Ward’s Island Beach. Photo Credit: Hannah Mittelstaedt
Did You Know…?
Before Toronto Island became a park in the 1950s, it was a year-round community of over 2,000 people, swelling to 10,000 during the summer months. Houses, many of them elaborate summer cottages built by Toronto’s well-to-do, occupied the entire length of the Island. Centre Island was a flourishing little town, complete with grocery stores, hotels, barbershops and even a bowling alley. Back then there were no private vehicles on the Island, and the same is true today.
Throughout the summer, the City of Toronto runs ferries from the foot of Bay Street to Hanlan’s Point at the west end, Ward’s Island at the east end, and Centre Island in the middle. But from mid-October to May, the ferry goes only to Ward’s Island where about 750 “Islanders” live in 260 houses. The community encourages all to take this opportunity to come on over in the winter—it’s beautiful! The Rectory Café (416-203-2152) is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 11:00am to 5:00pm. Dress warmly!
Restoration of the Ward’s Island 1916 Waiting Shed
The Toronto Island Community Association (TICA) needs your help to restore and renovate the 1916 Waiting Shed at Ward’s Island dock! The shed has served a century of ferry residents and visitors as shelter from inclement weather. The TICA is working to restore the building by adding heat, new windows, lights, and improved accessibility.
For more information and to donate, CLICK HERE!