One-Tank Trip for July 16/17 2011
(c) By Jim Fox
We’re all over the map again with tips on trips close to home.
Beep, beep on the road again
Parkbus is rolling through summer with expanded road trips that allow campers, hikers and outdoor adventurers to leave the car behind.
This non-profit initiative offers express bus service to Algonquin Provincial Park from Toronto weekly through Sept. 5 “as a sustainable alternative to car travel,” said Boris Issaev, project manager.
Funded in part by the Ontario government, the program is “creating a model that aims to connect urban residents with parks across the province,” he added.
|Parkbus is offering an expanded schedule of weekly trips to Algonquin Park this summer.|
There are convenient stops at campgrounds, canoe access points, trailheads and lodges while Toronto pickup locations are beside the College, Dufferin and Glencairn subway stations.
Parkbus aims to assist “new campers” as those without equipment or experience can find advice and gear rental information on its website or can opt for an all-inclusive package with a park outfitter.
Buses are operated by Muskoka-based Hammond Transportation with Thursday departures (northbound) and Sunday returns (southbound). The one-way adult fare is $34.95 plus tax.
Also in the works is a Killarney/Grundy Lake route for September.
Trip-planning information, schedules and tickets are at www.parkbus.ca; 1-800-928-7101.
Ah, summer in Mariposa
Forget Margaritaville, when Mariposa is so close and enticing.
Set in his historic estate on picturesque Old Brewery Bay in Mariposa (Orillia), the Leacock Summer Festival is a tribute to literary accomplishments. (Photo by Jim Fox)
It seems like summer and the late writer/humourist Stephen Leacock just naturally go together.
The festival named in his honour and in his fictional Mariposa (Orillia) is the annual salute to readers, authors and their books.
“There’s always been a major summer event marking Stephen Leacock, his literary accomplishments and his close association with his beloved Mariposa,” said Fred Addis, Leacock Museum curator and festival producer.
Set in his refurbished estate on Old Brewery Bay, the festival runs from next Tuesday (July 19) through July 30.
Opening night features publisher Douglas Gibson on his association with Leacock and Rae Fleming, author of Peter Gzowski: A Biography.
Other highlights include A Slice of Montreal, in reference to Leacock’s winter home, on July 21, with readings by Charles Foran, author of Mordecai: The Life and Times, and Bill Brownstein, writer of Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen: The Story (with servings of the legendary smoked meat on rye).
The humour showcase July 22 is hosted by Terry Fallis while on July 23, Kelley Armstrong presents her new book Spell Bound and there’s the Canadian Literary Awards dinner.
There will be readings and a Sunday picnic on July 24 and Stuart McLean brings his Vinyl Cafe to the Orillia Opera House on July 29 and 30. www.leacockmuseum.com; (705) 329-1908.
The Yankees are coming
Wasaga Beach will again be “under siege” as the Yankees are coming to do battle with the British Royal Navy.
The British will battle the Americans in a War of 1812 re-enactment in Wasaga Beach and on Nancy Island Historic Site.
This War of 1812 re-enactment on July 22 to 24, hosted by Nancy Island Historic Site and the town, will feature “authentic tactics, historical battles, marine assault landings, artillery and much more,” said coordinator David Brunelle.
Each battle event will be narrated for onlookers as the “series of fictional and historical battle scenarios” unfolds.
A Grand Encampment at the island will have some 300 re-enactors with 19th-century merchants, artisans, period cooking, musket and cannon demonstrations and period entertainment.
“The sandy beach and the modern attractions have overshadowed Wasaga Beach’s rich history for such a long time that only a small percentage of visitors and residents actually know that a War of 1812 battle was fought here,” Brunelle said. www.wasagabeachpark.com; (705) 429-2728; (705) 429-2247.
Hot town, summer in the city
Choose your own adventure in the big city this summer at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.
The hotel offers the Toronto Adventures package that “lets guests take control and choose how they want to spend their holiday by visiting the best sites and attractions around the city,” said Cynthia Bond.
Guests receive a voucher good for three adventures that includes a tour of the Air Canada Centre, admission to the CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario and the Hockey Hall of Fame, or a harbour boat tour.
In the heart of the city across from city hall and near the Eaton Centre, the Sheraton has the largest indoor/outdoor swimming pool in town, she said.
The package is from $249 a room per night, double occupancy, with children to age 17 no extra charge in the same room. www.sheraton.com/tospecials; 1-866-716-8101.
Summer in the arts
The Oxford Summer Arts Festival Art Show and Sale is at the Elm Hurst Inn and Spa in Ingersoll on July 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Enjoy live music as you wander among the artists on the beautiful grounds,” said Mary-Anne Murphy of Oxford Creative Connections Inc.
There will be some 50 regional artisans showing fine paintings, photography, fibre art, hand-made jewelry, drawings, sculpture, encaustics and pottery, along with authors. www.oxfordcreativeconnections.com; (519) 777-1374.
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com