Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Toronto Islands Ferry

Just off the shore from the city core of Toronto there is a small chain of islands that form the outer boundary of the harbour. From the 1800s to the 1950s there was a community of houses, cottages, hotels and shops that occupied most of the islands. In the 1950s, the city decided to turn it all into parkland and tore down all but 250 homes all at the east end of the islands. There was a huge uproar and the Islanders fought further demolition until 1993 when the provincial government gave them all 99 year leases on their properties. The remaining community is the largest urban car-free community in N America and can only be reached by riding one of the 3 ferries that serve the islands (about a 10 minute ride). It is really quite lovely. The rest of the islands have beaches, an amusement park, marinas, and the Island Airport (and no cars). It is a great place to go on a hot day.


Linda said...

How lovely to be able to commute by ferry - on a calm day.

I didn't know Toronto had these island. I'd never visualised in terms of water.

RedPat said...

Linda - It can be a really cold commute in winter especially if/when the harbour freezes over. Also the last ferry of the day goes to the island at 11pm and if you miss it you have to take a water taxi which isn't cheap.