Salmon and trout have a hard time hiding from Big Game Fishing Charters' 22-foot boat, even if they put on their best fake moustaches. In addition to rods and bait, the vessel brings along GPS systems and tracking gear from companies such as Fish Hawk. However, the most sophisticated fish finder stands at the boat's controls: expert angler Adrian Chapman. A member of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Mr. Chapman has helped countless passengers pull fish from Lake Ontario since he started his company in 1999. He supplies everything needed for successful charters, including bait, equipment, and a second pair of hands to snap photographs once passengers reel in a prized catch.
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's phosphorescent indoor mini golf course challenges putters with a network of greens hindered by glow-in-dark obstacles. Eighteen holes twist and turn throughout a darkened space populated by painted neon trees and glowing statues. A steady stream of upbeat music sets the pace for players as they navigate their way through the incandescent labyrinth to prove to competitors that their putting skills—like the bottom of Lake Michigan and Celine Dion's hair—are untouchable.
At Magic Lantern Theatres, darkened auditoriums with flickering screens draw audiences into magical worlds where fish can talk, motorcycles leap canyons, and love comes even for those who eat crackers in bed. The partnering multiplex theatres and cinemas show recently released blockbuster flicks at 15 locations spread across Canada, each of which retains its own unique personality and honours any historic roots. In Edmonton, the Princess Theatre’s original 1915 auditorium, complete with balcony, golden drapes, and red walls, accommodates moviegoers with babies or pet hyenas inside a soundproof cry room. In Saskatchewan, the circa-1930 Roxy Theatre preserves the ambience of a Spanish courtyard. As guests find their auditoriums at the Ontario locations, they can admire giant murals by local artist Fred Harrison.
The rugged indoor playing field at Defcon Paintball’s Toronto and Mississauga locations span more than 40,000 square feet and beckon sharpshooters to engage in multicoloured campaigns. For each session, players don their gear and load their guns before Defcon staffers helm a comprehensive safety course that outlines essentials such as equipment usage, the rules of the game, and how to ornament opponents’ backs with dramatic chiaroscuro. Participants bob and weave through a dirt-floored indoor course littered with concrete cylinders, ducking behind piles of sandbags as they fire 100 polychromatic slugs at their rivals.
At My Dive Center, divers can don fins, tanks, and suits and embark on a scuba diving trip—or acquire the skills to do so. The equipment and instructional center’s PADI classes range from the beginner-focused open-water certification course to sessions on more specialized arts, such as learning to take great underwater digital photos of a manatee’s good side.
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