The setting sun paints streaks of warm colours across the sky and the CN Tower looms over the harbour as a group of kayakers paddle toward a secluded island. This juxtaposition of city and nature sets the tone for Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre's expeditions into Lake Ontario. During tours, their guides transport groups from the urban jungle of Canada's largest city to the natural environs of 13 Toronto Islands. Whether by kayak or stand up paddleboard, the tour leaders blaze a watery path toward lagoons and sanctuaries teeming with wildlife, such as egrets, turtles, and turtles doing egret impressions. Tours also pass by historic man-made sights such as The Gibraltar Lighthouse built in 1808.
In addition to guided excursions, Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre's experts schedule both private and group lessons for each of their watercraft types. They can help students obtain certification, or learn invaluable skills such as kayak rescue. The instructors also lead sessions at a pool, which lets students hone their skills regardless of weather conditions.
Putting Edge provides a phosphorescent indoor mini-golf course that is fun for all ages. The 18-hole course features challenging twists and turns amid a glowing battleground seemingly created by a doodle-crazed ogre with a highlighter and artistic vision. Upbeat music adds to the fun as you expertly navigate your way through the incandescent irrigation routes and prove to your date that your putting skills are untouchable, like the bottom of Lake Ontario or Celine Dion's hair.
Enormous waterslides twist like snakes above Wild Water Kingdom's acres of landscaped grass and open pools. All in all, 17 aquatic attractions dip, dunk, and douse visitors in torrents of water as they whip down slides with names such as Corkscrew and Sidewinder. Though tykes frolic on the semi-submerged playsets of Dolphin Bay, older visitors scream in delight as they hurtle through the twisting pitch-black tunnels of the Night Rider. Elsewhere, sun-soaked volleyball courts and dual miniature golf courses—one themed after a shipwreck, the other an enchanted forest—provide entertainment that keep suede swimsuits perfectly dry.
Additional attractions include Face Drop, which consists of four ziplines that send guests on 80-foot drops—reaching speeds of more than 50kmph—and a 260-yard driving range keeps stances honed with a steady stream of golf balls.
Surrounded on all sides by graffiti art and exposed brick, 416 Skateboards' indoor skate park gives skaters space to launch themselves off of wooden ramps, leap from one ledge to the next, slither down a railed incline, or practice walking down stairs. Between battles with gravity, guests can consume pop, hot dogs, and chips at the snack bar. A staff of seasoned instructors—including Tom DiMaio, an avid skater who holds certification in first aid and CPR—stands by, ready to help novices find their footing during one-on-one and group lessons and summer camps.
A former top-10 junior player and college team captain, Carolynna Gabriel heads up a team of certified tennis professionals as the founder of Wilmington Tennis. Her merry band of coaches specializes in training adults and children through structured lessons instead of throwing old plums at them in the parking lot. Adults can register for instructional court time or book a hitting partner to hone technique; children are assembled according to age for their group classes. Young players between the ages of 4 and 10 learn on scaled-down equipment, using smaller nets and smaller racquets.
Chefs at Crepe Delicious swirl paper-thin layers of batter onto their piping-hot crepe griddles, perfuming the air with the enticing aroma. Shortly after, the cooks lift away delectable crepes ready to be stuffed with savoury ingredients. The crepes themselves weigh in at only about 130 calories each with just 3.5 grams of fat, but they sate appetites during any meal.