Hanlan's Point

Hanlan's Point
Statue of Ned Hanlon.

Edward "Ned" Hanlon (1855-1908) was one of the first Canadian athletes to gain fame internationally. In the 1870's, he demonstrated his skill at rowing by winning a number of races. In 1877, he won the Canadian championship, and in 1878, he won the US championship. The following year, he embarrased the English champion by no less than 11 lengths. But that wasn't enough - in 1880, he became world chapmion, a title he successfully defended six times.

Hanlan's Point
Lily pads in the Trout Pond.

The bronze statue, made in 1926, first stood on the Exhibition grounds. Many people think the statue has a pretty good resemblence to Hanlon. However, the model for the statue was another sculler, Joe Wright Junior.

Hanlan's point is also known for another famous sports event. It was here that Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a professional baseball player.

Hanlan's Point
Rugged shore at Gibraltar Point.

Gibraltar Point was named by Governor Simcoe in the 1790's. At that time, the only entrance to the inner harbor was the Western Gap (or Western Channel). Simcoe had a fort built at the base of Bathurst Street, along with a blockhouse on the islands. Gibraltar Point seemed an appropriate name since the fortifications protected the harbor much like Gibraltar guarded the entrance to the Mediterranean.

Hanlan's Point
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.

Is the 25m tall Gibraltar Point lighthouse haunted? According to an old story, soldiers from the blockhouse often went to the lighthouse to drink. One night in 1815, the lighthouse keeper, J. P. Rademuller, tried to take their beer away from them. In retaliation, the soldiers murdered him and buried the body. At the time, Rademuller's disappearance was a mystery. But finally, in 1893, human remains were discovered a few hundred feet away from the lighthouse.

Hanlan's Point
Hanlon's Point Beach.

There are a number of good beaches on the islands. Many beaches in the city are closed to swimming during the summer because of pollution. But the beaches on the islands usually remain clean enough to swim throughout most of the summer, long after other waters are off-limits.

The Hanlon's Point beach, the city's only clothing optional beach, is a popular spot for gay men. The other beaches at Centre Island and Ward's Island are more family friendly.

Hanlan's Point

"Torontonians don't give a damn what anybody says about Toronto, possibly because few of us think of ourselves as truly Torontonian. Most of us come from somewhere else. ... In the eyes of the rest of the country Toronto is a kind of combination Sodom and Mecca."
Pierre Berton

Hanlan's Point
J.W. Gorman's diving horse, ca 1907.