As the centrepiece of a sprawling 32-acre site, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum preserves Canada's rich baseball heritage while leading visitors around the base paths of the game's history. In one room, fans ogle displays dedicated solely to the Expos and Blue Jays, and in another, artifacts from across the globe trap eyes in a pickle between vintage photos and authentic uniforms. The consistently rotated lineup of displays also saves a spot for current Canadian ballplayers, as well as for autographed Babe Ruth mementos that, despite their age, still retain their new hotdog smell.
Each year, the Hall of Fame adds new members to a select group of inductees, which currently includes 93 individuals and ranges from pro ballplayers and amateurs to umpires and trainers. In 2012 alone, the museum and its surrounding ball fields will play host to more than 450 events, highlighted by training clinics and minor league games. The 10th annual Kids on Deck summer camp also calls the site home, giving youngsters aged 8–14 the chance to perfect such vital skills as bunting and spitting a sunflower seed at least 10 feet.
Through the 80s and early 90s Graham Rawlinson accumulated more than a decade of experience piloting jets, hot air balloons, and ultra lights. Knowing how moving soaring through the sky can be, he opened Skyward Balloons in 1993 to share the experience with others. Today, Graham leads a team of Transport Canada–approved commercial pilots that ferry guests into the sky in kaleidoscopically coloured balloons. Leisurely sky-floats take guests 500–3,500 feet in the air, cruising over cities and the countryside for scenic champagne tours. Sightseers revel in aerial views of yawning pastures as they soar along, waving to earthbound onlookers and comparing lakes and ponds to unassuming puddles as lush treetops appear small enough to use for cleaning one's ears. The crew can accommodate corporate and group outings and are also certified to train student pilots. Their fleet of 10-storey-tall balloons can even help companies and public communication programs get the word out through airborne advertising.
Though already a funhouse of aquatic activity, Bingemans Big Splash recently added five new waterslides to their expansive water park. Adventure seekers can throw themselves down traditional tube slides such as Boomerango or attempt to beat family and friends in a race on Full Throttle. In between trips down the newborn water slides, a wave pool serves as the wading ground for both children and adults. To end a day of watery fun, guests can shake out their ears and bellybuttons at an outdoor mini-golf course or rock-climbing and ropes courses.
Joseph David captures countenances utilizing an artistic portraiture style honed during 10 years of experience photographing for national ad campaigns, newspapers, and magazines. Up to five muses can model in the studio, and on-location shoots can be accommodated for an additional fee. The photographer creates a fun and exciting studio atmosphere for his subjects, who can bring their own colourful props, music, or bottle of wine to set the mood and fill in for missing relatives. Decorate dwellings with an 11”x14” print, which undergoes basic retouching to remove blemishes, scratches, and reduction of darkness around the eyes. Low-resolution replicas of all the session's clicks gather themselves on a collectable DVD and are perfect for emailing correctly proportioned portraits to family without causing concern over couch-size teeth.
Tour the tastes of everyone's favourite subcontinent with a visit to Garam Masala. Owner and chief chef Jagat Ram’s 30 years of experience directing the kitchens of five-star hotels has endowed him with sumptuous superpowers that enable the seamless pairing of textures with flavours and spices with customers' horoscopes. Inaugurate the feast with a Punjabi samosa ($0.99 each), or whet an herbivorous appetite with an order of vegetable pakoras ($4.99). Put Garam Masala's authentic clay tandoor to the test by sampling the hara tikka ($11.99), a five-piece chicken ensemble marinated in mint and cooked to fork-flaking tenderness. Garam Masala's extensive menu also includes all the saucy favourites, from the tangy lamb vindaloo ($12.99) to a generous helping of butter chicken ($11.99). Like a hard-nosed news editor, the denizens of the vintage wine list cut spices without mercy, making the difficult decisions that will leave mouths trembling with trepidatious appreciation.
Vintage One Wines puts the power of winemaking into the hands of Toronto's toasters. With this offer, clients have the opportunity to guide a malbec or chardonnay into flavourful fruition from grapes sourced from the vineyards of Chile and Argentina. The process begins with a tour of Vintage One Wines' 10,000-square-foot facility, followed by a one-on-one consultation with a professional winemaker. From there, clients can use a monthly production calendar to be as hands on as they like throughout the entire two-month winemaking process, including fermentation, filtration, and stabilization, or they can just let the wine take its own course while they spend the interim traversing the globe on a falcon-guided vision quest.
At Puck’s Farm, visitors can bond with 180 acres of the natural environment by learning about harvest-time chores and activities or scheduling weddings and events year-round on the open grounds. Guests of the farm can meet its animal residents, including emus, llamas, and a farm cat, which is much friendlier than a farm puma. For an even more interactive experience with fauna, Puck’s offers pony rides and the opportunity to milk cows and churn butter. Wooded trails traverse the expanse and present one of the many places on the farm where guests can delight in the changing of the seasons. Fall, for example, offers a variety of seasonal activities: visitors can get lost in corn mazes, pick ripened pumpkins, ride in horse-drawn wagons, and stroll through trails speckled with changing leaves. Autumn months also see pigs and goats building their nests for the winter ahead. An onsite snack bar serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries enables guests to refuel for full days of farm activities.