Parks Canada kicked off their 100th anniversary celebrations in a big way with the Blue Jays on Saturday. Starting with a street festival, and ending with a camp-out in Canada’s biggest tent, the Rogers Centre, Parks Canada managed to bring a little bit of Canada’s great outdoors to Toronto.

The event, focussed around kids and families, featured activities promoted in our National Parks, such as "learn to camp", geo-caching, slack-lining, and mountain biking. IMBA Canada members Joyride 150 and the Guelph Off-Road Bicycling Association (GORBA), helped turn the Rogers Centre concourse into an indoor mountain bike playground, introducing nearly 100 kids and parents to the skills and thrills of off-road riding. Even Parks Canada’s CEO, Alan Latourelle, gave the course a whirl.

Ed Jager, Director of Visitor Experience for Parks Canada, had this to say about the event: "IMBA, GORBA and Joyride 150 did an amazing job transforming the Roger’s centre concourse into a real Mountain biking experience. The professional staff were passionate, knowledgeable and helped make sure participants were safe. They helped campers have a taste of what mountain biking can be. The structures simulated real trail features and offered a truly unique experience."

Global Toronto News Final Hour, May 22nd, did a news segment on the Blue Jays campout, which also covered the biking event. Link.

And this isn’t the only thing Parks Canada is doing to get kids on bikes. This fall, as part of IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, Parks Canada will be hosting kids mountain biking events in National Parks across Canada — Join in on October 1st, 2011! More details to come.