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Experience the Park Rogers Centre Fan Guide
Torontonians aren’t trusting of the conventional wisdom behind meteorology, always wondering if behind every warm breeze is a winter storm. But when summer finally defeats the chill, Torontonians flock to the streets, beaches, parties and patio pubs. Toronto is a unique mix of culture and ethnic diversity, matched with food and wine and summer celebrations, including the granddaddy of them all…Beerfest! The events are non-stop throughout the summer, so don’t think the Jays are the only game in town.
The first thing to do when visiting Toronto is to get downtown and ditch your car. Like all big cities, Toronto is best explored on foot and by using the efficient public transportation system. Toronto is fairly easy city to navigate; Yonge Street runs north/south dividing the city and everything within the downtown core can be found south of Bloor Street. The intersection of Yonge and Dundas is considered the middle of the city, and right there is the famous Eaton Centre, a gigantic shopping complex that also has several restaurants. You might want to grab your Jays hat and jersey there as it’ll be easier on the pocketbook than at the Rogers Centre.
Other popular spots include the Hockey Hall of Fame in one of the prettiest buildings downtown and the CN Tower, the world’s tallest structure at 1,815 feet. It towers over the Rogers Centre and you can peer into the ballpark if the roof is open. Take a walk on the observatory’s glass floor if you’ve got the nerve.
Or just walk … to the Old Town neighbourhood and the great St. Lawrence Market; to Little Italy and the surprisingly large Chinatown; to the waterfront to check out Lake Ontario. Hop on a ferry down there and take a quick trip across the water to Centre Island. The ferry provides an incredible look at the Toronto skyline, and the island has plenty of open space, a beach, bike paths and an amusement park for the little ones.
Back on the mainland, check on-line for a schedule of festivals because there’s one going on almost every weekend in the summer. Here’s a sampling:
Caribana This huge celebration of Caribbean culture runs most of the summer, but the biggest party is the Caribana Parade later in the summer at the Exhibition Grounds (Lakeshore Avenue, west of the Rogers Centre). It’s an incredible way to experience the true diversity of Toronto while enjoying some jerk chicken and a few beers.
Gay Pride Parade One of the biggest in North America, the parade runs along a portion of Yonge Street (just north of the Rogers Centre) and draws hundreds of thousands of people to Toronto each year.
Wakestock Held on the Toronto islands, Wakestock is the world’s largest wakeboarding event, not to mention Toronto’s version of the X-games featuring professional wake and skateboarders; make sure to look out for the man-made snowboard park…in the summer!
Beerfest is held at Toronto’s historic Fort York. All one has to do is walk north from the Rogers Centre to Front Street and head due west until Bathurst, then walk south across the bridge. On your right you’ll see the grounds where U.S. troops overran the British in the Battle of 1812, Fort York. Rebuilt and able to repel further attacks, British, Canadian and First Nations troops eventually won the battle. Drink Up!
Taste of The Danforth is an event celebrating Greek culture and the diversity of Toronto. Located on historic Danforth Avenue, one of the city’s oldest communities, visitors can get there via the subway. Exit at Broadview and follow the crowd and your nose…Gyros and beer for everyone!