summer day camp toronto

10 signs you went to summer day camp in Toronto

Summer day camp in Toronto in the 1980s and '90s was at once a blessing and a curse. While you occasionally did fun things, you never really wanted to be there. In some ways it was like an extension of the school year, which seemed completely unjust because some kids got to leave the city for overnight camps. Still, kids who were city-bound in the summer did get to do some very cool things.

Here are 10 signs you went to summer day camp in Toronto.

1. You remember holding onto a rope while riding the TTC with a group of peers while the other passengers alternately smiled and groaned at your presence.

2. You can still recite the names of at least half of Toronto's historic museums because you spent boiling hot summer days inside their un-air conditioned walls. Mackenzie House? Check. Spadina Museum? Done that. Black Creek Pioneer Village? Yup, got sun stroke.

3. At one point, you spent a week overnight at the Toronto Island Natural Science School, where you were hazed by fellow students and terrified by instructors who claimed the ghost of J.P. Radenmueller haunted the dorm rooms.

4. You went to Fort York on multiple occasions, but never could figure out what all the fuss was about. The most noteworthy thing was that there was no shade.

5. If you were really lucky, you got to spend a few days at the Adventure Playground near Bathurst and Fleet. St. where you could use your own hammer, saw, and other highly dangerous tools by today's standards. It was the best.

6. You learned to sail at Ashbridges Bay, but were horrified when you found out that you were required to capsize your Laser in Lake Ontario as part of your safety training.

7. Your (not-for-profit) camp arranged for a night of camping at Snake Island, where you stayed up all night under the towering Toronto skyline. Beat that, Muskoka.

8. At one point or another you paid a visit to the Olympic-sized pool at Woodbine Beach, where you remember jumping off the highest diving board. 10 metres is way higher than it seems until you're hanging in mid air.

9. Even as as you were wickedly envious of kids who went to overnight camp up north, you'll never understand the nostalgia they have for things like Birkenstocks, friendship bracelets, and awful camp food.

10. No matter what activities you did, you pined for the day when you'd no longer be required to go to day camp and tried to convince your parent(s) that 12 years old was an appropriate age to be left unattended all day.

Share your memories of summer day camp in Toronto via the comments.

Photo via the Toronto Archives.


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