The past two Saturdays included early mornings waiting in line at the Toronto Public Library in hopes of obtaining a Toronto Library Museum + Arts pass. My beautiful mother requested a trip to the Ontario Science Centre for her upcoming birthday and I made it my personal mission to make this happen-within budget.
As it happens the Toronto Public Library and Sun Life Financial provides MAP passes which offer free entrance to vast array of attractions and museums within Toronto. If you’re like me and budget conscious you can plan your summer activities with the assistance of this great program.
Now, you and the family can visit the new Panda cubs at the Toronto Zoo or check out the newly discovered dinosaur at the ROM. Passes are valid for 2 adults and 2-4 children depending on the venue and good for one visit. Each week libraries are provided with a new set of passes. This means you can check out a pass to a new attraction every seven days.
There is one caveat. Passes are available in limited quantities. Some branches offer the passes on a first come, first serve basis. At these locations you may find those who are willing and able; waiting outside the library doors first thing in the morning.
On my first attempt I was ninth in line which seemed pretty reasonable. Unfortunately for me the Ontario Science Centre is one of the most popular passes alongside the Toronto Zoo, The Gardiner Museum and Black Creek Pioneer Village. Normally three passes each, are available for the Zoo and the Ontario Science Centre which meant ninth in line was not early enough.
I did not want to take any chances so I tried the Yorkwoods library again the following Saturday arriving at 7:30 a.m. This time I was third in line. Perfect! When the doors opened at 9:00 a.m., I was able to check out an Ontario Science Centre pass.
There is another option if waiting in line early Saturday morning is not for you. Some branches have the option of a draw. Everyone who arrives at one of the branches between 9 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. are placed in a selection pool. Names are drawn at random, and MAP passes are distributed in order of the numbers drawn.
If early Saturday morning draws or first come first serve options are still not viable for you; a select few locations offer passes during the week. Barbara Frum -hursdays at 9:00 a.m.: City Hall -Mondays at 10:00 a.m.: and Forest Hill -Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.
For more information on this great program, check out your local Toronto Public Library or ask your local librarian for more information.