It may still be spring, but the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend marks the traditional launch of summertime activities like drinking outdoors and acquiring sunburns. It's also the first official fireworks weekend, with throngs of lawn-chair-and-cooler-toting Torontonians heading out to the Beach to park in the sand, watch the big colourful explosions in the sky, and scream at their kids. There's nothing quite like the experience of breathing "oooooh!" with a few thousand close pals. Here are some viewing-spot options for those intrepid enough to make the long trek all the way East.
↑ Ashbridge's Bay Park, Coxwell Avenue and the Lakeshore
If you're looking for a fireworks party, this is where you'll find it. Come early enough to stake out a spot; the show might not get started until 9:45, but crowds start pouring into the park hours beforehand. Watch out for shirtless bros, runaway toddlers and alarmed dogs (why the hell do people bring dogs to fireworks shows?).
↑ The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Centre, far end of Queen Street East
This awesome, imposing Art Deco building is on a promontory that curves out over the lake and offers an outstanding view of the fireworks.
↑ Murphy's Law pub, corner of Queen Street East and Kingston Road
The rooftop deck is the catbird seat for optimum fireworks exposure, but if you're out of luck getting a barstool up top you'll still have a decent view from the streetside patio, which has a clear sightline to the lake. However you get out to the Beach, make sure to allow yourself plenty of travel time. Driving is probably not a great idea, unless you park about a kilometre away and walk to the lakeshore. The Leslie Barns road work has the Queen streetcar rerouting around Leslieville via Gerrard Street until (they say) the end of June, adding at least 20 minutes to a crosstown trip. Cycling is a good option, as long as you've got a strong light for the ride home.
· Victoria Day Fun in Toronto [Toronto4Kids]
· Past, Present, and Future Streetcars at Beaches Parade [Transit Toronto]
· Things to do in Toronto on the Long Weekend [Toronto.com]