When to Arrive
Registration is Wednesday afternoon. Scheduled events begin late afternoon, but you can arrive as early as noon. Once you settle in, there are lots of trails to explore plus you can help with setting up the labyrinth.
Americans and most Europeans can enter Canada without a visa, but they do need to get an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) if they are flying in. This is fast and cheap but do it. Other countries need a visa. To find out which you need, check here:
When applying for a visa, eTa, or entering the country, they will want to know that address where you will be in Canada. It is: YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, RR#6, 6604 Rama Road, Orillia, ON L3V 6H6.
I’d like to see Toronto before/after Mindcamp!
If you’re coming from out of town, you might want to visit Toronto and see a few sights. Getting from Pearson airport to Toronto is a breeze: Take the UP Express. This is a dedicated service that connects Pearson Airport to Union Station in downtown Toronto. Trains take 25 minutes to get to Union Station and depart every 15 minutes. Buy your ticket at the UP Express platform or in advance here.
Where should I stay in Toronto before/after Mindcamp?
Here are a few good hotels you might like to know about. All are centrally located and on the subway line unless otherwise indicated.
- Hotel Intercontinental, very centrally located across from the Royal Ontario Museum
- Pantages, a “boutique hotel”, chic and priced accordingly
- Cosmopolitan Hotel, also chic…
- Metropolitan Hotel or Soho Metropolitan Hotel
- Drake Hotel, ultra funky, not near the subway line (all the others are) but the neighbourhood is extremely interesting
- The Strathcona Hotel, downtown, not as expensive as the others
You want cheaper? airbnb.com, will connect you with Toronto folks who rent to travellers. Plus of course Toronto has all the chains, e.g. Best Western, Comfort Inn, etc. Just google it, you’ll find plenty.
What should I see in Toronto before/after Mindcamp?
Toronto is a wonderful city where you will have good friends once you attend Mindcamp! You don’t need a car to get around Toronto as public transport, cabs, and bike rentals can do the job for you. Below are a few things to see in Toronto, all within walking/biking/subway distance from downtown. There’s more, but your new friends will fill you in.
- Art Gallery of Ontario, our best “important” art gallery
- Royal Ontario Museum, decent all-round museum including science and humanities sections
- Harbourfront, a waterfront area with lots of stuff to see and do
- Distillery District, more contained but a great afternoon stroll, lots of stores, artist studios, and some good restaurants
- Kensington Market, very funk-tastic neighbourhood with excellent graffiti, interesting shops, lots o’ surprises
- Ripley’s Aquarium, super touristy but supposed to be really great
What should I see in Ontario before/after Mindcamp?
Ontario is a marvellous place, filled with wild and beautiful corners that are easy to get to and you have almost to yourself! Unfortunately most of them require you to rent a car, or bring your own. However, here is a short list:
- Chippewas of Rama First Nation’s Powwow is held the third weekend of August, which is often concurrent with Mindcamp. It is just down the road by car, so a quick trip to enjoy the dancing, music, food, and crafts is definitely do-able.
- McMichael Canadian Art Collection, a beautiful gallery set in a forest park that shows off our best Canadian art (day trip from Toronto, there is a bus but easier with a car)
- Niagara Falls, just incredible, even though every tourist in the world goes there, there’s a good reason for that (day trip from Toronto, lots of buses etc. so car optional)
- Prince Edward County, a beautiful cultivated farm area with many places to sample excellent local cheese, wine, meats etc. (possible in a day trip but much better to stay overnight, or even two nights; best with a car)
- Algonquin Provincial Park, no place like it anywhere else on earth, it is heaven and perfectly preserved (stay overnight, camping perfect but there are hotels/motels as well nearby… you will need a car)
- Petroglyphs Provincial Park, with amazing rock-paintings by indigenous people of ancient times (fairly far but quite possible in a day trip, you will need a car)
- Bruce Peninsula, lots of lovely beaches and hikes (fairly far but quite possible in a day trip, you will need a car)