I’ve lived within an hour or two of Toronto my whole life, yet I’m always impressed by the ability to find interesting new places to visit and fun experiences to try in the city. As our kids get older, I’ve enjoyed seeking out new things to try that are fun for kids and parents alike.
Thanks to Attractions Ontario and Go Tours Canada, my husband, teenage daughter and I recently had a chance to take a Segway Tour of Toronto’s historic Distillery District, and I have to say this was a fun experience for all of us. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different to do this summer in Toronto.
Never ridden a Segway before? No problem! None of us had either. This is a great tour for beginners, as the tour operates completely within the 14 acre pedestrian-only zone of The Distillery District so you don’t have to worry about you or your kids dealing with traffic (other than pedestrians of course!) There is a governor on the Segways which limits you to a maximum speed of 10 km/hour, so nobody can get too out of control.
Before the tour starts all participants receive instruction and safety guidelines in how to operate a Segway and must demonstrate the ability to operate their Segway safely by completing a few tasks including stopping and starting and maneuvering through a pylon slalom course. I was a little nervous that the Segways might be hard to control, but our tour guide Erik provided very clear instructions and safety tips. We all found it took no time at all to get the hang of it.
Helmets are mandatory and there are both plain and fun helmets to choose from. Somehow I ended up being the only one in my family to choose something other than a basic helmet. Oh well. My only regret is I didn’t go with the Angry Birds helmet I originally had my eye on!
After a few minutes of practising on our Segways and passing our safety tests, we were off on a 30 minute tour of the Distillery District, to learn all about its colourful history.
We stopped at various locations during our tour, so Erik could tell us stories about the area, including the history of the Gooderham & Worts family, their original windmill and the transition from processing grain from Ontario farmers to becoming the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in Canada. We learned about child labour, family tragedies, the drinking habits of early Toronto settlers and epidemics like cholera. We also learned which movies have been filmed in the Distillery District over the years. Our tour guide Erik was charming and engaging, and kept us on our toes by asking questions along the way.
The Distillery District is an interesting area to explore, and I’d highly recommend you plan to spend some time either before or after your Segway tour checking out some of the many unique shops, cafes and galleries. The Distillery District is home to Mill Street Brew Pub and Ontario Spring Water Sake Company, but if you’re with your kids you’ll also find plenty of kid-friendly venues to grab a quick treat, like macarons and other baked goodies, gelato, ice cream and gourmet chocolates.
I loved exploring the Distillery District, and the Segways made it seem like more of an adventure than it otherwise would have been. We all really enjoyed riding our Segways and can’t wait to go again. Perhaps next time we’ll try an off-road Segway tour at Horseshoe Resort – that sounds fun!
If you’re considering doing this tour with your family, you should be aware that all riders must be 12 years old or older and weigh a minimum of 100 pounds. If your kids are still too young, this tour would make a fun activity for date night or an outing with a group of friends.
Interested in going on a Segway Tour with Go Tours Canada? Check out gotourscanada.com for all the details on the tours available and to book a tour. You can save 20% off the price of your tour with this coupon from Attractions Ontario.
Not sure if a Segway tour is your thing? You can also use the coupon on one of Go Tours Canada’s walking tours.
Need more ideas of fun things to do this summer in Ontario with your family? Be sure to visit the Attractions Ontario website for lots of fun ideas and money saving coupons for a variety of attractions in Ontario. You can also enter to win some fabulous prizes of family fun in the annual Attractions Ontario Explore Ontario Summer Contest, with new prizes being drawn every two weeks.
*Thanks to Attractions Ontario and Go Tours Canada for arranging this experience for us. We were provided with a free Segway tour for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
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About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)