Thursday, August 01, 2019

Simcoe Day 2019 activities and attractions in Toronto

August long weekend fun brought to you from the City of Toronto includes swimming, golf, tennis, farms, zoos and much more. Non-municipal events include the massive Carabana Festival with the Grande Parade on Saturday, August 3 at Exhibition Place, the Scarborough Ribfest and a Food Truck Festival.
Watch the Simcoe Day fireworks

Here is Toronto's media release about their Simcoe Day events.

The City of Toronto encourages residents and visitors to take advantage of City-run attractions and recreational opportunities on Simcoe Day – Monday, August 5. Named after Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe, who founded York/Toronto in 1793, Toronto's annual civic holiday is celebrated (though not as a statutory holiday) the first Monday of each August.

Swimming and wading: Municipal outdoor pools, swimming beaches, splash pads and wading pools across Toronto will be open on holiday Monday. Swimming beaches that are open are supervised between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Indoor pools and community centres will be closed on the August 5 civic holiday.

Golf: All five City-run golf courses will be open and will offer holiday rates. These affordable, high-quality, TTC-accessible golf courses are open daily during the summer.

Tennis: Many of Toronto's municipal tennis courts will offer public hours on August 5, varying by location. There is no fee to play during public hours. Tennis players are asked to share the courts by limiting their play time to half-hour intervals if others are waiting to use the courts.

Riverdale Farm: This farm in the city has a variety of domestic farm animals. The breeds represent animals that were commonly found on a turn-of-the-century Ontario farm. Riverdale Farm is open daily, including August 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free.

High Park Zoo: The zoo in High Park is home to animals such as bison, llamas, highland cattle and reindeer. The High Park Zoo, which has entertained people for more than a century, is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk, with free admission.

Toronto Island Park: Residents and visitors can enjoy what Toronto Island Park has to offer during the holiday long weekend. Businesses will be open and ready for a busy long weekend. Ferry tickets can be purchased online to save time at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (at the foot of Bay Street). Centre Island Beach and Ward's Island Beach and the Eastern half of Gibraltar Point Beach are currently open, with lifeguards on duty from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.

Information about the park's amenities is available at As a result of high lake levels, there are no ferries to Hanlan’s Point, and the west side of Gibraltar's Point, Hanlan’s Point Beach, Olympic Island and Snake Island are closed.

Conservatories: A variety of flowers are in bloom at Allan Gardens Conservatory downtown and Centennial Park Conservatory in Etobicoke. Both conservatories are open, with free admission, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Toronto's history museums

Simcoe Day at Fort York: Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.) will feature tours, demonstrations and a re-enactment of Lt.-Governor John Graves Simcoe reviewing the troops on Simcoe Day. An exhibit presented by the Ontario Black History Society is featured in the visitor centre's lobby. Fort York's hours on Simcoe Day are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free that day. There will be a ticketed performance of Jason Wilson's Sumach Roots musical production Monday evening.

The City's other nine history museums will be closed on August 5 but will be open on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4.

Staycation Sundays: Each Sunday in August, visitors to seven of the Toronto History Museums feature Staycation Sunday. Visitors can picnic and play in the gardens, courtyards and outdoor spaces from noon to 5 p.m. The participating museums in the "Staycation Sundays" series are Colborne Lodge, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Scarborough Museum, Montgomery's Inn, Spadina Museum and Todmorden Mills. Entry to the grounds is free. There are admission fees for tours inside the museums.

Emancipation Day: Events this weekend at two of the Toronto museums, Montgomery's Inn and Mackenzie House, will mark annual Emancipation Day. The day is observed in many countries on various August dates to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people of African descent. Montgomery's Inn presents the drama Finding Freedom - The Joshua Glover Story at 5 p.m. on August 3 and 4. Mackenzie House celebrates the stories of some of Toronto's earliest Black residents, with a tour of the downtown neighbourhood surrounding Mackenzie House starting at 10 a.m. on August 4. Participants will also learn about Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a journalist, publisher, teacher and lawyer who was an anti-slavery activist. Admission is free.

Other attractions and services

Toronto Zoo: The Toronto Zoo offers peak-season hours (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) daily on the Simcoe Day long weekend, with the last admission at 6 p.m. Visitor highlights include the newly opened Kangaroo Walk-Thru, Penguin Awareness Weekend, Splash Island – the zoo’s vast splash pad, daily animal shows in the Waterside Theatre and Keeper Talks.

Transit service: The TTC's holiday service schedule will be in effect on Simcoe Day. It means TTC routes will operate on Sunday schedules but will start early, at 6 a.m.

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