Originally founded in 1919 as a small petting zoo known as the Cream of Barley Park, Bowmanville Zoo has since evolved into one of the largest collections of animals on the continent. More than 300 creatures roam its 42 acres of parkland, including turtles, primates, and large felines seen in feature films and television shows such as Animorphs and Peter Benchley's Amazon. Throughout the week, visitors can ride camels or elephants, see trained critters perform in the 400-seat indoor Animatheatre, or watch as handlers feed the carnivores by throwing them meat to trade with monkeys for delicious twigs.
Without the benefit of planes or cars, 19th-century pioneers trekked to the County of Peterborough, where they built a new life for themselves. Here, they established a number of operations including farms, a cider mill, and a print shop, and today, it’s as if the village never changed. The Lang Pioneer Village Museum re-created the 19th-century town in 1967 to give visitors a glimpse into pioneer life, and more than 25 restored and furnished original structures have been moved as far as 90 miles to lend the outdoor museum authenticity. Among these buildings is the three-story Lang Grist Mill, an 1846-built facility where wheat is still ground into flour every summer.
Costumed villagers populate the town, roving past the museum's vegetable gardens, hitching posts, and watering troughs on their way to work. In the various shops, blacksmiths shape metals, carpenters assemble furniture, and printers generate handbills on a 1927 Washington Flatbed Press. Villagers perform crafts such as open-hearth cooking and weaving; in fact, the museum's weaver shop showcases one of the few Jacquard looms on display in North America.
Visitors to the museum can interrupt any of the townspeople to find out more about their trade or to lend a hand with chores, or participate in events, which range from corn roasts to traditional pioneer Christmas celebrations. The museum even rents out its 1886 schoolhouse to students for a day, replacing their usual teacher with a costumed interpreter who conducts lessons similar to those of a 19th-century classroom.
Though there are specific pieces on display at Sevan Art Gallery, the inventory is not limited to what is hanging in the physical gallery. This allows customers to request any piece on the market, which the team at Sevan will then track down and have shipped to the gallery. To supplement their art dealing, staffers offer an on-site framing service. Knowledgeable designers help clients select custom frames and acid-free mats for photos or paintings or build out shadow boxes for three-dimensional items, such as sports memorabilia or the bronzed bust of a deceased cactus.
Liss Gallery, established in 1983, is located in the heart of Toronto and is a leader in the promotion of Canadian and International art. The gallery features contemporary fine art including original paintings, photography, sculptures and limited edition prints.
Each voyage the MV Woodman takes with Scugog Island Cruises pays tribute to the rich maritime history of the area. The double-decker vessel carries the moniker of an 1850s-era steamship that cruised Lake Scugog for more than 70 years, and the crew recounts tales from bygone days of glamorous lake parties and the time that carp ran for mayor during each sightseeing excursion. Whether they are steering up to 100 passengers for a wedding, birthday shindig, or themed dinner-dance cruise, the trained personnel aim to dip each experience in the colours of the area's rich history.
During all four seasons, The team at Toronto Adventures Inc. smuggle urbanites out of their condos and A-frames and into the area's nearby-yet-faraway outdoor streams, trails, and forests. In winter, the guides lead groups snowshoeing in the Humber Valley, and in warmer months, they glide teams over two rivers for kayaking and canoeing adventures. Paddlers cast gentle ripples over waters that harbour salmon and turtles while admiring shores that shelter deer, foxes, and blue heron.
Summer enthusiasts can also bask in the warm weather by sailing on Lake Ontario in keelboats, staring directly into the sun, or standing astride a paddleboard at Sunnyside Beach. For land lovers, guided hikes explore the Humber and Rouge valleys as well as the Bruce Trail.