Summer school in Toronto (without the textbooks)
Summer school in Toronto isn't as bad as it sounds. Yes, there are plenty of the usual academic offerings available at Ryerson, George Brown, Humber and beyond, but the warmer weather provides us the opportunity to be released from the confines of central-heating-dependent classes, and allows us to explore a new realms of enjoyment. Take that, December. Here's a list of classes to take this summer that ameliorate the +20 degrees experience.
Make Your Own Swimsuit: Sew Be It
This is one for the ladies. Sew Be It on Eglinton runs a five-week swimwear workshop in May where participants learn how to craft their own one- or two-piece suits. In short; you can ensure your awkward tan line exactly how you want it. The class offers the option of bringing your own materials (or you can buy the swimsuit kit for $40) and is priced at $165 plus HST.
Learn the Art of Orienteering: Toronto Orienteering Club
Nature is your classroom, and other cheesy (yet appropriate) lines. Toronto Orienteering Club runs several beginner orienteering clinics throughout the summer, which are mostly held at Earl Bales and Lambdon parks. Each clinic includes maps, an orienteering book, instruction, an guidance through the course at a cost of $30 per person, and running from 6 p.m. until dark. Participants can borrow a compass (remember those?!) or bring their own.
Perfect your Serve: Wychwood Tennis Club
With an abundance of tennis courts in parks around Toronto, there are plenty of opportunities to test out your new (or improved) tennis skills. Wychwood Tennis Club is just one of many in the GTA, this one offering classes for kids and adults form beginner to intermediate. Clinics run on a variety of schedules (though are usually about an hour and 20 minutes long), and cost $80 for individuals in groups of eight to 10. Team play is also available once you learn to stop perpetually hitting the net.
Make a Mojito: Bartender One
Make the perfect mojito, that is. There's nothing like sipping the muddled and minty on a breezy summer afternoon, and while you could watch a few YouTube how-to's, Bartender One offers workshops that involve teaching and — perhaps most importantly — tasting. The three hour workshops are for those aged 19+ (obviously) and help you craft the best of summer-inspired muddled cocktails. Workshops are priced at $99.
Gaze at the Stars: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada: Toronto
An activity made infinitely more enjoyable by the warmer weather. RASC Toronto runs an introductory astronomy course in the summer that is completely free. Should I say that again? The eight-week NOVA program requires registration (those interested should get on it — the sessions have already begun), offered out of the Gemini East Room at the Ontario Science Centre. Classes, which are intended for teens and adults, are capped at 75 people.
Find your Green Thumb: Calphalon Culinary Center
While not a grilling class per-se, the Calphalon Culinary Center in Toronto offers a Rubs & Marinade course designed to help you with that integral barbecue first step. The class doesn't come cheap at $150 for three hours, but can you really put a price on classic barbecue flank steak? Maybe. There's also a Summer Desserts course for those inclined to the cool, fruity, and sweet, as well as a Summer Hors d'Oeuvres class with a description that includes the words "avocado salad" and "mango salsa." Enough said.
Learn to Surf: Surf Ontario
OK, so it's not exactly the Pacific (damn you, British Columbia, and your "waves"), but Lake Ontario does offer a good beginner launching pad from which would-be surfers can learn how to ride. Surf Ontario runs SUP lessons (Stand Up Paddling) for up to six people between May to October, as well as hour-long surf lessons will all equipment included. Prices start at $89 for a one-on-one lesson, and yes, you can swim in Lake Ontario.