International Writers Magazine:
FROM AFRICAN LION SAFARI TO BLACK CREEK PIONEER VILLAGE:
ITS FAMILY VACATIONING AT ITS BEST
"I am bringing my family for a vacation to Toronto. What activity
do you think my children will enjoy most?" My Saskatchewan friend
was trying to find ways to give his family an enjoyable holiday. I did
not hesitate in suggesting: "If you have two days to spare, I have
a great suggestion. For the first day take your children to the African
Lion Safari and the second day to the Blackwood Creek Pioneer Village
and, in between, visit a few childrens entertainment centres. It
will be a family vacation they will never forget!"
First book in at a family hotel such as Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference,
with innumerable children facilities, or the Stage West All Suite Hotel,
an abode with children facilities and a fine theatre-restaurant to boot,
to allow the children to enjoy the many attributes offered the young.
The next day travel with your family to the African Lion Safari housing
some 1,000 wild animals of a hundred species from all over the world.
confined, they roam free on a 304 ha (750 ac) reserve, designed
to replicate the animals natural setting, at Cambridge, midway between
Kitchener and Hamilton Canadas steel capital. A zoo
in reverse, the African Lion Safari Park, a family operated venture,
which plays host to near 500,000 annual visitors, cages the visitors
in their autos instead of placing the animals in enclosures. In
the 38 years of the Parks existence, officials have been successful
with breeding 30 endangered species and 20 more species, considered
One of North Americas top wild animal private parks, it contains
some 10 km (6 mi) of safari trails. Visitors can drive at a crawling speed
past contented looking cheetahs, lions, tigers, rhinos, zebras, eland
and a host of other threatened or endangered wild beasts. Most children
enjoy these wild animals that appear tame from the safety of their cars.
The animals are well fed and used to humans since the hundreds of daily
visitors have become part of the landscape.
Besides the trip through the Park the entrance fee includes: observing
the elephants bathe; taking a trip on the African Queen Boat
Cruise; watching Birds of Prey Flying Demonstration and the Parrot Paradise
Show; riding the Nature Boy Scenic Railway; and glory in the
Jungle Playground and much more. Most young ones after taking part in
these activities usually never forget the trip to the African Lion Safari.
On the way back from the African Lion Safari, virtually any child or even
grown-up will enjoy a stopover at the Playdium in Mississauga, Ontario.
A children heaven featuring over 200 of the worlds most challenging
children games, rides and simulators, this 40,000 square foot indoor complex,
is the ultimate high-tech, interactive, virtual and physical entertainment
If older children want to experience the thrill of simulated flight, the
Air Combat Zone is the place to stop. If anyone has ever wondered what
it might be like to be a fighter pilot taking part in air combat, this
is the place to be. Like real combat, the experience redefines recreation
to bring the participant the epitome of excitement in a sense of virtual
the young ones spend the evening enjoying the children offerings
of the hotel, the next day a trip to Blackwood Creek Pioneer Village
will bring joy to the whole family. The Village brings to life the
era of a 19th-century Victorian town and is truly a living museum
of how the pioneers in Ontario once lived. Making the historic scene
real are the people and the guides working in the village dressed
in pioneering attire. Artisans and historic craftsmen create in
the 40 restored buildings consisting of homes, offices and shops
all pioneer buildings, with the exception of the five original
structures on the farm, moved in from other locations. They were
renovated and furnished to recapture their original ambiance, the
atmosphere of the mid-19th century pioneers. Pic: Habeeb outside
to the elegance of the historic aura and the Village in general
are the eleven herb, flower and vegetable theme gardens that grow
herb, medicinal, vegetable and weavers dye plants.. All are
tended with the old natural methods used by 19th century gardeners.
A number of now rare farm animal breeds that were in the mid 1800's
central to life in a rural Ontario are also housed in the Village.
Some heritage breeds such as Cochin chickens and other fowls, Leister
Borders sheep and Clydesdale horses now find a home here.
After watching the
artisans at work, visitors can relish some of the pioneer cooking; watch
for a while scores of happy school children with their teachers or guides
and others with their parents; observe farm animals and examine a horse-drawn
wagon; then shop at a general store. Most of the some 150,000 thousand
annual visitors, find it truly an experience to immerse themselves in
the atmosphere and customs of Ontario's 19th century rural villagers.
with their families can roam the Village for hours to see tinsmiths
making tin objects by hand; a broom maker fashioning brooms from
sorghum; belts being edged at the Saddle and Harness Shop; bread
being baked from flour ground by the Villages Roblins
Mill that produces annually 10 to 12 thousand pounds of whole wheat
flour, covering the Villages needs; wooden barrels being made
by hand at Taylor Cooperage; a blacksmith at work; hand printing
at the Black Creek Printing Office; and wool spun and cloth woven
by hand looms.
After the Black Creek Pioneer Village if the young ones are still raring
to go, the nearby NasCarSpeed Park is a children entertainment centre
par excellence. Featuring five challenging and exciting go-kart tracks,
laser tag, a rock climbing wall, a state-of-the-art interactive arcade,
kid-sized rides, simulators and more, the Park is one of the area's top
If it begins to rain a better bet is a visit to the nearby Toronto Areospace
Museum. It houses, in addition to an ever-growing collection of military,
civilian and experimental aircraft, historic and state-of-the art simulators
and interactive displays and fascinating artefacts. Above all, it displays
the long association of Toronto with aeronautical innovation, aerospace
technology and aircraft manufacturing.
It is as I told my friend, "Should visitors with their families follow
this two day program they will no doubt leave with contented young ones
who will always remember Toronto as a place of fun and excitement - a
joyful event in their lives."
How to Reach the African Lion Safari From Toronto
Take Hwy. 401 West to Hwy. 6. Turn left (Exit 299) and drive to Safari
Road. Turn right and drive to a few miles to the African Lion
African Lion Safari Admission Rates for 2007:
Adults CD$21.95 to $26.95, depending what time of the year; Seniors
and Students CD$18.95 to $23.95, depending what time of the year; and
Children 3 to 12 CD$16.95 to $21.95, depending what time of the year.
Where to Stay:
When visiting the African Lion Safari and Black Creek Pioneer Village
two good places in Mississauga that are slanted toward family travel
and stay are: Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference, Mississauga, Ontario.
Tel: 905-821-1981. See website: www.deltameadowvale.com; and Stage West
All Suite Hotel, Mississauga, Ontario. Tel: 905-238-0159. See website:
For Further Information. Contact:
African Lion Safari & Game Farm Ltd, RR #1 Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
N1R 5S2. Toll Free 1-800-461-WILD. Tel:(519) 623-2620. Fax: (519) 623-9542.
E-mail: email@example.com. Web: http://www.lionsafari.com/info.asp
Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway (Jane Street and
Steeles Avenue), Toronto ON, M3J2P3. Te: 416-736-1733. Fax: 416-661-6610.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.blackcreek.ca/
Playdium, Mississauga, Ontario. Tel: 905273-9000. See website: http://www.playdium.com/;
or Air Combat Zone, Mississauga, Ontario. Tel: 905-602-4775. See website:
NasCarSpeed Park: Vaughn Mills Mall. Tel: 905-669-7370. See website:
Toronto Areospace Museum: Downsview Park. Tel: 416-638-6078. See website:
Toronto Convention & Visitors Association - P.O. Box 126, 207 Queens
Quay West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 1A7. Tel: 416-203-2600 or toll-free
1800-499-2514. Fax: 416-203-6753. E-mail: email@example.com Website:
© Habeeb Salloum August 2007
Habeeb is author and member of Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC)
residing in Toronto, Canada.
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