OK, I saw you stifling the yawn. I guess historic buildings aren't your thing, huh?
Just hear me out on this and you'll understand why this was a cool tour, even if you don't appreciate century-and-a-half old architecture. The fun part of this outing wasn't only the buildings, but rather the mechanism we used to explore them.
We rode Segways.
For those who've never heard of these things, they came out a few years ago. They were supposed to revolutionize the way we lived our lives and even how we build our future cities.
I don't know about all that, but it sure was a lot of fun.
We walked out to the Distillery District in a light drizzle, debating with ourselves whether we really wanted to be out in the rain. We showed up at the Segway of Ontario shop where we met our tour guide, Haley Shanoff. Haley is a Masters student at University of Toronto in Museum studies.
The truly great thing about her, though, is in five minutes she was able to get us up and running (if not entirely comfortable) on our rented Segways. As a teacher myself, I know how difficult it can be to establish trust with your students. She made the whole activity just a heck of a lot of fun.
We took the short tour (30 minutes), which meant that we spent a lot of time just riding around and relatively little on the specific history of the area. Just from the way she spoke, though, it was obvious to me that Haley would have had no problem filling us in on every single detail of the District.
So, if you are ever visiting the Toronto area, be sure to stop down at the Distillery District for a fun and educational tour. Tell them Greg sent you. It won't get you anything. In fact, they won't know what you're talking about, but you can enjoy the confused look on their faces.
So, have you ever ridden a Segway?