wait for 8 pm! The dinner took so long… Finally at 8:10 pm we arrived at Ctrl-V – Canada’s first virtual reality arcade that was opened in Waterloo just recently. We walked in the first set of doors… First the parents had to sign the waver for safety reasons… after the wavers we watched the helpful demonstration video… and finally were ready to start! My first game was “Climbey”. I had a tutorial, also the staff helped me to figure out walking and climbing techniques. After playing “Climbey”, I choose a game where you pick a song and with your controllers you bump to the beat of the song – I chose “Shake it off” By Taylor Swift. It was a good exercise. My about an hour experience felt like ten minutes…
African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.
To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans. One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…
The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures each housing different wild animals. We are surrounded by lions, then we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…
The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!
Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…
Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!
It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.
After the 1 hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Cranberry Village. We first arrived to the rooftop patio, which has the best view in all of Collingwood.
From the roof you can see the lake Huron, the 19 hole golf course as well as the newly refurbished marina.
Following a quick resort tour and lunch on the roof top patio we went to do paddle board yoga (SUP Yoga).
At first we thought that there was no way we could balance on a paddle board, let alone do handstands, bridges and other meditation poses.
It turned out however that meditating on a paddle board while being gently rocked by the lake was very relaxing as well as a slightly challenging workout, after about an hour we returned back to the village to take on the iron chef challenge.
The iron chef challenge works like this; two teams of equal size are given 10 minutes to plan a dish using unknown ingredients
They can also “ purchase” products such as a lemon or herbs using the team’s points, which are then deducted from the final score.
Once they have used up their 10 minutes of planning time, they are given 20 minutes to cook and arrange their chosen dish. The team at the end with the most points wins. However its not that simple as the chefs who organize the competition/exercise will throw in some really odd ingredients to challenge the contestants even more. For example in our list of products that we must use was included local fresh perch and oddly enough, a small box of cereal, again, all of the given items must be included.
After completing the challenge, we went to the lakeside grill to enjoy their specialty steak, we heard that it was delicious because they had recently invested quite a lot of money into a brand new grill that cooks the whole steak perfectly and evenly and it was delicious, so delicious in fact that we all wanted another plate of steak even though we were full.
And like that the day was finished, we said our goodbyes and got in the car for the 1 hour drive back home.
We arrived in Valcourt QC to see the place where the man known as the pride of Valcourt created his company that would be renowned by the world. The visit begins with the simple garage where Joseph Armand Bombardier decides to overcome the challenges of driving in the deep snow.
By adapting the tractor wheels into treads and skis to become parts of the vehicle he was able to make the first snowmobile- the B7 – that within a very short period of time became in great demand not just in Quebec but all over Canada. In the garage there is still his officefilled with tools and papers, as if he just stepped out for a moment.
And you can see the first original snowmobile that looks quite bulky, since it was made of wood and various parts from other machines, stands in the middle of the garage.
The new creation became so popular that the company moved to the new larger building and was supported by the whole community of Valcourt. The larger sized vehicles followed and the business was prospering until… after World War II, the Quebec government passed a law that required cities to remove the snow from highways and streets and the need for the snowmobile as a transportation quickly faded. The creativity of Joseph Armand Bombardier never stopped and he
brought new ideas into growing the business… a few months later the “Ski-Doo” comes out of his production and quickly gives raise to the new sport and gives all new outlook for winter fun.
From section to section we could see the machines created in different times for the variety of purposes – snowmobiles of all sizes, all terrain vehicles, the rail transport – here you can get on the actual streetcar and image being on the streets of the busy downtown.
In the next hall we were impressed by the original subway wheels that are used in Montreal Metro – and these are produced by Bombardier Inc. as well.
One of the expositions is dedicated to the aircraft industry, here the imagination will take you up to the skies – yes, you can fly! And feel like a pilot of the commercial aircraft, which destination is any place of your choice!
And not just the destinations you can reach here, you can build the totally new vehicle of your own creation. In the room filled with I-pads there is big screen with the images of all sorts of surrealistic machines moving, floating, flying, zooming… it’s a wonderful world of imagination; and no matter the age – it is a great fun for all!
One more surprise at the end of our tour – so called ‘’ FabLabs’’. Anyone who likes to create, is in need of tools and good technical advice can come here and for a very reasonable fee get it all including materials, software and a helping hand! Really impressive and well done! And so encouraging!
During the last couple of years the topic of visiting Quebec was coming up several times in our discussions. Finally in May 2017 we booked a hotel and planned out the itinerary that would include some of the places that we thought would be interesting for everyone in the family.
The main destination was Quebec City and its beautiful downtown was so well preserved and such a distinct French heritage. We spent most of our time just strolling the streets, window shopping and watching the street performers who really amazed us with their skills – fire jugglers, drama characters and musicians…
One of the destinations that excited our kids most was the Granby Zoo, which is about 3 hours drive from the downtown Quebec, and about an hour from Montreal. We were welcomed in the nice reception hall, got our tickets and went to explore the animal world.
Right as we entered there was a gigantic size dinosaur’s head and a line up of kids willing to climb inside of it! No matter how big or small – they were very about the opportunity to see the real size dinosaurs! And there 21 of them right in front of you, so be very careful – but don’t try to feed or pat these creatures!
Enough of the dinosaurs – the kids forgot about dinosaurs right at the sight of the farm animals. And there were lots of them – pigs, sheep, and goats – so friendly and ready to make friends!
After some hugs exchange with farm inhabitants we decided to go see some of the exotic creatures on display.
Oceania seemed to be a good place to start – first the stingrays and the variety of tropical fish and then all way around the Australian continent to see black swans, parrots, emus, and kangaroos. Stingrays seem to be attracted to the hand emerged in the water – some of them will come and allow us to gently touch their backs…
The Kangaroos were too busy to discuss any matters of their life, so the visit to the Oceania Garden was quite interesting as it is extremely rare you get to see kangaroos that close and with no fence!.
We entered the aviary and right away we were surrounded by many colorful parrots! For $1 you can buy a special nectar – just hold the cup tight and they will sit on your hand and drink it!
We spend some good time there – the parrots are so colorful and it is such a great experience to see them so close.
But there was a lot see and the time was limited.
Our next destination was Africa! Who doesn’t like to observe the grace of big cats, see elephants shower using trunks, slowly moving zebras and giraffes, and the hilarious monkeys?
One of our major observations about Granby Zoo was the design of the areas, nice fences that imitate greenery and well maintained grounds. We later learned that Granby Zoo received an Award for the Energy Consumption Reduction Efforts project that was implemented during the renovation of 2005-2010.
The Zoo is well mapped and organized – it was no problem to find any continent or animal of interest. And yes, the zookeepers definitely speak many languages, no worries if you don’t speak French!
After Africa we had just a bit of time to make a short tour of South America. We stopped by llamas who stretched out their necks asking for treat…
it was a lot of fun to feed them some green leafs that we found on the trees around; we were impressed by the spread of the wings of the Andean Condor and spent some time waiting for the alligators to wake up from the afternoon nap; finally one of them yawned and slowly moved towards the water… at the end of the South American trail we saw a powerful jaguar, at the moment it was quite relaxed and not interested in any aggression.
On our way to South American continent we made a snack stop at “Le Marcher”. The restaurant offers a variety of foods and drinks and nice dining area; there is also a large area outside with tables under umbrellas.
Next to the Restaurant there is an Amusement Park – where kids found some free rides while we were resting our feet; there is also an Amazoo Water park that offers quite the variety of water rides, not now however… we may visit it some other time when the day will be hot enough for water fun…so long for now, the Zoo is closing and we are tired enough to get to our hotel and have some dinner.