Father’s Day fun in Toronto for all kinds of dads

Guys, quit stereotyping The Dad! Whether your pops is a good ol’ fashioned outdoorsman, a culture-craving art aficionado, a high-expectations foodie, or the ultimate sportsfan, Toronto has a Father’s Day activity that the man of the hour will love. Plan a fun day yourself or hop on the wagon of one of these father-honouring Sunday events in the city.

Tommy Thompson Nature Trails

1 Leslie St, Toronto, ON M4M 3M2

Outdoorsy Dad? Get some casual hiking and bird watching in around this sprawling conservation park at the bottom of Leslie Street. The Tommy Thompson peninsula darts five miles out into Lake Ontario and features a wraparound beach, man-made from dilapidated building materials like worn down red bricks and retired street lamps (trust me, it is much more beautiful than it sounds). If the beach isn’t Dad’s cup of tea, take the main trails across bridges, through ravines, and over marshes and swales. Dog-loving Dads be warned: because of its many endangered Ontario bird species, Tommy Thompson is a pet-free zone.

Aramark Entertainment Service Inc

1 Blue Jays Way, Toronto, ON M5V 1J3

Sporty Dad? The Baltimore Orioles face our beloved Blue Jays this Sunday at every Torontonian’s favourite spot for steaming hot dogs, crunchy cracker jacks and giant beers (just make sure you give your pops a little magnet-on-the-bottom training, so the curiously designed cup doesn’t ruin his day – and his pants). Post-game, celebrate victory or drown disappointment with dinner or drinks at a slough of nearby restaurants and bars to suit all moods and palates.

Gladstone Hotel

1215 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J6

Urban Dad? Brunch in style this Sunday at The Gladstone, West Queen West’s boutique art hotel. Follow a gourmet breakfast with a gander around the 19th century Victorian manor followed by a stroll across Queen West. Even Grumpy Dad won’t be able to help checking out the stocked men’s boutiques, specialty shops and antique markets on the Queen Street strip. Alternatively, hop over to Queen and Ossington, pick up a pair of Bixi bikes and make a break for the Lakeshore path. For Are-you-crazy-I’m-not-biking-in-the-city Dads, round off the afternoon with some people- or dog-watching at Trinity Bellwoods Park instead.

Black Creek Pioneer Village

1000 Murray Ross Pky, North York, ON M3N 1S4

History-buff Dad? Experience the excitement and suspense of a 100-soldier re-enactment of the historical Battle of Black Creek at this open-air heritage museum. A series of battle-related activities including tours through the revolutionary encampments, a workshop on writing and breaking secret codes, and a musket demonstration lead up to the battle commencement at 3 p.m. sharp. This Sunday, the village will also host historic brewery tours with beer sampling and growlers for sale, plus a baby-back-rib BBQ in the event pavilion (I know, but just reassure Keener Dad that not everything can be 100% historically accurate).

High Park West Ravine Trails

1873 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

Nature-loving Dad? Treat him to a walk and surprise picnic (picnic areas included) in Toronto’s largest public park, where hiking trails cozy up to a canopied lakefront path, lush gardens and a dog park, for hours of invigorating outdoor exploration. Sweep down by the waterfront on the west side of the park and watch colourful birds frolic among willow trees. Curve up past the impeccably manicured rose garden, and to finish it off, find yourself inches away from the dwarfing horns of highland cattle and the awe-inducing antlers of a pack of reindeer at the park's urban zoo.

Scotiabank Theatre

259 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3M6

Movie-nerd Dad? Relive childhood memories 2.0-style by attending an IMAX screening of the newly released Jurassic World at this state-of-the-art Entertainment District cinema. Bonus, this low-stakes activity also applies to I-don’t-want-to-do-anything-for-Father’s-Day Dad as well as Scientist Dad, Survivalist Dad, and Sci-Fi-Geek Dad. Afterwards, chill the fear incited by the film’s biological apocalypse of our own making with a pint on a nearby patio and impassioned debate about the plausibility of the dinosaurs-in-our-midst plotline.

Casa Loma

1 Austin Terr, Toronto, ON M5R 1X8

Medieval-minded Dad? See a castle and eat some BBQ (because what could be better?) at this citadel-in-the-city just off Davenport Road and Spadina Avenue. The picnic-style BBQ will be held in the sprawling gardens of the historic estate, fusing casual outdoor fun with the awe-striking grounds of this unique local treasure. Tickets to the BBQ also include admission and a multimedia tour around the many rooms of the castle. Insider secret: Ask an attendant for the route to the Sir Henry Mill Pellatt watchtower for a climbing adventure and a spectacular view of the city.

Bass Pro Shops

1 Bass Pro Mills Dr, Vaughan, ON L4K 5W4

Rugged Dad? Well, let’s get real: Maybe you don’t know so much about sonar fish finders or dual-fuel camping stoves, so why not treat Dad to his pick at this outdoor emporium just up the highway. Whether you’re reviving Dad’s old fishin’ boat with a top-of-the-line trolling motor, treating him to a brand new two-person kayak for summer gliding on the lake, picking up a few new bird feeders for the backyard, or just finally getting your Outdoors Card and Boating Licence, it’s guaranteed that this year, he won’t end up throwing your gift in the back of the closet.

Angus Glen Golf Club

10080 Kennedy Rd, Markham, ON L6C 1N9

Preppy Dad? Tie on those spiky shoes and hit some balls at this premier Markham golf club, just a short jaunt out of the city. The club is private but open to non-members, so you’ll have no trouble swinging a quick nine-hole twosome or 18-holes with the whole fam. Choose from either the North or South course or just whack a few at the Angus Glenn driving range. Top off the sun-soaked day with an afternoon cocktail on the patio of the gleaming main lodge or dinner at the club restaurant, The Silo Grill.

Three words: Pick. Your. Own. Whether you’re looking to come home with a bag of freshly plucked Ontario apples or frolic about the pumpkin patch with your pals, these Ontario farms are ready with all the essential autumnal activities. These close-to-the-city spots offer everything from a quintessential fall wagon ride through the field, to estate wineries, to weekend farmers markets. [Image credit: iStock.com/FamVeld]
For many years, Toronto’s billiards scene was well, lacking. Elderly dives and pubs hosted rickety tables and a questionable clientele, while beloved brewpubs and craft cocktail spots remained mysteriously billiard-less. For a while there, it seemed there was nowhere in the city where you could enjoy some good company, delicious drinks and a few rounds of pool – that is, until these sweet bars stepped up.
If the first thing on your list of Canada Day 2016 celebrations is a hot seat at the fireworks, know that the city is hosting some next-level light shows from the Lakeshore to North York. Whether you’re in search of a comfy spot on the beach or a patio-side view of festivities, here are the top spots to catch the fireworks on July 1, 2016. [Image credit: iStock.com/Harvey8]
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