A field day for single Canadians

This Leo from Toronto who goes by the screen name

This Leo from Toronto who goes by the screen name "Paris Doubt" is one of the ten people competing for the title of Canada's Top Single this weekend. (Courtesy of Lavalife)

TANYA ENBERG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

To be a truly savvy single this summer, take advantage of festival season.

While online dating can prove fruitful when looking for love, right now when the days are hot and the sun is beaming, it's a fantastic time to get outdoors and play the dating odds. By trying a new sport, joining a club or taking up a hobby that captures your interest, you instantly expand your social network and boost your chances of meeting other like-minded folks, says Lavalife dating expert Kim Hughes.

There are an estimated 14 million Canadian singles out there ... now all you need to do is cross paths with some of them.

"People used to look to the church, community and even their family to meet people, but they don't do that anymore," says Hughes.

"People are busy ... The whole purpose of online dating is to eventually take it offline. That's why it's so important to be honest about who you are, because you're going to eventually meet."

If you're in Toronto this weekend, the popular online dating company is moving the singles scene into real life during the first ever Summer Lovin' Festival, running July 15-17, with fun and interactive activities, including mixology and cooking classes, a tour of the AGO and recreational volleyball to get singles meeting and mingling.

A recent poll by Lavalife found that 65% of members voted volleyball as the hottest sport to meet singles, so if you're single and looking, exploring leagues in your own city or town is a great place to start.

"A lot of it has to do with the fact that men and women are seen as fairly equally matched," says Hughes of the volleyball craze. "The sport crosses gender lines and, let's fact it, the people look hot."

Meanwhile, this weekend also wraps up a Canadian-wide search for the country's hottest single. Thousands entered the Lavalife competition and now just 10 remain. The top male and female love seekers will be chosen Saturday night, with both winners walking away $5,000 richer.

New Brunswick-based single Liam McNamara (who goes by the handle Novamac) is one of sexy singles vying for the crown.

"I am on it (the site) and I am looking," says the attractive 32-year-old actor.

"I am looking for balance, more than anything else. Someone who has their issues worked out. Someone who's active and intelligent, who likes good food and good wine."

McNamara says it's his first foray into online dating, having been a steady relationship guy in the past.

"I am a long-term relationship kind of guy - ever since junior high school," he admits. "I really haven't been dating. It's been a lot of cases of serendipity. I am open for anything if it happens ... I am pleasantly optimistic."

To find out more about Lavalife's three-day love fest or to vote on the country's top single candidates, visit lavalifetopsingles.com.


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