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Hanlan's Point Centre Island Ward's Island
Lake Ontario

Ward's Island

View towards downtown
View through the "Sunfish Cut".

After visiting Centre Island, we decided to return home via the less-crowded Ward's Island ferry. The road to Ward's Island was filled with people enjoying the scenery from two-seat or four-seat quadricycles rented at a kiosk by the Centre Island pier.

A Ward's Island home
A typical home on Ward's Island.

Most of the Toronto Islands hold either parkland, yacht clubs, or marinas. But some of the islands still contain homes. The residents living on Ward's Island and Algonquin Island have fought the city tooth and nail to secure the right to continue to live in such rustic surroundings. Even though access to services and shopping is difficult, and the islands are crawling with picnickers and tourists in the summer, the residents still cling to their run-down, overgrown island cottages.

Someone enjoying the view from Ward's Island
Someone soaking in the view from Ward's Island.

At one time, the land currently called the "Toronto Islands" was a peninsula, made of sand and gravel carried westward from the eroding Scarborough Bluffs. But a fierce storm in 1858 dug a channel separating the peninsula from the mainland, just to the east of Ward's Island. Ward's Island was named for David Ward, a fisherman who settled there in 1834.

Queen City Yacht Club
Queen City Yacht Club, with the downtown in the background.

The ferry back to the city arrived about five minutes late. About half the people disembarking from the ferry were obviously island residents, carrying groceries. Some were clearly tourists, possibly looking for a relaxing diversion after a hard day of site-seeing in the city. Tired, we appreciated sitting down for the return trip.

Ferry approaching Ward's Island dock
Ferry approaching Ward's Island dock.