Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day Four

Our Tuesday started off with a walking tour through downtown Toronto lead by one of our Academy teachers, Todd. During the tour we got to learn about some of Toronto’s neighbourhoods and Infrastructure. The tour took us from the Annex neighbourhood where they were staying through U of T and finished in Kensington Market. In Kensington market we were free to explore the area and get lunch. In groups we went off and explored all of the interesting places in the market.

After the market we made our way back to the Academy. We did team building challenges with the whole school and we went into a big circle and played games like the West Wind Blows and Mingle Mingle Mingle. Then we went into separate groups and played a game to catch the ball in the same order over and over, saying everyone’s name. Finally, we were given resources to build the tallest tower and there was a tie between two groups.

After the challenges we had dinner together at the school and then there were options for after dinner. A group of us went down to watch the Raptors game playing at Jurassic Park, I enjoyed going to the Raptors game it was fun. It was a good experience to watch the game outside and see myself on the tv. I hope to go to the game some other time again. It was fun and the Raptors won that day.

By Jonah, Ben and Sebastian

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Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day Three

On Monday April 15th we went to the Toronto Island. To get there we took the ferry across Lake Ontario. Once we got there we did games and a cleanup of the Island and YMCA day camp areas to prepare for the summer. We had a bbq hot dog lunch bonfire. After that we had marshmallows before Rein put a cut down spruce tree into the fire.

We went back to the YMCA for dinner hosted by Ben’s family, Cole’s family and Bailey’s. The dish was Portuguese churrasco chicken and chocolate brownies and after the meal, Ben entertained us with his steel drum. Some of us got up and did a conga line.

After the performance, many students went to shop at the Eaton Center but some including me stayed at the school and watched the Maple Leafs game. The Leafs won and it was fun to hang out and spend time with our friends. After the game we went home.

By Cole and Gavin

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Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day Two


 
On a very rainy Sunday morning we met the exchange group at their hotel and went to Spadina station to do some icebreaker games. Then we went on a scavenger hunt on the TTC. We had to find things about the TTC with the kids from New Brunswick. We started at Spadina station then we had to go to the different subway stations. Some of the subway stations were on line 1 and some were on line 2. We had to end at a food court in the underground path where we had to wait for the last teams to arrive. Rein’s team was victorious and received Spadina station buttons as a prize.

After lunch we walked to the Rogers centre to see a Blue Jays Game. Many of our visitors were excited for the game, including some who had never who had never been to a baseball game before. We all sat together in the 200 level outfield section. Some people bought Blue Jays clothing and lots of snacks for the game. It wasn’t always an exciting game, but it was fun to hang out with everybody.

After the game we came back to the school and a delicious meal prepared by parents was waiting for us. We ate in different classrooms and got to know each other better. After dinner some students chose to play basketball in the gym and others stayed at the school and hung out. This was the first full day of the exchange week and despite the weather it was a lot of fun!

By Bailey and Alex

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Youth Exchange Canada: Toronto – Day One

YMCA Academy students with the exchange group on Day 1
 
On our first day of the YMCA Youth Exchange a small group of our students went to go and greet the exchange students from New Brunswick who had just landed after their flight. We guided them on the TTC from their hotel to one of our exchange student’s neighbourhood where we had a feast at the local community center. Each student’s family had to contribute at least one dish to the feast, and those dishes ranged from pasta salad all the way to mini pulled pork sandwiches.

Before the feast started we introduced our new guests to a brief history of Toronto, which included the Indigenous history, and what the city was used for in the past. We then introduced them with a traditional Indigenous song and drumming. We then had Pauline Shirt, a Native elder who lives in Toronto, welcome all of the guests.

After that was finished we all ate the food brought by the parents, and then socialized with each other to get to know each other. Some teachers led the group back to the hotel and we said goodbye, before we met the next day.

By Phoenix

Allan Gardens Trip

On Friday, April 12, Zoe’s Art class and Dayna’s Mental Health class went on a trip to Allan Gardens. The Art class had just learnt about Georgia O’Keeffe and her beautiful paintings of flowers. The goal of the trip was to take a zoomed in and abstract photo of a flower to then recreate as a watercolour painting in class. Students took some really interesting photos of different flowers. Some photos were so up close that you could hardly tell it was a flower at all!

Dayna’s class was focusing on relaxing and appreciating beauty in nature. Prior to the trip, the class has spoken about how there is a connection between mental health and the outdoors. Allan Gardens is a place the students can visit to experience serenity only 15 minutes away from the school. Overall, the trip was enjoyed by both classes, because of both the beauty and the warmth of the greenhouses!

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