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How To Turn Your City into a Summer Camp: Your Toronto Itinerary

This summer, we’re making the city our summer camp, bringing back all those lakeside moments that are forever remembered with golden-hour sunset light. It’s like our brain has a Hipstamatic filter for days spent braiding each other’s hair on bunk beds, weaving friendship bracelets by the lake, jumping off cliffs, staying up til sunrise on trip, carving our names into the cabin walls. We loved every minute of it, living in our bathing suits, singing in the dining hall, and feeling like we would NEVER be as cool and grown up as our counsellors, who were already in HIGH SCHOOL! It’s time to recapture the magic: Pack up your compass and prepare for some urban orienteering. Here’s your itinerary for camp days in Toronto. Camp SDTC, 416 Chapter, let’s march!

ACTIVITY HOUR
Take sailing lessons down at the Harbourfront! They have courses for beginners starting from a 3 hour Introductory course, for $119. 

Learn to rock climb! Grab a belay buddy and take an introductory course at Joe Rockhead’s, near Dufferin and Liberty, for $35. For just $10 extra, you’ll get a t-shirt, two week membership, and a subscription to Gripped Climbing Magazine. Sweet deal, campers!

CRAFT HOUR
Take a course at The Knit Cafe. They have a crash course in scarf making for absolute beginners happening July 25th. Coolest part? It’s free if you purchase your materials there. 6:30-9:30pm

Life-Like Drawing
 happens every Tuesday in July, at 5 pm on the Drake Sky Yard. Illustrator Jack Dylan will be on hand to share tips, and a model will be on hand, clad creatively. Just bring your pens and sketchbook!

If DIY is your thing, check out our Fashion Blog Activity Station!

REST HOUR
Studios around the city are offering outdoor yoga over the summer. We can feel the OM vibrating in our chests now. On Sundays from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, Octopus Garden is offering free yoga in Dufferin Grove Park. Bring your own mat to the middle of the park, west of the central playground. Until July 27th, Yoga Vibe is offering Beach Yoga at the foot of Lee Avenue and Alfresco Lawn. You can drop in for $18. Classes are Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30, and info on what to bring and a location map is here. Spynga is offering outdoor yoga on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Check out their site for more info.

TUCK SHOP
Everybody is crazy for Menchies, and their selection of Fro Yo flavours and toppings reminds us of picking through the goods at the Tuck Shop, choosing just the right thing. The best part? They charge by weight, so you can have as little or as much of whatever toppings you like! We recommend creating a s’more-inspired version. 

There are also a ton of Farmer’s Markets in the city, where you can load up on fresh local goods that are better than candy! 

FREE SWIM
There are a ton of great outdoor swimming pools around the city, both public and private. Here’s a round up of our favourites. JUMP IN!

ALL CAMP
TD Festival of South Asia happens on Gerrard on July 16th and 17th, and Harbourfront’s Colombia Colours Il Diaspora Festival is the same weekend. Other festivals on Harbourfront’s schedule include Tirgan Iranian Festival, Island Soul Festival, Fortune Cookie Food Festival, and Masala! Mehndi! Masti!. The Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (ahh, that’s Caribana to most of us) has a ton of great events culminating in The Grand Parade on July 30th. And of course, there’s always Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market. 

CAMPFIRE
Did you know you can rent a firepit at Dufferin Grove Park? You can! They hope you’ll be willing to make a $20 donation-but if you can’t, they understand. To book a campfire and read all the info, click here.

TALENT NIGHT
Strut your STUFF! It may not be a rickety stage set up by questionably sober counsellors outside the dining hall, but there are plenty of places in Toronto to show off your mad skills. For the bold, there’s karaoke in the Gladstone Melody Bar and for the more cautious, Koreatown offers all the private room karaoke you could ask for. 

If your idea of talent night involves less wailing and more…actually watching people be talented, Toronto’s theatre community has got you covered. Toronto Fringe Festival is on until July 17th, and the unjuried nature of the festival means it allows for new and exciting work like this and this.

As well, Soulpepper is having one hell of a season, taking on Tolstoy, Tennessee Williams, Judith Thompson, and more. Head down to the Distillery District for some amazing theatre, student tickets are only $28! 

MOVIE NIGHT
Toronto has no end of opportunities to catch amazing screenings under the stars. Upcoming flicks include Lost In Translation, Funny Girl, and The Sound of Music. If roadtrips are more your thing, there are some great drive in theatres all within an hour of the city.

TRIP
Go on an urban adventure! Take your bike to the Kay Gardner Beltine or the Don Valley. And if you haven’t been to the Island yet this summer, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? There’re ferries running all the time! Book a picnic site and make a day of it! 

If you miss tramping along in a line singing camp songs, check out Art Spin, which happens the last Sunday of every month of the summer! Nothing will give you that feeling of togetherness like riding en masse down the twilight city streets.

Happy Camping! 
xo
SDTC 

ps…if you’re looking to bring some camp to your summer wardrobe, sans Tevas, here’s our guide to urban camp dressing.

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