Water parks in Toronto have out-of-the-ordinary draws such as cool downtown locations and salt water. They also boast possession of some of Canada's firsts, claiming dibs on the "first saltwater park" and the "first water slide" in the country. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Toronto water parks.
Froster Soak City at Ontario Place
Toronto's only downtown water park, Froster Soak City is housed within Ontario Place, a cultural and entertainment parkland situated on the Lake Ontario waterfront. The water park has family attractions for everyone, including speed slides for teenage thrill-seekers and water play areas and a tipping bucket for kids. New attractions such as dual water slides, a new lounge pool and a sand beach at the water’s edge debuted in July 2011.
HydrofugeThe Hydrofuge shoots riders down a tube on a thin sheet of water at speeds up to 30 mph before swirling them around in a massive bowl. The finale: A plunge into the six-foot-deep landing pool.
Open Funnels And Speedy SlidesThe Topsy Turvy ride takes pairs of riders through dark enclosed tubes and multiple open funnels, whipping them around back-to-back high banking turns. The Pink Twister, Purple Pipeline and Rush River Raft Ride round out the speedy water slides. Guests looking for some leisure can enjoy tranquility at the new lounge pool.
Food OptionsGuests can create customized Froster's treats at self-serve kiosks just outside the park gates and find food within at the indoor restaurant and patio. Guests looking for more variety can venture farther to other Ontario Place islands which sell pizza, waffles and even some brews at the beer garden.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Froster Soak City.
Address: 955 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3B9, Canada
Hours: July 2 through Sep. 5 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Check the park's website for spring and fall hours.
Price: Toronto Star Play All Day pass, $15 for seniors and kids under 48 inches; $29 for adults. Families of up to four can purchase $99 passes for everyone. Online prices are a dollar less than at the gate.
Wild Water Kingdom
Wild Water Kingdom bills itself as Canada's first and largest saltwater park. Just outside Toronto, the park draws parents and children looking for some salty adventures with the motto "kids thrill, you chill." Sixteen tubes, body and speed slides provide hours of excitement, along with rock-climbing under a waterfall, a salty tide wave pool that mimics the ocean waves and a lazy river for some leisurely laying out in the sun.
The Night RiderThe Night Rider is a single-tube slide that plummets riders into immediate darkness. Speeding through the abyss, they encounter high-bank twists, free-fall drops and some back-to-back turns before reaching the landing pool.
The Midnight ExpressKids can thrill on rides such as the Midnight Express, which spirals around tight 360-degree turns and the White Lightning, which bolts downward seven stories. The Caribbean Cove acts as respite from the action with a 6,000-square-foot pool, waterfalls and scenery to match.
Food OptionsThere are standard food options ranging from burgers and tidal wave funnel cakes at the Royal Terrace to Chicken Chicken at the Island Grill and snacks like Canadian corn. Several beverage stands and bars offer tropical drinks for adults with non-alcoholic versions for kids.
Safety RecordAccording to TripAdvisor, some park goers have complained about the cleanliness of the park. Our research, however, has found no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Wild Water Kingdom.
Address: 7855 Finch Ave., West Brampton, Ontario, L6T 0B2, Canada
Hours: The park's opening weekend is Fourth of July weekend. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting June 18 and closes Sept. 5.
Price: Guests aged 10 and older, $30; seniors and children aged 4 to 9, $23
Other Noteworthy Parks Near Toronto
Splash Works at Canada's Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario
Wild Water Works, Hamilton, Ontario
Great Wolf Lodge Water Park, Niagara Falls
Calypso Park, Limoges, Ontario
Splash Island in Zellers Discovery Zone at the Toronto Zoo
What's your family's favorite Toronto water park? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
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