When George Gardiner began collecting ceramics in 1976, he was only interested in decorating his home. But soon his passion for pottery and porcelain grew, and, rather than build a second home entirely from teapots, he co-founded the Gardiner Museum in 1984 with his wife, Helen. Today, the museum's collection has ballooned to include more than 3,000 pieces, encompassing everything from Japanese sake pots and Canadian ceramic sculptures to Italian Renaissance maiolica plates.
Objects from the core collection share space in the museum with special exhibitions. One of these is the annual 12 Trees of Christmas, a display of holiday trees. The museum supplements its showings with events such as lectures and ceramics-inspired meals, as well as clay classes for budding adult and child ceramicists. Visitors can even take home pieces from the Gardiner Shop, which sells Canadian ceramics, as well as international jewelry, scarves, and glasswork.
2014 marks the 40th-year the Toronto Zoo has been saving and protecting species. The more than 5,000 animals representing over 450 species that call this zoo home probably have no idea they're citizens of Canada's most populous metropolis. Sprawling across 710 acres, their award-winning exhibits accurately recreate habitats from seven geographical zones, including Africa, Australasia, and the tundra.
Ben Navaee Gallery is dedicated to two causes: first, to present and promote local Canadian artists in its gallery space, and second, to raise funds and awareness for philanthropic causes related to poverty, homelessness, and natural disasters. With classes, the gallery aims to educate its visitors, helping them learn about the work of a new artist or teaching them how to paint a heartfelt message onto that artist's car. During each calming session, students leave outside stress behind as they unlock hidden artistic talents with the help of gentle, encouraging instruction. This nurturing environment is an extension of Ben Navaee himself; a veteran painter, sculptor, and photographer, Ben has spent the last 25 years helping students better their lives through art, as well as yoga and meditation.
The sixth annual Wings & Wheels Heritage Festival celebrates the history of Canadian aviation with showcases, exhibits, and live demonstrations on the grounds of Downsview Park and Airport, Canada’s first urban national park. Tickets grant entrance to Hangar Bay 1's exhibitions and aircraft displays, access to outdoor display grounds and runways, free Canadian Air & Space Museum admission, and a tour of the newborn helicopter nursery. Wings events showcase classic aircraft from the world's oldest flying DHC-1 Chipmunk to brand-new cloud ticklers such as the gargantuan C-130J Super Hercules. In-between browsing fields of professionally manufactured and home-built aircraft, guests watch pilots fly swiftly into the airport compound.
A non-profit design centre and museum, Design Exchange educates guests in all realms of design with unique lectures, programs, exhibitions, tours of its historic building and collection, and youth activities. A family/dual membership grants pairs and families unlimited exhibition entrances, as well as free admission or discounts to lectures, movie nights, workshops, and gladiatorial paintbrush matches. Members may also enter a raffle drawing for two tickets to the November DX Awards, a celebration of excellence and creative mind bending in Canadian design. Membership also proffers discounts for children's enrolment in design camps and a 15 per cent discount off items from the DX Shop, a gallery of designer publications, apparel, household goods, and decor. Visitors may expect impromptu sightings of the industry's most creative and untamed minds, as well as peeks at upcoming design trends.
In addition to hosting Unlockthecity events, Urban Expeditions quenches humans’ innate thirst for exploration and knowledge with tours of Toronto that showcase noteworthy cultural and infrastructural sites, as well as its useful urban resources. During tours, wayfarers use game boards and online tools to drive their voyage in collaboration with a seasoned and friendly guide. Urban Expeditions offers casual walks, 5K trots, and bicycle rides through the city, so guests can acquaint themselves with Toronto’s novel features in the mode of transit they find most appealing.