The streets of Toronto are buzzing with excitement and painted in vibrant color as athletes from the Americas compete in an array of sporting events. From gymnastics to rugby, diving and track you can cheer on your country and wave your flag with pride as the medal count continues to climb and Panamania ensues.
When Toronto first decided to host Pan Am I was a bit skeptical. Although this is a beautiful city I didn’t think our faculties and limited public transportation could withstand the hoards of visitors along with local rush hour commuters. In fact they asked us locals to stay at home or leave our cars in the driveway to prevent sluggish traffic jams (like that’s going to happen!). Although there have been a few frustrating moments including very limited (terrible) TV coverage from main broadcaster CBC and some hilarious mishaps including a man who used the new 3 person car pool lane with 2 mannequins, for the most part the games have been great for the city!
Since the tiresome construction has finally cleared up around Harbour Front I have been down there quite frequently. It has become a great place to spend the evening with lots to take in including: boat cruises, an outdoor market, live cultural entertainment, dance parties, street performers, Pan Am tents, bars, lakeside restaurants, patios, walking trails and more!
Yesterday I went to Hamilton Ontario to watch the soccer games- Panama played Peru (Pan-2, Per-1) and Canada played Brazil (Can-1, Brazil-4). Although the commute to the stadium was a bit of a journey the weather was gorgeous, the flags were flapping in the wind and it was a wonderful evening!
Prior to the game we stopped at Webster Falls in Hamilton to stroll through the lush park. There are many multicultural events and entertainment going on in the city plus a lot of sightseeing to take in so if you are visiting from out of town welcome and enjoy!
Here are some recommendations of things to do around the city and throughout the province:
*Lakefront parks and restaurants
*Malls and shopping (Vaughn Mills, Eaton Center & Square One)
*Boat cruises & tours
*Casaloma (photo below)
*Port Credit Lakefront & harbour
*The Royal Ontario Museum
*Ripley’s Believe it or not Aquarium
*Niagara Falls Canada (photo below) & Niagara on the Lake + great wine tours!
*Celebration Square Mississauga (outdoor concerts, aerobics, music, food events, dancing, movies under the stars & more!)
*Belfountain Conversation Area
*1,000 islands & Gananoque (1,864 islands that straddle the Canada U.S. border)
*Canada’s Wonderland theme park
*Centerville (Center Island)
*Georgian Bay and Wasaga Beach
*Blue Mountain Resorts and Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain
*If you are here in August then don’t miss the Canadian National Exhibition
Are you watching the Pan Am Games? What events are you most looking forward to seeing?
For live streaming and event info click HERE
That's so cool that your city is hosting such a big event, although it's funny that locals have been asked to stay at home!! Please--you guys need to get in on the fun, too! Thanks for the inside tip on Webster Falls. I'm sure I'll be back to visit Canada some day as I have friends in Toronto so I'm making note of the falls because they are just too pretty to miss!ReplyDelete
Well Pan Am isn't as big or as popular as the Olympics but its pretty exciting to see everyone supporting their country with so much spirit!Delete
Websters Falls was def very nice, but if you can't make it to some of the suburb towns Niagara and Niagara on the lake is amazing! I visit a few times every summer and sometimes in the winter.