Over the Victoria Day long weekend, many families usher in the unofficial start of summer with active outings. This is something Kevin Siu-Chong has noticed in recent years. “People are always looking for something fun to do outside,” explains the president of iRange Torontothe largest automated outdoor driving range in Canada, which he claims is busy from early morning until sunset long after.
“Golf can be a very intimate sport,” says Siu-Chong, “so we try to differentiate ourselves from other ranges by creating a welcoming, family-friendly environment.” The property, located at 7855 Finch Ave. W. in Brampton, is for people of all abilities.
(Another way to enjoy the outdoors is on a walking tour of historic Toronto.)
Some first tried golf during the first lockdown, Siu-Chong says, because it could be enjoyed outdoors while keeping a distance from others. iRange’s system automatically sets up balls after each shot, so players don’t have to position a new ball before their next shot. “Golfers appreciate the time saved and, more importantly, the ability to make very slight adjustments to their swing or stance between shots,” he says. “It increases muscle memory.” State-of-the-art Toptracer technology provides information on launch angle, ball speed and flight path.
The driving range is just one of many GTA activities for families looking to get active this season.
Centennial Park Golf Course is known for being well-maintained and accessible, but its outdoor mini-golf course is not to be overlooked, says general manager Sharon Labbett. The 18-hole course offers plenty of tree shade and two waterfalls — enough to make guests briefly forget they’re in Toronto.
Open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to sunset, the course is very busy on weekends. Labbett therefore recommends booking in advance. Families should plan between an hour and an hour and a half per tour.
With participants as young as three years old and some in their 90s, “Anyone of any ability can enjoy the mini putt,” says Labbett. “All generations can play together, and the opportunity for a fun little competition only adds to the fun.”
Centennial Park Golf Course
550 Centennial Park Blvd., Etobicoke
The baseball area has produced hundreds of college baseball players, says coach Rick Boutilier, “and we have players who got drafted and went on to play professional baseball, including Cal Quantrill, Jake Sims and Travis Seabrooke. .”
What if you’re not major league gear? One of the things that sets the facilities in Mississauga apart, Boutilier says, “is that they’re open to the public, unlike many other indoor baseball practice facilities.” A day pass provides access to the batting cage, batting tunnels, pitching bullpen, and face-off and pitching area. Visitors are encouraged, but not required, to bring their own equipment.
For the faint-hearted who prefer to swing without crowds, summer is a great time to visit, as the year-round indoor facility is now the quietest, thanks to regulars playing and training outdoors, said Boutilier.
For serious players, The Baseball Zone offers technologies including Hittrax, Rapsodo and Pro Pitch AI to help them understand their biomechanics.
The baseball area
1081 Brevik Place, Mississauga
Karen McGilvray started rocking in the late 80s, before the advent of dedicated rock venues. “We climbed outside on real rock,” she said. said. “I love the movement of climbing and exploring the outdoor environment.”
But as the activity continues to grow in popularity in Toronto, outdoor rock climbing — especially in the GTA — isn’t always practical. There’s also the risk of rough terrain, rockfall, insects, weather and sun, says McGilvray, owner and operator of The Rock Oasis.
Its indoor gym preserves the best part of climbing, says McGilvray, “the camaraderie between climbers who love helping each other navigate their way.” For this reason, it is a great family activity. “We often watch kids grow up and they can climb increasingly difficult routes until they overtake their parents.”
The 25-year-old gym offers 100 different climbing routes and, on the lower walls, 100 different bouldering problems. “We’re constantly changing routes and rocks,” she says, “so there’s always something new.”
The Rocky Oasis
204-388 Carlaw Ave, Toronto
They’re the ultimate warm-weather activity and have lots of features — bright colors and slides — that kids love.. But water parks aren’t just for kids, says Susan Kruizinga of Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto. “We actually have a lot of young adults without children,” she says. “Coming to the park is pretty close to spending the day at the beach – minus the sand, of course.” But with thrill rides including Caribbean Chaos, Krazy Kanuck and Oh! Canada.
“For those who just like to relax, our lazy river – Muskokah Soakah – is very popular,” says Kruizinga. “And families love the Big Sur Wave Pool and Bear Footin’ Bay.” A live DJ on the weekends and the park is allowed to sell alcohol, in particular, says Kruizinga, “those fruity frozen drinks that taste even better in the sun.”
The park is open on weekends from June 11 and daily from June 30 to September 5.
Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto
7855 Finch Avenue West, Brampton