The City of Toronto encourages residents to enjoy Family Day on Monday, February 16 by taking advantage of City-run recreational facilities and historic attractions. Highlights follow, along with information about the limited availability of other municipal services on Monday.
Leisure skating: Family Day schedules for outdoor rinks and select indoor rinks vary and are available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate or by calling 311. There is no charge for public skating at the City’s indoor or outdoor rinks. Hockey helmets are mandatory for children under age six and are recommended for skaters of all ages.
Shinny hockey: Supervised shinny hockey is available free of charge for various ages and skill levels. Family Day schedules for each city facility are available at http://bit.ly/16PizhW or by calling 311.
Skating event in Scarborough: Families are invited for free skating at Centennial Recreation Centre, 1967 Ellesmere Rd., from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday, when RBC will provide music, games and refreshments.
Skiing and snowboarding: The City has two ski and snowboard centres with lifts:
– Centennial Park Ski and Snowboard Centre, 256 Centennial Park Rd.
– Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre, 4169 Bathurst St.
Both centres will be open from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Family Day. Details about equipment rentals and the use of helmets are available at http://www.toronto.ca/ski or by calling 311.
Swimming: Family Day leisure swimming will be available at City-run indoor pools on Family Day. City-run leisure swims are now free of charge for everyone. Locations and times are available at http://www.toronto.ca/swim.
Riverdale Farm: The City’s farm at 201 Winchester St., open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., features farm animals and offers various activities. Family Day’s free drop-in activities will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/ or by calling 311.
High Park Zoo: Toronto’s oldest zoo, the High Park Zoo has been entertaining people for 120 years. The zoo, which houses domestic and exotic animals such as bison, llamas and reindeer, is located on Deer Pen Road and is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo/ or by calling 311.
Shared Path walk: The Shared Path, the newest of the City’s Discovery Walks, includes 15 kilometres of trails through a series of park areas along the banks of the Humber River. The Discovery Walks program is a series of 10 self-guided walks that link ravines, parks and neighbourhoods. Maps and details about the Shared Path are available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/trails/discover.htm.
Family Day at Toronto’s Historic Sites
Seven of the City’s 10 historic sites will be offering Family Day events, activities and tours. Programming highlights for individual locations are listed below. Times, admission fees and details for activities will vary by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/museum-events.
Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.): Families can visit the fort’s historic kitchen and sample baking from the hearth. Hot chocolate and a roaring fire will make for a memorable visit. Kids can try an 1812 drill class, the officers’ sword drill and some old-fashioned games.
Historic Zion Schoolhouse (1091 Finch Ave. E.): Visitors on Family Day can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag and learn about the British flag that would have been flown in front of the schoolhouse in 1910. Visitors will learn how the maple leaf became the symbol of Canada and will be able to make their own Canadian flag to take home.
Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.): Visitors to Mackenzie House can celebrate Black History Month at an exhibit on the Black community in Victorian Toronto and its contributions to the city, and other aspects of Black life in mid-Victorian Toronto. Family Day visitors can print a copy of the Provincial Freeman newspaper and can try illumination, a popular practice in the 19th century. Visitors will be treated to cookies and warm cider from the historic kitchen.
Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St. W.): Visitors can learn about and participate in an Irish ceilidh – traditional Gaelic music and dance. Maureen O’Leary of Maureen’s Reel Irish Dancing will teach a dance workshop and host the ceilidh. Montgomery’s Inn resident storyteller Nan Brien will share fireside stories while the inn’s cooks prepare treats over the fire.
Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.): The museum will offer fun activities such as a scavenger hunt and a craft activity. Visitors will be able to sample baked goods and hot chocolate.
Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.): Families can experience the luxurious world of the Austin family and experience the life of a 1920s and ’30s child through tours, music, toys, and games.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.): Todmorden Mills will celebrate Family Day by offering a guided outdoor tour. Participants will then warm up indoors with parlour games from generations past and will be able to create a family flag to take home.
Other municipal facilities and services
All City of Toronto emergency and 24-hour services will operate normally on February 16. City administrative offices and service counters will be closed on Monday, re-opening on Tuesday, February 17.
The TTC will operate on its holiday schedule on Family Day. Holiday service is similar to a Sunday but with Saturday start times. Any routes that do not normally operate on a Sunday will not operate on the February 16 holiday. More TTC information is available at http://www.ttc.ca/routes/general_information/service_details.jsp.
City-operated child care centres and Children’s Services district offices will be closed on Monday. Toronto Home Child Care Agency providers will offer service as usual.
All Toronto Public Library branches will be closed on Family Day. Archival Services at 255 Spadina Rd. will also be closed on Monday.
Some community recreation centres will be closed on Family Day. Closure notices have been circulated in advance at those locations and will be posted at each site. Residents can call their local centre ahead of time to check on whether or not it will be open.
The Toronto Zoo will be open as usual from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on February 16, with Family day activities free with zoo admission. More information about activities at the zoo and about a discount coupon for child admission is available at http://www.torontozoo.com.