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Family trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

 

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

By Jonathan K.

 

 

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What's Up in Ottawa -Spring 2017 News

Ottawa Tourism
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
GARDENS GALORE
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
MORE
The year of celebration continues!
OTTAWA THE HEADQUARTERS OF CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
The year of celebration continues!
MORE
Fun ways to continue the party
STEP OUT AND ENJOY OTTAWA’S NIGHTLIFE
Fun ways to continue the party
MORE
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
EXPLORE THE RIDEAU CANAL THIS SPRING
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
MORE
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
QUICK BITES OF OTTAWA’S FOOD AND DRINK SCENE
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
MORE
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
OTTAWA RACE WEEKEND
Get out and get active!
MORE
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
MUSEUM ROUNDUP
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
MORE
REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
3 museums, 3 days, $30
MORE
Pedal power
CYCLING EXPLORATIONS
Pedal power
MORE
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‘Green light’ for St Patrick’s celebrations around the world!

16 March 2017:  Over 250 iconic landmarks and sites around the world will be illuminated green over the coming days – as part of Tourism Ireland’s 2017 Global Greening initiative to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick.

The annual initiative, now in its eighth year, which sees a host of major landmarks around the world turn green for St Patrick’s Day, has grown from strength to strength, with many new landmarks signing up to take part this year.

Stadiums, statues, castles and towers will go green to celebrate our national day (17 March) with exciting additions for 2017 including the One World Trade Center in New York – the main building of the re-built World Trade Center in New York and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Canadian landmarks going green this year include the Toronto Sign, Casa Loma, Whistler Ski Resort, Calgary Tower, Cabot Tower, The Big Fiddle, the Museum of Nature, the Big Nickel, the Distillery District, the Sails of Lights, the Futalognkosaurus (dinosaur) in the Royal Ontario Museum, Montreal City Hall, Complexe Desjardins, and La Tour McGill.
Click Tourism Ireland’s Global Greenings for footage of the world turning green.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the eighth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more well-known attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved. The eagerness of cities and countries everywhere to take part underlines the strength of the deep connection that people all over the world feel to Ireland. More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.”

Of course, the ‘greenings’ are just one part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. The place to be on 17th March is Ireland where there are two festivals which shouldn’t be missed.

In Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, the ‘St Patrick’s Festival’ will last for four great days, taking in the weekend and running from 16-19 March.  The city will be alive with music, film, arts, dance, culture, fun and even international rugby.

Each year the festival has a different theme with this year’s ‘Ireland We Are’ giving the city a chance to showcase all that Ireland stands for today.  Festival favourites include the world’s largest outdoor céilí, world-class museums hosting free workshops and guided historic walks including famous sites such as the Guinness Storehouse. The main event, the St Patrick’s Festival parade, is held on Friday 17 March in Dublin’s city centre.

In Northern Ireland, the newly curated ‘Home of St Patrick Festival’ celebrates St Patrick, the man and the saint, as one of the world’s most inspiring and loved saints of all time. Taking place in the beautiful landscape of Counties Armagh and Down, which was once Patrick’s home, the festival will culminate on Sunday 19 March with ‘The Voice of the Irish’ closing concert in spectacular Newry Cathedral.

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January-February 2015 activities on the Bloor Str., Toronto

ON THE BLOOR ST. CULTURE CORRIDOR

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2015
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TORONTO, Canada (January 7, 2015): The 14 arts and culture destinations of the Bloor
St. Culture Corridor – Toronto’s most diverse arts and culture district – offer
a wide variety of events in January and February, from museum experiences to films,
art exhibitions to music concerts, and opportunities to experience some of Toronto’s
cultural diversity, including French, Jewish, Italian, Japanese and Aboriginal arts
and culture.
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor free mobile app provides access to special offers
exclusive to app users, and a convenient way to easily see the richness of cultural
destinations and events on offer in the Bloor St. area of central Toronto, within
an easily-walkable 1.5kms between Bathurst and Bay, from The Annex through to Yorkville.
More information about the Bloor St. Culture Corridor and upcoming events can be
found at: www.bloorstculturecorridor.com
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor is on Twitter @bloorstculture and on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/bloorstculturecorridor
Highlights of arts and culture events on the Bloor St Culture Corridor in January
and February include:
Special Events:
The public is invited to attend the Big Drum Social at the Native Canadian Centre
of Toronto every Thursday evening at 6:30pm.
Friday Night Live Encore: on February 6, the Royal Ontario Museum thaws the winter
freeze with a special Carnival-themed FNL, with more of the unique mix of live music,
dancing, eclectic eats and drinks, gallery activities and unexpected experiences
which have made FNL one of Toronto’s most unique social destinations.
Film:
Movie Thursday at Alliance Française Toronto features Versailles rive gauche on
January 8; La Haine on January 15; The Triplets of Belleville on January 22; Rosetta
on January 29; Age of Panic on February 5; Under the Starry Sky on February 12;
Tanguy on February 19; and Hélène Berr, une jeune fille dans Paris occupé on February
26. A special NFB Short Movies Selection for kids (2 to 4 years old), will be on
screen January 10.
The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema starts 2015 with a fantastic selection of documentary
films. Highlights include Monk with a Camera, the story of Buddhist monk Nicholas
Vreeland, grandson of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, opening January 9.
Award-winning director Rory Kennedy takes a stunning look at the chaotic final days
of the Vietnam War in Last Days in Vietnam, opening on January 16. And two new series
launch in January, Composers on Screen with In Search of Mozart, co-presented with
The Royal Conservatory of Music, and Ballet on Screen with The Royal Ballet’s production
of Manon. The Music on Film series continues on January 27 with Let’s Get Lost,
the life story of legendary jazz artist Chet Baker, presented in partnership with
The Royal Conservatory.
Jewish film events on the big screen of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre’s
Al Green Theatre includes Cupcakes with guest speaker Jamie Levin, co-presented
with Kulanu Toronto and Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival on January 18; and
The Matchmaker with guest speaker Professor Kalman Weiser, part of Spotlight on
Israeli Culture, on February 15. Both films screen at 4pm and 7:30pm each day.
Tickets: 416.924.6211 x606
Music:
Alliance Française Toronto presents Paris 1900 on January 9 at 8pm, where Jacques
Israelievitch (violin), Benjamin Smith (piano) and Jihyun Ahn (cello) explore the
music of Paris at the time of the Belle Époque; at Europe et Opéra on January 23
at 8pm, singers from the COC Ensemble Studio offer extracts from operas in four
Europeans languages; on January 16 at 8pm jazz singer Samantha Clayton will offer
her vision of Paris and sing her fondness for the City of lights; Japanese/Canadian
jazz trio The Japan Project: Memoires et improvisations offers a new vision of traditional
Japanese music on February 20 at 8pm; and at L’Europe au diapason on February 27
at 8pm French virtuoso pianist Olivier Chauzu will perform works by Listz, Shuman,
Debussy. Also part of Opera/Ballet series broadcast from the Paris National Opera
House, Celebrate Dance with the Paris Opera Ballet featuring the Étoiles, Premiers
danseurs, Corps de Ballet and pupils of the School of Dance in an important ritual,
the Défilé that brings together 154 dancers and Nutcracker experts on January 30
at 1:30pm; The Abduction from the Seraglio – Mozart, a new production from Zabou
Breitman with Philippe Jordan conducting takes place on February 21 at 1:30pm. Tickets:
416.922.2014 ext. 37.
The Talisker Players kick off 2015 with Puttin’ On The Ritz, a celebration of Irving
Berlin’s music, from “Top Hat” to “Anything You Can Do,” at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre,
Jeanne Lamon Hall, January 11, 3:30pm and January 13, 8pm. There will be pre-concert
talks at 3pm Sunday and 7:15pm Tuesday. Tickets: 416.978.8849
The University of Toronto Faculty of Music presents Canadian string stars New Orford
String Quartet on January 6, at 7pm. The Monday Evening Concerts series continues
January 19, 2015 with Susan Hoeppner (flute), Teng Li (viola), Shauna Rolston (cello),
and Lydia Wong (piano), perform works by George Crumb, Eduardo Angelo, and Christos
Hatzis, on January 19, at 7pm; and Russell Braun (baritone), Monica Whicher (soprano),
and Carolyn Maule & Steven Philcox (pianists) performing Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch
on February 9. February concerts continue with Lorand Fenyves Resident Artist, Atar
Arad, performing a recital of original compositions for viola on February 12. All
concerts take place at Walter Hall. Tickets: 416.408.0208
The Royal Conservatory of Music presents eleven different concerts, ranging from
classical to blues, on the Koerner Hall stage in January and February. Swedish
mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter with pianist Angela Hewitt on January 9; Danny
Marks hosts the 18th Maple Blues Awards on January 19; and powerhouse duo violinist
Gidon Kremer and pianist Daniil Trifonov perform on January 20. In February, Pavlo
returns home to Toronto for an evening of Mediterranean guitar music on February
6; Afrobeat band Antibalas joins forces with Zap Mama on February 7; the Koerner
Hall stage will become a Pianopalooza on February 8, a free afternoon of mini performances
from classical through jazz and pop, by Emanuel Ax, Robi Botos, Anagnoson & Kinton,
and many more. Violinist Sarah Chang and pianist Julio Elizalde make their Koerner
Hall debuts on February 20; February 26 marks the return of German baritone Christian
Gerhaher, accompanied by pianist Gerold Huber; and Hugh Masekala and Vusi Mahlasela
come together to honour 20 years of democracy in South Africa and the official end
of apartheid on February 28. Tickets: 416.408.0208
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir presents Beethoven Symphony no. 5 with
Guest Conductor Kent Nagano January 22 – 25 at Koerner Hall. Tickets: 416.408.0208
Then, in February, don’t miss House of Dreams directed by Jeanne Lamon, a magical
journey to the meeting places of baroque art and music where exquisite works by
Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Marais are played against a backdrop of paintings by
Vermeer, Canaletto, and Watteau. House of Dreams takes place at Trinity-St. Paul’s
Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall, February 11-15. Tickets: 416.964.6337.
The Toronto Consort will present Splendours of the Emperor’s Chapel, a lavish concert
of rarely-heard music from the Viennese court and chapel of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold
I, February 6 and 7 at 8pm, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall. Tickets:
416-964-6337
Exhibitions:
Ryoji Ikeda and Walter Jule: Threshold, an exhibition featuring the artwork of two
pioneers in the field of printmaking and photography, co-presented by University
of Alberta and The Japan Foundation, continues at The Japan Foundation, Toronto,
until January 29. Admission is free.
Alliance Française de Toronto presents Peter Sramek : Piercing Time Paris after
Marville and Atget – 1865 – 2012, in the gallery January 7 – January 31. By juxtaposing
Peter Sramek’s contemporary photographs to those made by Charles Marville or Eugène
Atget, this exhibition tells Paris’ urban change from the 19th century to now. An
opening reception will take place January 7 at 7pm. Admission is free. In Toronto
versus New York, two North American cities become the playing field of French photographer
Antoine Bruneau, disciple of street photography. An opening reception will take
place on February 4 at 6:30pm.
The Gallery at the J at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre is showing the work
of Aba Bayefsky, including pieces from his Tattoo Series, Legends, and Kensington
Market, until January 26. An exhibition reception takes place on January 6, 7-9
pm. The Second Floor Exhibit at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre is Toronto’s
First Synagogues, Photographs by Robert Burley; and the Third Floor Exhibit on view
currently is The Ontario Jewish Archives at 40: Four Decades of Collecting and Sharing
our Community’s History. Admission is free.
Five exhibitions are on display at the Bata Shoe Museum, including Fashion Victims:
The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century; Collected in the Field: Shoemaking
Traditions From Around the World; Beauty, Identity, Pride: Native North American
Footwear; and All About Shoes with Footprints on the World Stage, a special feature
exhibition of extraordinary footwear worn in moments of triumph on the world’s stage,
worn by icons like Pierre Trudeau, Madonna, Roger Federer, Napoleon and Marilyn
Monroe.
At the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything
is everything opens on January 31, wherein one of Canada’s most provocative artists
and cultural thinkers questions what our future holds. Through diverse media ranging
from Lego to found materials, painting to installation, he explores issues which
affect us all: the 21st-century condition, Canadian cultural identity, the power
of language and the pervasive presence of technology in modern life. Organized and
circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery, the 6-part exhibition is presented in Toronto
concurrently across two venues; the Royal Ontario Museum and the Museum of Contemporary
Canadian Art .Continuing exhibitions also on view at the ROM include Wildlife Photographer
of the Year, an internationally renowned photography competition from Natural History
Museum in London celebrating nature and wildlife through 100 breathtaking photos
by photographers of all ages around the world. Other exhibits include Maps, Borders
& Mobility in Africa, Cairo Under Wraps: Early Islamic Textiles, Genizot: Repositories
of Memory as well as Toronto Underfoot and many more fascinating thematic exhibitions!
The Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents Milan, a Place to Read, an exhibition
revealing the wonders of Milan. The undisputed capital of publishing in Italy, an
undiscovered Milan, made up of authors, publishers and above all readers, a city
to be read and for the reader. The exhibition, presented in collaboration with
Fondazione Arnoldo e Alberto Mondadori, will be on view February 5 through April
23, 2015. Opening reception: February 5, 2015, 6:30-8:30pm.
The Gardiner Museum presents the Smithsonian exhibition Women, Art, & Social Change:
The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise, opening February 5 and running through May 18. The
exhibition tells the story of how the arts and crafts movement empowered the lives
of a group of women in the Deep South, and how they created one of America’s premiere
art pottery enterprises of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Set against a
backdrop of social change and women’s rights, the show features the largest, most
comprehensive Newcomb Pottery collection to tour North America in nearly three decades.
Theatre/Storytelling:
Alliance Française de Toronto presents Kabaret Karaibe on February 6 at 8pm where
Franck Sylvestre, French Canadian storyteller of Caribbean tradition, conveys his
passion for arts and culture through his adventure tales; Fear and Trembling (English
Subtitles) on February 11 at 8pm is the superb theatrical adaptation of the eponymous
novel by Amelie Nothomb, 1999 Grand Prix du Roman from Académie Française. For kids,
Le Retour d’Etienne Brûlé takes a fantastical journey from 17th century Wendake
in Huronia to 21st century Toronto on January 17 at 4pm; on February 7 at 4pm, Pirates
des Caraibes is a journey among pirates; and on February 28 at 4pm L’Apprenti Sorcier
– Paul Dukas features Olivier Chauzu playing and providing commentary on the masterwork
adapted for film in famous Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Tickets: 416.922.2014 ext. 37.
Culture Talks/Lectures:
The Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents Greek Inspiration in Roman Naples, a talk
by writer Jordan Lancaster, on February 11 at 6:30pm. This talk will examine the
Greek way of life in Naples and Pompei in order to understand the fascination it
exerted in Roman times. Free admission.
ROM 100 Speaks, the Royal Ontario Museum’s Centennial Lecture Series, continues
on February 24 with Cocktails & Helvetica with Douglas Coupland. Join writer, designer
and artist, Douglas Coupland in a studio setting and create your own slogan posters
using the Helevtica font. Lounge reception adjacent to and during event.
The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre presents two fascinating film lecture series.
The Film Studies series includes 2 Winter Pop-Up Film Lectures in Nayman’s Terms
featuring Adam Nayman in discussion of movies, illustrated with film clips: on
January 19 Nayman discusses David Fincher’s Zodiac, and on January 26 the focus
is on Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. Registration: 416.924.6211 ext. 0. Forbidden
Desires: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock, a 5-part lecture series with popular film
critic Kevin Courrier examines how master filmmaker Hitchcock took the taboo subject
of voyeurism and made it into an acceptable dramatic strategy. Includes film clips
from such classics as Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window and Psycho. Mondays: January
26, February 2, and February 9, 1-3pm. Drop-in.
Alliance Française de Toronto presents Les perspectives littéraires de la Grande
Guerre on January 14 at 7pm where Pierre Schoentjes revisits WWI through French
and international novels written about the conflict; Discussion avec Champlain
sur l’Ontario d’aujourd’hui on January 21 at 7pm with lecturer François Boileau,
French Language Services Commissioner; and at Akhénaton et le culte du dieu solaire
Aton on January 28 at 7pm, Egyptologist Jean Révez tells the story of Akhenaten’s
reign, a one-of-a-kind Pharaoh who revolutionized religious beliefs and art during
his time.
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor arts and culture destinations include:
Alliance Française de Toronto: 24 Spadina Road www.alliance-francaise.ca
Bata Shoe Museum: 327 Bloor Street West www.batashoemuseum.ca
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema: 506 Bloor Street West www.bloorcinema.com
Gardiner Museum: 111 Queen’s Park www.gardinermuseum.on.ca
Istituto Italiano di Cultura: 496 Huron Street www.iictoronto.esteri.it/IIC_Toronto
The Japan Foundation, Toronto: 131 Bloor Street West www.jftor.org
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre: 750 Spadina Ave. www.mnjcc.org
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): 100 Queen’s Park (Entrance on Bloor Street W.) www.rom.on.ca
The Royal Conservatory of Music / Koerner Hall: 273 Bloor Street West www.performance.rcmusic.ca
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir: 427 Bloor Street West www.tafelmusik.org
Talisker Players: 427 Bloor Street West www.taliskerplayers.ca
The Toronto Consort: 427 Bloor Street West www.torontoconsort.org
University of Toronto Faculty of Music: 80 Queen’s Park www.music.utoronto.ca
Bloor St. Culture Corridor: Arts and culture organizations along Bloor St. West
have come together in partnership to create the Bloor St. Culture Corridor, a uniquely
Torontonian arts and culture district. The Bloor St. Culture Corridor’s 14 partnering
arts and culture destinations are all located in almost exactly one mile (1.6 kms),
along a vibrant stretch of Bloor Street, from Bathurst to Bay, connecting three
major Toronto neighbourhoods: the Annex, University of Toronto, and Bloor-Yorkville.
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor offers a wide variety of arts genres, from museum
experiences to films, art exhibitions to music concerts, and it offers opportunities
to experience some of Toronto’s cultural diversity, including French, Jewish, Italian,
Japanese and Aboriginal arts and culture. Torontonians and visitors to the City
can easily take public transit to get to the Bloor St. Culture Corridor – there
are 5 major subway stations along the Corridor – and walk from a museum to an afternoon
art talk or exhibition, shop, have lunch or dinner, and enjoy an inspiring concert
or film — all within just a few blocks along Toronto’s most diverse arts and culture
corridor.

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Wake up the wild…"Steak and Carrot for breakfast"

Wake up the wild … “Steak and Carrot for breakfast”

“Africa Lion Safari” said the road sign… At 7:45 am the place was empty – no-one around… in a couple minutes a friendly fellow came up and gave us directions.
We had to fill some forms and sign it – so just in case if we are eaten by the lions the park is not responsible (no kidding!).

The bus was very comfortable with large windows and choice of seats!
We are going to feed the animals! Well, we will first see the cheetahs and lions, so we can’t really feed them – just watch! Thus the forms and the bus – all to make sure we behave and well protected.
Cheetahs are living in groups usually formed by siblings – we saw four brothers playing and enjoying the morning. Their neighbour was the single male cheetah, in the next area we saw couple others… They live in a fenced area, so that the groups do not interfere. Cheetahs are territorial and will fight for their area. They are the fastest runners and can develop the speed up to 76 kph. They got nice spotty coats that help them hide and strong lean bodies with long legs. Very gracious animals!
We are driving to the lion’s area! The keepers put pieces of good (AAA!) meat in different spots around large area. Lion can eat about 7 lbs of meat once a day, usually in the morning. They will play and nap during the day… morning is the most active time of the day. So here is the signal – all ready, lions are coming! First we see two of them… they come at a slow pace knowing that the food is waiting for them… here is a large male lion – his mane makes him look really big and powerful. It takes five years for the mane to grow to its full size. Females also look really strong – large paws, strong neck and gracious body. They quickly found the meat and picked each a good piece… not without a fight for same piece of meat. Their canines are about two inches and the tongues are really rough – they can clean the meat off the bone like sandpaper!

In wild, males do not hunt – they protect the group while lionesses are hunting; they can kill an animal three times their size.
Next we saw the white lions – they are very rare. The colour of their fur is not really white, they are not albino, they do have some beige in the fur, just light; and their eyes have nice light yellowish colour. Strong and gracious –
We leave the lions and go to the next area, but before we change the vehicle – now we are in the open trailer and we got two buckets – one filled with carrots and the other with fresh lettuce – we are going to feed giraffes! It was a chilly day with periods of rain and some wind… may be the cooler weather made animals more active? Giraffes were wandering around and slowly approached the truck as soon as we stopped. “Take a carrot in your hand and stretch the hand out… do not pat them, they get scared and can go away” – we were told by one of our guides.
FFeeding Giraffes
Baby giraffes can only eat lettuce – their teeth are not strong enough… That was a lot of fun! Feeding carrots to giraffes! And that is what we did for the next hour or so until our buckets got empty! Their tongues are purple and can reach 20 cm. Giraffes like to eat juicy leaves from the trees and for this their tongues can twist around the branch and strip off the leaves. They did it with carrots twisting their tongues around if we hold it a bit away sort-of teasing.
Next to giraffes area we saw rhinos and antelopes: some grazing and some wandering around. Rhinos eat really fast – they are constantly chewing, the grass there is so short… they look fat, but is their skin that makes folds on their backs, not fat. Rhinos like to lay in a mud, it helps them to keep the insects away. Their spine is very fragile, so have to lay on one side then another. Their friend is a small bird that usually follows rhino picking bugs from its skin. The bird alarms rhino in case of any danger – rhinos got weak small eyes and can’t see well so if the birds fly up it alarms rhino.
Antelopes were grazing peacefully… some had very long twisted horns. The antelopes got a very interesting body system allowing them to adjust to the high Africa temperatures. The body temperature can rise up to 40C, which allows them to control perspiration and avoid dehydration.
We also saw some zebras walking around; they nicely get along with antelopes, giraffes and rhinos sharing a large pasture. We saw pile of rocks in a middle of the field – artificially created to reflect the natural habitat.
Giraffes saw our truck and came again for more carrots and lettuce!
It was time to go back! We were ready for our breakfast – it was waiting for us in the restaurant. Nice pastries, fruit, juice and warm waffles with whipped cream – all was beautifully served to us.
Later on we went to explore the rest of the park. We saw elephants swim in the pond, took a tour on the boat around the islands with various types of monkeys, saw parrots and bats.
I never saw a bat so close! It was hanging from the keepers arm and eating some fruit. Their digestive system allows swallowing food while handing. Their wings have a unique ability to repair it if they get a small damage quite fast.
Next we saw a show where parrots could sort out colours, say some words and one by the name Fernando could sing “O’Canada!”.

After a long day we were finally back to Hamilton Sheraton.. It was nice to relax in the swimming pool after the rainy day filled with fun and full of unexpected.
Hamilton Sheraton swimming pool
Hamilton Sheraton room interior
Loby Hamilton Sheraton Hotel

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Totally Tubular on the Grand

Totally Tubular on the Grand

By Igor Kravtchenko

We were so excited for our tubing adventure on the Grand River that we all woke up early. We were greeted by the friendly guys from Grand River Rafting company and there was a group of young people laughing and talking about their rafting adventure which made us even more excited. We picked up our tubes, grabbed a bite to eat and then headed out for our adventure on the Grand River.

The tubes are quite comfortable – oval shaped with a seat and a back. You get a paddle, a dry bag to keep your belongings in and a detailed map of the trip.

Only by looking at the trees did I realize how fast we were moving. I could hear whirling water in the distance. Once I got closer I could see the small rapids. I got a bit wet going through them and learned a little later I could use my paddle to avoid the whirling areas.

The current was strong enough and rode us nicely along the green shores and small rocky beaches. We met fishermen along the way and even saw an eagle gliding above. It was really peaceful and relaxing on the tube.


We were told along the way about an old, abandoned mine. The mine can be also seen from the top of the shore and a path will bring you there. There’s also a creek with water so clean and fresh you can drink it on the spot!

Some parts of the river are quiet so one can body surf. I got off of my tube and it was deep enough that I couldn’t touch the bottom. Holding the rope from my tube I decided to try lying down on my back to just float, allowing the river to take me for a ride.

An orange fence marked a picnic area. It took us by surprise that there were BBQs set up and a fire in the middle to warm up. Next time we’ll be sure to bring some food for a BBQ. Our trip took us a bit more than four hours. We were tired from our journey down the river and decided to end our day in downtown Paris with ice cream in hand. It was the perfect Sunday adventure.

If you’d like to try tubing on the Grand, click here for Grand River Rafting’s $30 Per Person for Family Tubing on the Grand River offer.

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The Pan American Food Festival Returns to Toronto! August 8-10 2014

The Pan American Food Festival Returns to Toronto

August 8-10 2014

TORONTO, ON (April 24, 2014) – The second annual Pan American Food Festival – the only festival in the world that celebrates the best food and culture of the Western Hemisphere – returns to Toronto from August 8 to 10, 2014. This year’s festival will be held at Daniels Spectrum, a vibrant new community hub in the heart of downtown Toronto, and will feature an impressive roster of extraordinary chefs, led by renowned chef and culinary genius Norman Van Aken.


The Pan American Food Festival paves the way for the upcoming Pan Am Games in Toronto in 2015 with a showcase of flavour and culture from 41 countries across North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. As in its first year, the Festival will be entirely free to the public, presenting food demonstrations by international chefs, music and dance ensembles, kids’ activities, a Pan American vendors market, and a tourism showcase called Discovering Pan American Countries. Events will be held inside Daniels Spectrum and the neighbouring streets, Regent Park Boulevard and St. David’s Walk, creating a large outdoor area for visitors to discover the delicious and diverse cuisine of the region while enjoying its most-loved musical styles. This year’s Feature Country is Peru.


Considered by The New York Times as South Florida’s most gifted chef, Norman Van Aken is the founding father of New World Cuisine, and is known internationally for introducing the concept of “fusion” to the culinary world. Author of six cookbooks and winner of numerous awards, Mr. Van Aken will present two free food demonstrations at the Festival, along with chefs from across the Pan American spectrum. The Festival’s Culinary Curator, is Colombian-born, Canadian raised freelance food/travel journalist, Mary Luz Mejia.


“We are thrilled to bring the Pan American Food Festival back to Toronto for another year of flavor and fun – Pan American style!” says Daniel Garcia-Herreros, Festival Director. “This year’s Festival will showcase even more of the innovative and delicious foods and culture from these 41 countries, and we are thrilled to be working with Daniels Spectrum to bring the events to life for the community.”

The 2014 Pan American Food Festival highlights include:

A roster of extraordinary chefs led by renowned chef and culinary genius Norman Van Aken

Jamaican, Canadian, Colombian, Brazilian, Mexican, Venezuelan, American and Peruvian food demonstrations with local and international chefs.

Musical performances and dance classes

“Taste the Americas” an exhibition of photographs selected from submissions received from the general public

A Pan American vendors market

Discovering Pan American Countries tourism showcase

Family activities including kid-friendly food demonstrations

And much more!

All events are free to the public.

For more information, visit www.panamfoodfest.com and join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PanamericanFoodFestival


Sponsors: Scotiabank.


Venue Partner: Artscape

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Doors Open Toronto 2014 News!

Doors Open Toronto announces full line-up for 2014

Doors Open Toronto presented by Great Gulf introduces its full list of new and returning buildings, an exciting speakers series, city-wide walking tours and special programming for 2014. The details are now available online at http://www.toronto.ca/DoorsOpen.

“Doors Open Toronto is a great example of a community event that has become a city-wide celebration,” said Mayor Rob Ford. “Thanks to the committed partnership from our sponsor Great Gulf, the local community and the buildings for opening their doors, this event continues to be a huge success and attracts more and more residents every year.”

The 15th annual weekend celebration of architecture takes place Saturday, May 24 and Sunday, May 25, offering rare access to more than 155 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city. This year’s theme is Secrets and Spirits… Exploring the Mysteries Behind the Door.

“Doors Open Toronto gives residents across the city an opportunity to explore many of the significant architectural sites that collectively shape our city’s identity,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee. “It is a chance to discover some of Toronto’s most distinguished and internationally-recognized landmarks.”

“Great Gulf is delighted to return as presenting sponsor of Doors Open,” said Christopher Wein, President, Great Gulf Residential. “A city’s soul and expression can be seen not only in its history, geography and culture, but also in the buildings most loved by its residents. Now in its 15th year, Doors Open continues to enlighten the community by inviting everyone to discover our city’s hidden treasures and the secrets behind its doors.”

New for this year, Great Gulf presents Utilities by artist Michael Cook at the Great Gulf, Yonge + Rich Presentation Centre. This exhibit features photographs of the tunnels, sewers, drains and waterways that lie beneath the city – the crucial infrastructure that is normally hidden from view.

On May 24 at the new Fort York Toronto Library Branch, audiences can hear six influential architects speak on Redesigning Toronto, a Pecha Kucha-style talk discussing the architectural and urban planning of Toronto. On May 25 at Harbourfront Centre, audiences can hear renowned urban designer Ken Greenberg reflect on Harbourfront Centre: A 40-year Legacy of Transforming the Toronto Waterfront.

Toronto City Hall will be a hotspot during the Doors Open Toronto weekend. Visitors can expect access to key locations such as the 27th floor observation desk, the council chamber and the Mayor’s Office, and special exhibits and activities, including:

[murmur], the documentary oral history project conveying the emotional attachment citizens have to Toronto

Exposed Toronto, an exhibition of photographs inspired by this year’s program theme

My City Hall Mystery, a family-friendly scavenger hunt leading to key locations in City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square.

This year’s Doors Open Toronto also presents free walking tours. Sponsored by the University of Toronto, the city-wide tours are aligned with the event theme and focus on secrets, spirits and mysteries. This year’s tours include:

The Ghosts and Spirits of the Historic Distillery District

The Spirit of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse at Toronto Harbour

The Spirits of Exhibition Place, including paranormal hotspots

Communing with the Spirits? Doubt and Belief in Toronto the Good

Mount Pleasant Cemetery: Where Soldiers Rest in Peace

The Layers of Leaside Tour

Village of Islington ARTwalk and Trolley Tour

Guild Park: Where Art Meets Culture

The Mysteries of the University of Toronto.

Full program details, including a complete list of new and returning buildings, walking tour registration and information about talks are available at http://www.toronto.ca/doorsopen.

About Doors Open Toronto

Since its inception in 2000, Doors Open Toronto has attracted more than two million visits to nearly 600 unique locations across the city. It is Canada’s largest Doors Open event and one of the three largest Doors Open events in the world. Doors Open Toronto is dedicated to built heritage, architecture and design. It is sponsored by Great Gulf and produced by the City of Toronto in partnership with the broader community.

About Great Gulf Group
Established in 1975, the Great Gulf Group of companies including Great Gulf, Ashton Woods Homes, First Gulf Corporation, Tucker HiRise Construction, Brockport Systems Ltd. and Taboo Resort Golf and Spa, is one of North America’s premier real estate organizations. With major projects in Canada and the United States, the company’s fully-integrated activities span the entire real estate spectrum.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

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Resorts of Ontario Newsletter – Getaway Packages

Hot Deals at Ontario Resorts


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Ontario Resort Getaways , Winter 2013/14 News

Resorts of Ontario
Resorts of Ontario Newsletter – Getaway Packages

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