Friday, September 16, 2016

Island Hopping

September 2016 - Toronto ON

We are going to walk a lot today!!!

No, we're not in the Caribbean island hopping but rather right here in Toronto.

As "seniors" it cost us $10 for the return trip. The schedule is less frequent than when we were here in the summer so we opted to take the small ferry to Hanlon's Point as it came earlier.
To give you an idea, last summer we would have taken the ferry shown on the left of the map this time we went took the ferry on the right.

The ride is about fifteen minutes and as you can see from the legend there is plenty to do.

Toronto Islands are made up of three major islands – Centre, Ward’s and Algonquin – with paths, bridges and boardwalks that connect the islands. A quick walk or bike ride takes you to one of four sandy beaches – Centre Island Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach and Ward’s Island Beach.

cv map 2014 back 855x614

People waiting.

Anchors way! This is a small ferry with only one level. There were plenty of bikes and dogs on board.

John's amazing shot of a plane going in for a landing at the Billy Bishop airport. The airport is on the islands, you can see it towards the bottom right on the map.  There is now a tunnel under the lake that you can use to reach the airport. I showed some photos a couple of weeks ago.

Later in the day the roof would be open at the Skydome, or to use its proper corporate name, The Rogers Centre.

That boat is called the Ned Hanlon.

Another plane coming in. This is looking towards the financial district downtown. You can see the icons for the Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank and CIBC, three of our big banks grouped on the left. PWC Pricewaterhousecoopers is also there on the left. The taller building on the far right has the RBC bank symbol, but it is not their head office.

Who is Hanlon? We had no idea until now.

The Babe in Toronto? When? Where? Why? To find the answers to these vexing questions, let's read this set of two historical plaques erected by Heritage Toronto in 2006. They are located here on the road curving off to the right at the Hanlan's Point ferry dock on Toronto Island.

Near this site, in Maple Leaf Park on September 5, 1914, the now legendary baseball player Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a professional. It was to be the only home run he ever hit in the minor leagues.
As a 19-year-old rookie, playing for the Providence Grays in the International League, he connected with a pitch from Ellis Johnson of the Toronto Maple Leafs, sending the ball over the fence in right field and scoring three runs. Pitching for the Grays, Ruth allowed only one hit, earning the title "southside phenom" from the Toronto Daily Star. The final score was Providence Grays 9, Toronto Maple Leafs 0.
Babe Ruth quickly moved up to the major leagues, and played his way to a phenomenal career. The Toronto team went on to win a total of eleven pennants before folding in 1967.

In 1897, Toronto's professional baseball club moved to the new Hanlan's Point Stadium - part of the larger Hanlan's Point Amusement Park on this site. Baseball and lacrosse joined other attractions here, including hotels, thrilling amusement rides, and such curiosities as a diving horse.
In 1910, the baseball team, now called the Toronto Maple Leafs, replaced its wooden stadium with a concrete, 18,000-seat structure named Maple Leaf Park. The team remained there for the next 15 years, winning pennants for adoring fans in 1912, 1917, and 1918.
In 1926, the club was moved to a more accessible, state-of-the-art stadium at the foot of Bathurst Street. The island stadium was eventually demolished and the site was redeveloped for the Toronto Island Airport.

Really quiet and yet we are so close to the city. It is a reprieve from the hustle and bustle without having to drive for hours.

Entrance to the Clothing Optional Beach.

Be very grateful that I didn't do any close ups of some of the bathers on the beach, otherwise you would need to wash your eyeballs with bleach!

Artscape Gibraltar Point opened in 1999. This four-season arts and cultural facility is housed in a former school surrounded by 46 acres of parkland. Over the years Artscape Gibraltar Point has hosted over 1,000 artists both local and international, who have taken advantage of the facility’s quiet and natural setting to focus on their practices and projects through short-term residencies and long-term studio rentals.

The Island Lighthouse is the oldest landmark in Toronto. From its site on Gibraltar Point, it has watched most of Toronto's history unfold. For over 150 years its light beam has been a welcome guide into the Harbour of Toronto for mariners.

At a very early date it was realized that a lighthouse on the peninsula (now Toronto Island) was essential to the safety of the vessels sailing Lake Ontario. In March, 1803, the following Act was passed: Section 7 - "and whereas it will be necessary and essential to the safety of vessels, boats, rafts and other craft passing from Lake Ontario into the River Niagara and passing by the island called Isle Forest and likewise into the port of York that there should be a lighthouse erected near each of the said last mentioned places.... One to be erected and build upon the.... and the other upon Gibraltar Point."

Like most other historical buildings, the lighthouse has had its days of tragedy, giving rise to tales of the macabre. January 2nd, 1815 was such a day. On this day the lighthouse keeper, Radan Muller, died in circumstances which left two forever unanswered questions - how did he die, and by whose hands?

Three successive water filtration plants were built on this site. The original plant, designed by engineer Allen Hazen and completed in 1912, was the first water purification facility in the City of Toronto. From 1914 to 1917, a larger plant was built to replace it. Both facilities played a critical role in the reduction of waterborne diseases, including typhoid fever, that killed hundreds of people in the 1880s and 1890s. The filtration plant was guarded during both World Wars to prevent possible sabotage of the city's water supply.

The original plant filtered lake water through layers of sand and gravel before piping it to the city through a tunnel under the Toronto harbour. A few of the 1917 buildings are still in use as part of the present water treatment facility, which was built from 1975 to 1977. Cold water from the plant helps regulate the temperature of city buildings connected to the Deep Lake Water Cooling System.

The Island Public/Natural Science School is a primary school located on Centre Island. It is operated by the Toronto District School Board.

As of 2013, the school has 179 students. 15% of the student population originates from Algonquin and Ward islands and about 85% of the students live in the city and take ferry transportation to school.

Visitors can rent bikes by the hour (standard, tandem and quad cycles) near the Pier to ride the many bike trails throughout the island.

Time for lunch, nothing special, wings and calamari.

We decided to walk around Centre Island Amusement Park.

Centreville Amusement Park is a children's amusement park located on Centre Island. The park was built in 1967 with a 1900 turn-of-the-century theme, and includes a miniature railway.

It was perfect because the park is closed and only opens on weekends into the fall depending on the weather.

An 1870s cast iron planter to commemorate Queen Victoria's birthday was originally located in front of St. Lawrence Market and is now featured in the centre of the park.

Being silly.

The Farm is open 365 days a year.

How adorable is she/he??

A roll in the hay?

Blatantly begging outside a restaurant patio.

As you leave Centre Island it becomes it is almost deserted for a while.

St. Andrew by the Lake

The dome is now open for the Blue Jays game.

The island also has a fire station and ambulance service.

Fire Station No. 33 Public Art Project

Artist: Gordon Peteran

This artwork is dedicated to the Ward’s Island Community and to the citizens of the City of Toronto by Mayor Barbara Hall.

The City of Toronto Fire Department is proud of its ongoing tradition of community outreach. As a means of recognizing this commitment Toronto City Council, through its Public Art Commission and Property and Planning Development Departments, sponsored a competition, undertaken in 1994, to incorporate public art into its construction of Fire Station No. 33.

Gordon Peteran’s Fire and Water symbolically depicts the timeless batter waged between the two elements. Familiar cultural images and human faces arranged around the clock remind us that we, too, are a part of this continuing drama.

The ferry arriving to pick us up.

Back in Toronto we still have to make a grocery stop and then catch the shuttle outside Union Station.

When we get home at 5:15 we check our pedometers! This is only the number steps while we were out as I don't carry my phone around the house with me. That's 8.27 miles.

Linking up with:

Scenic Weekends
Weekend Snapshots
Monday Walks
Petite Pudding
Monday Morning Blog Club
Whatever the Weather - Wednesday - Friday
Through My Lens Monday
Life Through the Lens
Tuesday Travel
Our World Tuesday
City Trippin'
Wanderful Wednesday
SNAP on Wednesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday
Weekend Travel Inspiration. Done
The Weekly Postcard
Weekend Wanderlust


  1. Wonderful shots! Aside from the airport, I haven't been on the islands since I was a child, and even then, it was the amusement park.

  2. I wasn't aware of all the things that are on the Toronto Islands. What a great mix of activities and sites.

  3. Jackie, I love this! I've never been to Toronto, but when I go I'm going to do this very same walk. It looks like a blast.
    Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

  4. what a fun day trip, and I love your lighthearted approach to your excursion. #wkendtravelinspiration

  5. Lighthouses are always a winner and if I can go for a walk by boat I'm a happy bunny, Jackie. :) Many thanks for your support. Have a happy week!

  6. So many things to see on your lovely trip! it seems there are many things to do/see around Toronto! Love the photo of you two (great, by the one who took it!), and you and hubby in that big chair -I love you shared all these fun things with SEASONS! Have a beautiful week:)

  7. What a great adventure! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I didn't even know about this island...and I now want to go..if for no other reason than to meet the alpacas!

  9. There is certainly a lot to do and see on the islands and you get some great shots of the city from the ferry. Sounds like some interesting characters lived there too...I wonder what DID happen to the lighthouse keeper. You're right, that is a great shot of the plane. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  10. Wow! I've never been to any of these places (other than the obvious CN Tower, Sky Dome, etc.) even though I've been to Toronto countless times. I've only been to the airport. I'll have to make a point of exploring the islands some day.

  11. Didn't know about these islands but looks like there is a lot to do there. I like the farm (alpacas are everywhere nowadays) and the lake. The views of the city are not bad either!

  12. Oh I do love Canada. Looks like you had a great time. #whatevertheweather

  13. I loved the islands when I visited- I was there in August and they were so cool and tranquil after the city itself. Like hopping to another world. #citytripping

  14. I always, always learn something new when I come to your place here. That is one of my favorite things about your blog. And, your photos, I always feel like I went with you exploring. Now I have another thing to add to my Toronto list when I get a chance to visit.

    Lisa @ LTTL

  15. I had no idea about these islands, they look amazing to visit! I hadn't really thought about travelling here, but must add it to our to do list!

  16. I really did assume that you meant the Caribbean when I read the title. I didn't realize Toronto had so much to offer outside of the big city. Looks like a fun visit (with a lot of walking).

  17. I always enjoy your posts. You take such lovely photos of your travels.
    There looks like so much to see and do! :)

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC. Hope you can make it tomorrow too! xx

  18. Hi Jackie! I've never been to the Toronto islands. I'll have to remedy that the next time I'm in the city for more than change of planes. I laughed at the "clothing optional beach", and I can imagine bleach would have come in handy, haha. I never knew about Babe Ruth's connections either. That was interesting. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

  19. This was one of my favourite things about our Toronto visit in April - though when we went only one ferry was on so we did a circular route rather than walking the whole length. And it was freezing!


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