Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Playtime Bowl is a far cry from retro alleys that nod to the '70s. Although all the elements of the classic alley are there?48 lanes of clattering pins and two bars?they're sheathed in modern design. From color-dappled booths, to 10'x6' projection screen hovering over the lanes, to high-backed banquets in the bar area, the alley can feel as much like a high-end sports bar as it does a place for crushing pins. But crushing pins is its reason for being, and Playtime does it right. Joining regular 10-pin style games are rounds of cosmic bowling, which see the lights turned down and the tunes turned up as computerized light shows surround lanes with a club-like atmosphere. And on certain nights of the week, Playtime even offers bottomless bowling deals, when people can bowl until the doors close or the pins begin to wave white flags.
Kennedy Bowl’s 32 bowling lanes were paved in 1959, but over the years its owners have kept it modern. The most notable updates they’ve made have been building a snack bar, installing automated scoring, and putting in new Brunswick Anvil synthetic lanes with bumpers. They even replaced the carpeting with a glow-in-the-dark carpeting pattern, which is most noticeable on Friday and Saturday nights when the lights dim for cosmic bowling.
With its airy spaciousness and 48 lanes, it's easy to see why Planet Bowl was selected to be the official bowling venue of the 2015 Pan American Games?and why it's packed on a daily basis. Some visitors are casual bowlers who trade their time between the pins and the full-sized arcade. Others are birthday celebrants occupying the lanes, arcade, and party room. League members appreciate the pro-level facilities and onsite gear shop. No matter who's landing on Planet Bowl, the facility's clean, modern architecture, friendly atmosphere, and magical glass bowling shoes make the day special.
Equally comfortable and conducive to a good time is Planet Bowl's bar and restaurant. A far cry from the cramped snack bars of some old-fashioned alleys, Orbit Caf? is a cozy, contemporary restaurant. A black marble-topped bar accentuates a slate-and-steel colour palette, and bottles and drafts complement pizza, wings, and pasta.
In 2006, local Richmond Hill pin proprietors Marty and Russ took over Richmond Hill Pro Bowl's 32 lanes, renovating a few years later to trade an older lime-green scheme for more contemporary furniture and patterned lobby carpeting. As serious bowlers vie for supremacy on glossy 10-pin lanes and eight 5-pin lanes, bumpers allow kids to feel similar pin-toppling satisfaction. Select evenings bring cosmic bowling's glowing mixture of live DJ music and intergalactic atmospheres with blacklights. Marty and Russ add merriment to birthday parties inside a private room with packages including pizza and hot dogs, celebratory bowling, and ball returns that emit frosted cakes.
One of six Bowlerama centres spread throughout Ontario, Bowlerama West rumbles year-round with pin-clattering action. Aside from its everyday rounds, Bowlerama West hosts programs for bowlers young and old as well as parties. In fact, every year, more than 800 children book lanes to celebrate their birthdays or finally paying off the mortgages on their blanket forts. On certain days of the week, the facility transforms to take on the guise of special themes. Wednesdays, for instance, revive the ’70s with groovy disco tunes, and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays cast a celestial veil over frames of cosmic bowling with glow-in-the-dark lighting.
Comprised of 130 member clubs from sixteen districts across the province, the Ontario Lawn Bowling Association brings together veteran lawn bowlers and interested newcomers to bowl across the turf. As part of its mission, the association oversees lawn bowling championships and tournaments for men, women, and juniors, with annual gold and silver medal-winners advancing to the Canadian National Championships. Beginners, meanwhile, can make a smooth foray into the sport with assistance from each club’s coach, who will teach students how to roll with finesse while avoiding sabotage from neglected garden gnomes.