Sunnyside Bathing Pavillion + Woodbine Beach | 501 Queen Street Car | Exploring The6

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Sunnyside Bathing Pavillion was built in 1922 and is a Toronto landmark that equalled the summer for people in Toronto.  It was built as a place for people to change and go swimming in the lake.  Since the lake was very cold, 3 years later a pool was built lakeside.  Back in the 20’s it cost 25 cents for admission and you could rent towels and bathing suits.  When the pool was built, it could have up to 2,000 swimmers and a special streetcar was created to shuttle kids from all across Toronto to the pool to swim.

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In the 80’s the change rooms were demolished and rebuilt and the pool was named Gus Ryder after Maryiln Bell’s swimming coach.

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Sunnyside Pool is open for swimming during the summer, starting in June and ending in September. In 2012, the pool is open from 10 AM until 8 PM, with a break from 3:45 PM until 5 PM. During heat alerts, the pool stays open until 11:45 PM.  You can park along the Lakeshore or it’s very easy to get to by taking the 501 Queen TTC streetcar and jump off at Parkside Dr.  It’s about a 4 min walk from there.

My kids love exploring.  They love the TTC and the streetcar. The lure of the “Red-Rocket” and I think I am in love with it also.  I picked them up on Saturday and asked them if they wanted to explore and hit a pool in Toronto that in the 20’s was the worlds largest outdoor pool.  I told them it’s on the other side of Downtown and we can take the streetcar to it.  We jumped on the Train from Ajax and jumped off at Danforth… walked down to Main Subway station and jumped on the subway west to Bathurst to jump off to have some Hero Burger at Honest Ed’s.

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Just down the street on Bloor across from Honest Ed’s is Snakes and Latte’s which is pretty cool.  We were going to check it out but the kids wanted to jump on the TTC and head to the pool after eating.  Before we did that we went around Honest Ed’s and it’s a pile of Giant Tiger stuff scattered around in a maze.  We regret not buying “Jesus” and we will pick him up the next time we are down there.  Everyone needs a co-pilot 😉

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We also got off the Streetcar to explore Queen West before heading to the pool to swim for the afternoon and into the late evening.  The kids loved sitting on the streetcar with an open window and just watching citylife walking around along the strip and the collection of stores and patios and people enjoying the summer.

We did some steath camping in a secret spot and set up our tent around midnight and had a long sleep.  The next day we picked up a TTC daypass and decided to hit Woodbine Olympic Pool in the Beaches on the Sunday.

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It’s a pretty cool beach right along the lake with the sandy beach right beside it.  Swimming is free and it’s open all day.  We got to ride on the Streetcar again along Queen.  After swimming the kids wanted to go along Queen again for a ride so we jumped on and went downtown and jumped off at Spadina to have a bite to eat and people watch crossing the street at Queen & Spadina which was hilarious.

TORONTO, ON- OCTOBER 16 The TTC is training operators on one of the new streetcars seen here traveling west on Queen St at Wheeler Ave in the Beaches area of Toronto, October 16, 2014. David Cooper/Toronto Star

Noah wanted to ride on the new style of Street car so we jumped on the 510 North to Bloor to catch the subway back to the LRT and jumped on a double decker Go Bus to Ajax.

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Two days of swimming, catching rays and exploring with some steath urban secret camping… can’t go wrong with that.

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