iFlying adventure


    iFly provides a 30-minute training class with instructors to show potential fliers how to be safe.

iFly provides a 30-minute training class with instructors to show potential fliers how to be safe.

Thrillseekers in Oakville and the GTA will soon be able to experience the rush of jumping out of a plane without ever leaving the ground.

Only the second facility of its kind in Canada, iFly Toronto is opening its indoor sky diving facility in the Winston Park Drive area.

Although construction of iFly Toronto is still underway, Melanie Guerin, vice-president of marketing and communications at Skyventure Montreal, hopes people will be able to start coming in by mid-April.

“It’s just a cool experience. Such a unique sensation,” Guerin said. “Once you experience it you just can’t stop talking about it.”

Anyone over the age of four can try indoor skydiving, although parental approval is necessary for anyone under 16.

“Everyone also has to go through a 30-minute training class with instructors,” Guerin said. “They can show people how to fly and keep them safe.”

Guerin added that all the required gear is provided by iFly Toronto.

For Oakville, iFly Toronto presents an exciting new tourism opportunity.

“It’s such an amazing product in addition to what we have in Oakville,” Rebecca Edgar, executive director with the Oakville Tourism Partnership said. “It really appeals to a different kind of audience.”

According to Edgar, the Town of Oakville met with iFly early on to figure out its goals and provide everything from getting the construction site up and running to getting the word out through social media on their arrival.

“They really helped us throughout the whole thing,” Guerin said.

The approval process took approximately eight months and required a lot of research, according to Alison Newton, senior economic development officer with Oakville’s economic development.

“What kind of traffic is this going to attract? What kind of people are going to be going there? What is this going to look like on out land?” Newton said.

Councillors were invited to the only other indoor sky diving facility in Canada, located in Montreal, to better understand what it was they would be approving.

Zoning and site selection was also an issue.

Before settling on the current location of 2007 Winston Park Drive, Oakville had to determine what the iFly facility would be classified as.

“The biggest obstacle was figuring out what they are,” Newton said. “How they’re zoned affected where they could locate. If they were defined as a place of amusement, that’s not allowed on a highway corridor in Oakville.

Officially, iFly Toronto has been defined as a commercial school and training facility.

“I like that they recognized that we’re part of the GTA,” she said. “It’s really going to put Oakville on the map because it is so unique and it’s not like you can get this any other municipality.”