Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Feeling the Heat? Here are some tips on cooling down...

Posted by Adam Kertesz

Great, fun article in the National Post on some cheap, easy ways to stay cool.
(Hint: if interested in any of these ideas, click on the article to gain access to their links!)

"[...]Even if you don’t have an air-conditioner, never fear. The National Post is here with some tips to keep you cool and comfortable even when the concrete is literally hot enough to fry and egg. Seriously, go try it. Then cool off afterward with one of our wallet-friendly suggestions.

Public pools and splash pads are open across the city

In this extreme heat, who cares if splash pads are meant for kids. Slap on some sunscreen, grab a pair of flip-fops, the kiddies if you happen to have them, and head out to one of the many fun-filled fountains. Check here for a list of splashpads across the GTA. If you’re looking for a more submersive experience, jump into of the city’s many public pools.

Take an extended ride on the subway

If you’re relying on fans and cold showers to cool off at home instead of central air, grab a good book and try the more human way — a ride on the TTC. In the middle of the day, the Yonge-University line is a dead zone, so why not indulge in the underground air conditioning? For $3 you can ride the rails for the length of the line and get some reading done in the meantime.

The LCBO and Beer Stores are air-conditioned

A frozen margarita is a great way to enjoy summer to its fullest, but if beer’s more your taste both the LCBO and the Beer Store offer air conditioning so strong you barely have to chill your drinks after leaving. Stop in on your way home from the subway as a break from the heat. You not only get to drink your reward, but beer bottles fit perfectly into the nape of your neck, which sends a sweet, ice-cold, certified chill down the spine. Ah, there’s nothing like the smell of hops on a July afternoon.

Take in a matinée

The only place where the ai -conditioning might be stronger than a liquor store is a movie theatre. Many theatres offer discounted weekday matinée ticket prices. Notably, Rainbow Cinemas offers $7 matinees and Bloor Cinema members enjoy $5 matinees (non-members can pay a $9 ticket fee that includes a membership for next time). Toy Story 3, anyone?

Centre Island is only a ferry ride away

For some seemingly inexplicable reason, Centre Island is degrees cooler than the heart of the city. The ferry costs just$6 roundtrip, and the breeze off the water and the view of the city skyline are worth far more than that — just ask anyone who belongs to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. The ferry terminal is located a southern-most tip of Bay Street at Queen’s Quay. Grab a picnic at St. Lawrence Market and head over to the south side of the island. The beach facing across Lake Ontario is the coolest part of the island.

Delight in some ice cream or gelato

Skip the ice-cream truck (most of their wares are available in the grocery store for far less) and splurge on a treat that doesn’t come from a factory. One great spot is Delight on Queen Street West, which offers fair-trade and organic chocolates as well as homemade scoops. Their strawberry ice cream actually tastes like fruit, instead of the ubiquitous pink stuff, so at least you’ll get some vitamins with the cream. If you’re really looking to cool off, nothing works better than lemon gelato. That being said, as someone who spent a summer scooping for a genuine gelateri, you need to make sure it’s the real deal. Dolce Gelato in Little Italy is as authentic as anything you’ll find in St. Mark’s Square.

Bonus tip: Find a summer read at the library

All 99 of Toronto’s public libraries are air-conditioned and have hundreds if not thousands of possible summer reads. If you’ve got a sullen, suddenly-out-of-school teenager, the TPL also has plenty of programming for your teen. Here’s a list of branches and hours.

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/07/05/five-cheap-ways-to-stay-cool-in-toronto/#ixzz0suohovIV

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