Wednesday, February 06, 2013

#Toronto Islands lonely in the winter

If you like to beat the big city crowds, have I got the place for you, wait for it, wait for it; the Toronto Islands in the season I like to think of as 'damn, it's not summer!' You won't have to fight the crowds jamming into a ferry, in fact you won't even have to waste time deciding which ferry to catch as they really only go to Ward's Island on the east side of the island chain.
It is fun to wander the paths and boardwalks that run throughout the extensive parklands. On our recent weekend tour we brought our bicycles to make the exploration a little faster and it worked out well because of the lack of snow. We watched a large crowd of athletes playing winter league play of Frisbee golf on the official disc golf course (I love the disc golf pull cart/seats). You can also go on the clothing optional beach at Hanlan's Point with a high probability that you won't see anyone on the beach, let alone an unclothed person. In addition to Far Enough Farm you can look at the empty Centreville Amusement Park which will re-open again in the spring.
The boardwalk follows the shores of Lake Ontario from Ward's Island beach to the pier
I found the large metal sculptures fascinating. The dragons were set in the ground and several others leaned against the tennis court fence near the Ward's Island ferry terminal. Upon closer examination the sculptures were fitted with gas piping which leads me to believe that fire is somehow involved in their use. To the Google: Occasional Toronto says they were made by island resident Bruce Smith, and were included in the Rogue Wave outdoor art and sculpture festival which begins in September - I am unsure if it is scheduled for 2013 (if someone knows please leave a message).
One of the dragon's sharp claws has a tennis ball for safety, or it might come alive during a full moon and it was playing a game of catch. A spider in a web is shown below.

See more of the excitement peace of the islands as they slumber in cold of winter after the jump.

The Log Flume: the king of the island amusement rides

Looking towards the inner harbour and the City's skyline

Most of the channels are frozen and there is lots of people taking advantage of the free skating
An ice boat waits for stronger winds
A few boats remain locked in the ice
Ned Hanlan's statue looks down on the tug of the same name. The tug was recently relocated from the mainland to it's new resting place on the islands at Hanlan's Point ferry terminal

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