Top 5 things to do on Family Day in the GTA by the water | Great Lakes Guide

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Top 5 things to do on Family Day in the GTA by the water

Published February 11, 2020

Family Day is coming up on Monday, February 17, and the Great Lakes region is filled with destinations for you to visit with your family. There are plenty of events and activities happening by the water for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Here is our list of the top five things to do on Family Day in the GTA:

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Waukesha Parks (Flickr: Link)


Go Ice Fishing

Family Day marks one of only four times a year that Canadian residents can go fishing without a license, so why not take part in Family Ice Fishing Day on Chemong Lake on Saturday, February 15 or the 5th annual Lake Simcoe Championship Ice Fishing Derby on Sunday, February 16?

There are many fantastic ice fishing spots just outside the GTA. If you don’t want to leave the city, you can always go fishing in one of the various urban areas that accommodate the activity throughout the GTA.

Just make sure you familiarize yourself with Ontario’s Fishing Regulations before heading out!

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Andre Furtado (Pexels: Link)


Explore Toronto’s Waterfront Winter Art Exhibitions

On Monday, February 17, investigate the opening day of the 6th annual Winter Stations exhibition at Woodbine Beach. This international winter art design competition features four temporary installations fused with the lifeguard towers that span Kew Beach and Woodbine Beach.

Discover the “Noodle Feed” augmented reality installation to get a new perspective of the area, or puzzle over “Mirage”, an installation that reacts to the motion of both the people nearby and the sun. This exhibition runs from February 17 to March 30.

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Toronto Light Fest (Link)


Light Up Your Life

Allow yourself to be dazzled by the glittering displays of Toronto’s light showcases. Check out the Toronto Light Festival, running from January 17 until March 1 at the historic Distillery District near the waterfront, and warm up with some Mexican delicacies at El Catrin or grab some grub at the Mill St. Brew Pub.

Alternatively, Light Up The Beach at the Beaches Boardwalk showcases over 80,000 radiant lights strung up through the trees lining Lake Ontario’s shores. This event was created to invite Torontonians to visit the waterfront even during the chilly winter season. Light Up The Beach runs until February 23.

At Ontario Place, lose yourself in the 3rd annual Winter Light Exhibition on the West Island, and see fascinating exhibits inspired by the theme "Cocoon".

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Pexels (Link)


Journey to the Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands may not be the obvious choice for a winter’s day destination, but they supply just as much fun in frigid February as they do in balmy July (and they have far fewer crowds!). Take the ferry to Ward Island, and traverse the cross country ski trails, skate on the lagoon, or simply walk around and enjoy a different viewpoint of the city and its famous skyline.

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Andre Furtado (Pexels: Link)


Walk or Cycle the Martin Goodman Trail

Bundle up and get some exercise on the Martin Goodman Trail. This scenic path runs alongside Lake Ontario, from the Humber Bay Arch Bridge to the Rouge River.

The trail passes through some very picturesque spots, and you can take in unmatched views of places like Cherry Beach and Marilyn Bell Park. The trail is accessible throughout all seasons, welcomes all skill levels, and is both child and stroller friendly.

    This Family day Weekend, take pleasure in the many winter wonders that Toronto’s Waterfront has to offer.

Whether you decide to try your luck at ice fishing, get some fresh air on the islands, or soak up the culture of Toronto’s Waterfront exhibitions, make sure that you take a moment to appreciate the magnificent Great Lakes alongside the people that you call family.