Canada’s Wonderland Recreational Park
Travel to Canada’s Wonderland Park
Let’s go to a theme park located in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, a suburb directly north of Toronto and visit Paramount Canada’s Wonderland Recreational Park. On the 23rd of May in 1981, Ontario Premier Bill Davis and the Taft Broadcasting President Dudley Taft, officially opened Canada’s Wonderland to the public. The opening ceremony was spectacular and included the release of 350 white doves and 10,000 helium balloons, 13 parachutists jumped to the park dropped from airplanes, and a pipe band was there to provide music for the festivities. Four children who were representing the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Great Lakes regions of Canada, each poured a vial of water from their home regions into the park’s fountain to symbolize our unity as a nation. The famous Hockey Superstar No.99 – Wayne Gretzky appeared as a very special guest, helping to raise the Canadian flag. There were thousands of guests that were welcomed into the park for the very first time. The park cost $120 million to build. Kings Entertainment Corporation operated the park during the 1980’s and the early 1990’s.
The park’s former connection to Hanna-Barbera Productions was reduced after Paramount Pictures raised its stake from 20% to full ownership of the park in 1993 and renamed it Paramount Canada’s Wonderland. After Viacom bought Paramount in 1994, a very successful attempt was made to try and bring families back to the park by attracting those children with original Nickelodeon cartoon characters that were familiar to a new generation. The Pirate’s Cove directly behind the Wonder Mountain have daily shows to entertain the visitors. Everyone can watch their performance around the vicinity and there are seats nearby where we can sit down and watch.
The park was known as Paramount Canada’s Wonderland from 1994 to 2006, while it was owned by Paramount Parks. Canada’s Wonderland is open daily from May to September and then only on weekends until the end of October. Originally opened by the Taft Broadcasting Company and The Great-West Life Assurance Company in 1981, the park is owned and operated by Cedar Fair since 2006.
It is the first major theme park in Canada and remains the country’s largest so far. In 1983, Canada’s Wonderland added the Kingswood Music Theatre, a 15,000 seat amphitheatre that has hosted many popular musicians and singers in concerts. I have attended Jennifer Beals, “Flashdance” concert one summer years ago. The Academy Award winning “Flashdance, What a Feeling”, performed by Irene Cara, which was written for the film was the concert’s theme. Different concerts are held every season.
There are lots of rides throughout the park and the Carousel classic merry-go-round is one of those rides and there are also antique cars and some train rides for families. The more adventurous gets on the roller coasters and other scary and exhilarating rides like the Bat Roller Coaster, the Vortex, the Skyrider and others.
On the 14th of May in 2006, it was announced that Cedar Fair Entertainment Company was interested in acquiring the five Paramount theme parks, including Canada’s Wonderland. The acquisition was completed on the 30th June in 2006 and as a result, early January in 2007, Cedar Fair began to drop the name “Paramount” from all of the former Paramount parks and the Canadian Park is now called by its original name which is Canada’s Wonderland. The 2007 and 2008 season was a smooth transition year for removing “all things Paramount” throughout the park, which included renaming some of the rides in the park. By the start of the 2008 season, the Paramount logo and any association with its name had been removed from the park. Today, Canada’s Wonderland has over 200 attractions with over 60 thrill rides and that includes the games. The park holds a number of Canadian records, among them the most roller coasters with 16 of these in the park. It had eight themed areas on 330 acres of land, with an artificial mountain as the central feature.
In the southwestern quadrant, a 20 acres water park called Splash Works has over 2 million US gallons of heated water, Canada’s largest outdoor wave pool, measuring 36,000 square feet, a lazy river, the white water canyon with rides provided to guests on a rubber round-shaped raft that can seat 4 to 6 persons and 16 water slides.
The designers of this park chose to build a massive mountain, known as the Wonder Mountain, and it is situated at the top of the International Street. Wonder Mountain featured a huge cascading waterfalls and interior pathways were built which led visitors to a look-out point at the mountain top.
Aerial view of Canada’s Wonderland Park from the look-out point at the mountain top.
The International Street infront of the Wonder Mountain have dancing fountains that synchronizes with the music on loud speakers around that area of the park. There are green plants and red flowers planted around the fountain areas.
On special holidays professional divers show off their skills by diving from the cliff at the edge of the falls unto the pool below while people watch and applaud their superb performance.
Around the park area there are displays like the antique delivery truck.