Posts Tagged ‘boats’

A trip to Toronto Islands on a sunny spring day.
Photos and stories – an eclectic mix of history and nature that resulted from wandering around the eastern portion of the islands.

below: From the ferry, looking toward the glass and steel of the city.

sail boats in Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, in front of the Toronto skyline with highrises and skyscrapers also ship moored at Redpath Sugar refinery

Toronto Islands is a collection of at least 12 small islands.  In the early years the island archipelago was really a peninsula of sandbars and ponds; it was connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of sandy shoreline. This landform was created over centuries by the action of waves, winds and lake currents – washing away portions of the Scarborough Bluffs and depositing this material to the west in a five-mile-long hooked shape. This process of natural “landscaping” continued until the spring of 1858, when a particularly powerful hurricane created a channel four to five feet deep through the peninsula.  By June of that year, the Eastern Gap was a waterway, and the Toronto Islands came into being.

below: On the ferry between the city and Centre Island.

people lined up along the front railing of a ferry from Centre Island to the city of Toronto, looking at skyline and taking picture of it. Toronto is in the background.

The first buildings on the islands were the Blockhouse Bay garrison built in the 1794 by the British at Gibraltar Point – it included a blockhouse and storage structures.  A second blockhouse and a guard house were built soon after, only to be destroyed by the Americans in the Battle of York in April 1813.   The lighthouse at Gibraltar Point built in 1809 still stands (sorry, no photo).

In 1833 Michael O’Connor built a hotel on one the islands.  He used a horse-drawn boat to ferry customers across from the mainland to his hotel.  At that time, there was still access by road but it was a toll road.  In 1836 it cost sixpence for every four-wheeled carriage drawn by two horses.  Smaller ‘vehicles’ paid less.   In 1858 the hotel (now Quinns Hotel) was destroyed during the same hurricane that turned the peninsula into an island.  The hotels were destroyed but the islands remained popular.  With no road access, ferries were needed and many people ran private ferry services until they were bought out or amalgamated into the Toronto Ferry Company in 1892.  It was privately owned until 1926 when it was purchased by the City of Toronto for $337,500.

ferry, ceiling is full of orange life jackets, railings along edge, Lake Ontario, benches to sit on but no people

blue abstract from two blue doors with cut out where handle should be

Many houses and businesses, (hotels, restaurants, bowling alley, laundry, theatre etc) were established over the years from Hanlon’s Point in the west to Wards Island in the east.   Today, residences are only in the eastern section of Wards Island and on Algonquin Island.

The Ward’s Island community began in the 1880s as a settlement of tents. Up until then, that eastern end of the islands was mostly wetlands.  The first summer colony on Ward’s in 1899 consisted of just eight tenants, each of whom had paid a fee of $10 rent for the season. The number of tents grew each year.  In 1913, the city felt it necessary to organize the community into streets. The evolution from tents to cottage structures progressed in stages with the building of floors, the addition of kitchens and then porches, resulting in the creation of the homes.

two houses on Wards Island, small wood housses, one bright blue and the other is white

grey wood siding on house with white door and small porch. Two yellow and metal chairs on the porch

In 1953 the municipal government changed their policy toward the Toronto Islands landscape and its residents. Businesses were removed and the systematic demolition and burning of homes began.  More of the islands became parkland.    There are 262 houses on Wards and Algonquin Islands today, down from about 630 residences on all the islands.  The last of the Lakeshore houses was removed in 1968 but traces of them still remain.

wood boardwalk along the foreground of the photo with a concrete path leading away from it, into an overgrown area

part of old concrete breakwater, once there was house here, number 170 embedded in the concrete

below: The pier on the Lake Ontario side.

metal fence in the foreground, beach, pier and Lake Ontario in the middle and background

below: Sandbags along the shore.  Last spring there was a lot of flooding here and the island was closed to visitors – sort of.  Ferries didn’t run and the park facilities were closed.  The islands are very flat and low so it doesn’t take much extra water to flood.

large white sandbags along the shore, beach on the other side, Lake Ontario in background with a row of rocks as breakwater a short distance from the shore, sign on the beach

sign fallen over and under water, surrounded by rocks, Lake Ontario

below: There is a small amusement park, Centreville, on Centre Island.

CN tower in the background, people on the Skyline ride at Centre Island passing over water, with large boats docked farther up the river

below: Island transport that can be rented if you don’t want to walk.

people cycling in 2 quadricycles, a four wheeled bicycle like vehicle, on paths,

the orange and white wall tile pattern of Pizza Pizza with a red bike parked in front of it.

below: Boats moored QCYC (Queen City Yacht Club), one of the three yacht clubs on the islands.

sailboats moored at a wood dock, QCYC

below: Sakura trees in bloom.   The trees were donated by the Sakura Project.  The aim of this project was to strengthen Japanese Canadian relations by planting cherry trees in visible locations across Ontario.   Between 2000 and 2012,  3,082 trees were planted at 58 locations.  The trees on Centre Island were planted in 2011.

path, sakura (cherry) trees on either side with their pink and white blossoms, other large trees around them with pale green of new leaves

below: Catkins from a red alder tree.  They almost look like raspberries packed tight together.

red fuzzy blossoms droop from the end of a tree branch

new yellowish green flowers on a tree, also leaf buds just opening,

ants in the bud on a tree

below: An early family of Canada geese.

family of Canada geese, 2 adults and 7 or 8 fluffy little goslings swimming in the water

below: The pier at the eastern end of Wards Island is bad need of repair.  To the right is the entry into the Eastern Channel (or Eastern Gap).

broken concrete pier into Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario, with Toronto skyline and CN Tower in the distance

below: Looking over to Algonquin Island.  Once upon a time this island was just a sandbar.

waterway, orange life ring and ladder on one side of the river, houses and docks, and boats on the other. r

two people standing on the shore of Center Island, looking at the Toronto skyline and taking pictures of it.

and back to the mainland.

people exiting a ferry, from above

a lot of masts from sailboats standing upright, a man walks on one of the boats as he gets it ready to go back in the water after the winter

Getting ready for spring. RCYC (Royal Canadian Yacht Club) is nearby.

There are a few changes happening down at the Port Lands.

a man in orange stands beside his bike on the side of a road, sity in the background

below: Aerial view of the present configuration of the Keating Channel, Don River, and part of the port lands beside a drawing of the planned changes.  Rerouting the Don River will create an island, Villiers Island.

two maps side by side, one is an aerial photo of the port lands and the other is a drawing of the new route of the Don River through the port lands and the planned changes to the area.

In the 1880s, the lower part of the Don south of the former Winchester St. bridge (just north of Gerrard St) was straightened and the mouth of the river was placed in a channel to create additional harbour space and industrial dock space for boats in what is known as the Port Lands.   This project was called the Don Improvement Project. The Don River now empties into the inner harbour through the Keating Channel.  Lakeshore Blvd passes over the very south end of the river and because of its height (very low), boats can not enter the Don River.   Boats may still enter the Keating Channel by going underneath a lift bridge at Cherry St.   The straightening of the Lower Don also allowed for construction of the railway line parallel to it.

 

below: The cars are parked on vacant land between Lakeshore Blvd and Lake Ontario/Keating Channel. Mounds of gravel have been dumped off the end of Essroc Quay and beside Keating Channel. You might also have noticed the nine green bins that have been laid across the water (very left side of the photo). They too are full of gravel. These are part of the beginning of the renovations of the port lands. The Keating Channel will remain, but the area south of it is slated to be changed. In the middle is the GFL (garbage collection) transfer station. The low reddish brown building was a recycling facility. It was the site of a fire a few months back and most of the south end sustained substantial damage.

view from higher, over Keating channel, Essroc quay and towards Centre Island, Port lands in Toronto, mounds of gravel in the water, parked cars, boats in the water, light industrical development, trees,

Access to the western portion of the port lands is via the Cherry Street bridge.

bridge with traffic lights in the background.

below:  Here it is being lifted to allow a boat to pass through the Keating Channel.   This bridge was built in 1968 and is at least the fourth bridge at this location.

lift bridge is up so a boat can pass under

below: In 1900 a wood swing bridge was built with just a single railway track that was operated by the Grand Trunk Railway.  There are still remnants of the tracks that serviced the industries located in the area.

vintage photo, black and white, 1910 of wood swing bridge in open position, some boats around, Keating Channel, Cherry Street, Toronto,

below: Two steel drawbridges were subsequently built here, one in 1912 and one in 1932. This is a circa 1915 photo of the lift bridge at Cherry Street.

photo from the Toronto Archives of the liftbridge at Cherry Street, open position, black and white photo taken about 1915, found on Wikipedia.

source: Originally from the Toronto Archives Fonds 1244, Item 1482 but found on Wikipedia

The plans for the redevelopment of this area show that the south end of Cherry Street will be moved to west of its present location – the jog in Cherry where it joins the Lakeshore for a short distance will be eliminated.

below: This is a close up shot of Essroc Quay at approximately the new location of the new Cherry Street bridge.  The Keating Channel is in the foreground.  This quay, and the water channel behind it, will be turned into wetlands and parkland.  Essroc is a landfilled pier and is publicly owned as is Cousins Quay (the one behind it with the GFL transfer station).

 a mobile crane on tractor wheels, green body, is helping dig a hole in the ground on a flat piece of land that has water on two sides. lots of orange and black construction cones around the piece of land

below: A new fence too.

behind a chain link fence, a line of green dumpster bins, laid end to end, stretch across a channel in Lake Ontario,

below: Looking across Essroc Quay to the Toronto skyline

view of Toronto skyline and CN Tower from the Port Lands, with construction for the new Cherry street realignment, and flood plain protection plan in the foreground.

There are many reasons for rerouting the Don River.   The Port Lands are no longer used by many industries, land use has changed.  As the city grows and changes, this area has become prime real estate but it is also a flood plain.  Before any development can occur, flood control measures need to be taken.    The Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project will stabilize the local shoreline, protect land from flooding, and create a new landmass to begin the re-naturalization of the Don River’s mouth.   The river would be re-routed through the middle of the Lower Don Lands between the Keating Channel and the Ship Channel. The area being filled will become part of ‘Promontory Park’, a new major green space across the harbour from Toronto’s skyline.

The project will also allow for a realignment of Cherry Street so that it no longer merges with Lakeshore for a short distance.  At the moment, the Cherry street and Lakeshore Blvd intersection is problematic, especially for pedestrians. Once upon a time there wasn’t much reason for people to walk there I guess. Now, if you are on the wrong side (the west side) of Cherry street, you get stranded at Lakeshore.

two people standing on a sidewalk as they try to figure out how to cross the street, two large billboards behind them, train tracks (elevated) behind that.

The Keating Channel isn’t exactly beautiful.  Lakeshore Blvd and the Gardiner Expressway run along the north shore of the channel.  There has been discussion & debate about the fate of these roads but so far nothing has changed.  Will they demolish this section of the elevated Gardiner?  Or won’t they? (Probably not).

raised expressway road on concrete pillars, runs above another road and beside a channel of water, CH tower and downtown Toronto in the distance

below: The very south end of the Don River at the moment.   Not much to get excited about is it?  It looks like there is work being done under the bridge?  (something’s happening there but I don’t know what).   Hopefully it will look better in a few years.

bridge over the Don River, grey, flotsam in the river,

The Ship Channel is south of the proposed changes described above.

ships docked

below: Piles of salt on the south side of Ship Channel. These arrive by ship.  The old Hearn Generating Station is in the background.

piles of salt on a dock, power generating station in the background.

small boats lined up along a dock, tugboat,

And south of it all, Cherry Beach.

woman sitting on a bench under large trees by a beach, two dogs running towards the beach, some people standing by Lake Ontario

two sikh men in turbans stand on beach, early spring, wearing jackets and long pants.

More info on the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project

It’s been a while, I know.   Part of my excuse – the holidays got in the way.  But more importantly, it’s been very cold with bitter winds adding to our discomfort.  The very cold days are beautiful with their bright blue skies.  Although I have walked once or twice in -20C weather, the pictures here are from a warmer day when it was possible to take pictures without freezing my fingers off.  Unfortunately, in the winter warmer often means greyer.  I thought of calling this post “In Search of Winter” but that would be silly as no search is needed, it hits you in the face and it surrounds you.  Everyone is talking about the cold.

below: Winter in the city isn’t always picturesque.  Salt and sand and snow mix together to form slush.   Brown ugly slush, especially on the roads and sidewalks as seen here on Queens Quay West.  Of course, if you live in Toronto you are already well aware of this!

dirty slush along the streetcar tracks on Queens Quay

below: H2O park now has a pink #TOwaterfront sign (sculpture?) to go with its yellow umbrellas and white Muskoka chairs.  The weakened winter sun tried to break through the wall of clouds.

H 2 O park on Toronto's waterfront with yellow umbrellas over white Muskoka chairs on what is a beach in the summer but is covered with snow in the picture. A pink sign that says #TOwaterfront made of pink wood that is supposed to look like pieces of driftwood

below: The other morning there was a small group of Toronto firemen all dressed for the icy water as they practiced winter rescue procedures.  Both men were tethered to the shore.

two Toronto firemen in their yellow cold water suits, life jackets on, and tethered to ropes, practicing breaking through ice and then recovering by makng their way to stronger ice, practising ice rescues

below: Just a few footprints in the snow. I wasn’t the only one walking this way but there certainly weren’t any crowds.

a few footprints in the snow on a bridge

below: A cold and lonely barbecue, as well as one under wraps, waiting out the winter on the dock.

barbecues under tarps on snow covered docks in partially frozen harbour

below: Access to the docks along the waterfront was discouraged. It was easy to get out there but I suspect that if I’d fallen in I would have gotten in trouble, and not just from being wet. I wonder how thick the ice was there?

a danger do not enter sign and yellow caution tape across a dock on the waterfront, windswept snow, old railing,

below: Instead of comic relief, we have colour relief!

close up of porthole and red wall on boat in the harbour, railing and rope knotted, both with snow on them

below: Ducks on ice.  Have you ever seen a duck land in the snow?  It looks exactly like a landing in water but with a much shorter skid at it comes to a stop.   Or maybe that was obvious because how else would a duck land?

ducks onthe ice on Lake Ontario in the foreground, Canada Malting Co silos in the backgrounds

below: More ducks… ducks swimming in the small patch of open water.  There can’t be much food for them these days.

snow covered docks with one small snow covered boat, harbour, some ice and some open water

tall ship in harbour, with condos along Queens Quay in the background

snow covered boats on snowy docks, bottom of larger boat is in the background.

ice covered ropes that are holding a boat tied to the shore

below:  Lake Ontario with the Port Lands and the Toronto Islands in the background.  Windswept snow on the ice.

frozen harbour, Lake Ontario, with some snow covered docks

Stay warm everyone!

And don’t lose your gloves!  There are so many lost and lonely gloves out there… I hope that this one isn’t yours because if you’re like me, you lose at least one every winter.  I wonder they end up? In landfills?  … where archeologists of the future will dig up all these single gloves and mitts and wonder what it says about our society?  [smile!]

one black wool glove that has been dropped on a slushy wet sidewalk in winter

buildings with lots of glass, on stilts, built over the water at Ontario Place

After parts were shuttered 40 years ago, Ontario Place has re-opened to the public.  The spherical Cinesphere and the buildings that are over the water are not open but the grounds are.

below: Canadian and Ontario flags fly along the docks of the Ontario Place Marina.

flags line the walkway leading from the dome shaped cinesphere at Ontario Place,

below: Double trouble.   Hot x 2

close up photo of a small part of the side of the cinesphere building, showing the metal bars that form the exoskeleton structure of the spherical building

below: Those are some very big boats!

four or five very large yachts are moored in the harbour along Toronto's waterfront, highrises in the background

There is also a new park, Trillium Park, that has been built on the eastern end of Ontario Place.  It is 7.5 acres of green space with a 1.3 km trail (the William G. Davis trail) winding through it.

below: Trillium Park provides new angles from which to view the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline.


couple, man and woman, sitting together, on a grassy hill. The CN Tower is behind them.

below: It is also a spot from which to watch airplanes as they take off from Billy Bishop Airport.

a man in a red baseball cap sits on a rock, his bike parked beside, while watching a pOrter airlines plane take off from Billy Bishop Airport

below: Sunbathers

two people lying on a blanket on a grassy area in a park, trees in the background

below: Rock climbing

a boy stands on top of a pile of rocks, his father is beginning to climb up the rocks to reach him

purple cone head flowers

a woman sits on a rock wall, looking out over Lake ontario, there are boats on the water and a sea gull flying past

below: Water levels in Brigantine Cove, like all of Lake Ontario, are higher than usual.

an electrical plug in station stands in the water by a flooded dock at Brigantine Cove, Ontario Place, with sailboats in the background.

below: There are still some traces of the amusement park rides that were once there. There is no water in the boat ride, but the bilingual warning signs are still on the rocks. “Keep hands, arms and head inside boat. Stay seated.”

a woman standing between two rocks pretends to be riding in a boat as she points to a sign that says

below: Tbonez (urban ninja squadron) must have been to Ontario Place recently

a urban ninja squadron sticker on the side of a metal staircase that was painted brown but the paint is peeling off

below: Crochet street art, marine life, discovered clinging to the underside of a small wooden bridge.
This picture is upside down.

crocheted sea creatures clinging to the underside of a wood bridge

below: A painting of a man painting and of his shadow painting.

painting on a cylindrical building, of a man on a ladder, painting, also his shadow

below: And last, music events are held at Echo Beach, a section of Ontario Place.  The day that I was there a steady background noise from the electronic (techno?  I’m out of date on newer music genres) music permeated the park.  You couldn’t escape it.   This isn’t the best picture but I didn’t get very close – my poor head!  I was interested in the palm trees but I couldn’t get the right angle.   There are other music events happening this summer so maybe you can time your visit to coincide with music that you like!

 

July is almost over – yes, summer is flying by.
So far, it’s been a good one!

below: Staying cool and having fun in the Yonge Dundas square fountains

young children play in the fountains at dundas square

below: A giant bite from a giant watermelon slice

a woman attempts to take a bite out of another woman who is wearing a giant watermelon costume

below: A Bay Street hug and kiss.

a photo shoot on Bay St., downtown Toronto. The bride and groom are kissing on the crosswalk in the middle of the intersection. People turning to look.

below: An impromptu serenade

a young man plays a guitar for a mother and daughter, sitting on the edge of a planter outside. Another woman is watching

below: Watching the entertainment at the waterfront – it’s magical

a magician entertains a crowd on the waterfront, many people are watching, men, women and kids

below: Making comfort at Afrofest, Woodbine Park

a couple are lounging on a large light blue foamy thing, amongst a crowd at an outdoor music festival

below: A Canada Day kiss.

A man in a red cowboy hat in the foreground on the right, a couple kissing on the left. People watching a show on a stage in the background with Canadian flags and a banner that says Happy Canada Day

below: Leave your message by the outdoor facilities!

Two lines of Johnny on the spots, facing each other, in the middle is a small message board on a metal pole, outdoors, green leaves above

below: A mother and daughter stroll on the waterfront

A mother and daughter in sarees walk hand in hand along the waterfront. Paddle wheeler boat for scenic tours behind them, mother on a phone

below: Posing, Pride fun

Pride weekend, two policemen with rainbow sunglasses and small rainbow flags pose with two men in drag, wearing green dresses, one in a curly blond wig and the other in a black wig

below: Blowing bubbles by the lake.

A family sits by the lake, two young sons in matching fedoras. Mother is yawning, father and one son have backs to camera, other son is blowing bubbles towards the camera

Happy August everyone!

Many legs and feet on a red carpet outdoors. People dressed for hot weather, only face in the picture, a young girl looks bored as she looks at the camera

It was busy in Graffiti Alley on Saturday afternoon.

Graffiti Alley - man on ladder spray painting a street art piece, other people in the alley, some taking pictures of each other, some in a group

Graffiti Alley - man on ladder spray painting a street art piece

…. the finished wall

Graffiti Alley -

below: This cat is new.  It replaces a painting of a woman’s face

Graffiti Alley - in a corner, a grey tones painting of a cat's head, blue recycling bins in front of it and partially obscuring one corner.
below: Another woman’s face is different but instead of being painted over, this one has been drawn on with black marker.   The little red and yellow guy is a recent addition too.

Graffiti Alley - people in the alley in the background. In the foreground is the painting of a woman's face by Insane that has been scribbled over in black marker.
below:  There are other drawings, probably by the same person that took a marker to the woman above.

Graffiti Alley - two black line drawings of faces that have been drawn on top of a pink and purple street art painting.
At Portland, a new larger than life raccoon.

blog_changes_graffiti_alley_raccoon

Plus other murals and street art that I saw this past weekend in the alley.  Some are more recent than others.

Graffiti Alley - uber5000 mural of a boating scene, yellow bird sterring a boat, black dog sitting on the bow, another yellow bird paddling a red canoe

Graffiti Alley - garge door painted in two shades of pink with the words Wanted Woman Gotham painted on the garage door as well

Graffiti Alley - part of a wall painted light blue with the word Yarka painted in purple and orange script

Graffiti Alley - on a light turquoise door, a stylized painting of a woman with yellow hair, red lips, blue dress, long black eye lashes

Graffiti Alley - a wall with a window on one side. Under the window is written the word Don in large pink and red letters. Beside the window is a painting of a man with a pointy top hat that covers his eyes, he has a big nose and a large white beard.

a woman sticks her head out of a window of a building in Graffiti Alley.

painting on a garage door - older man with orange jacket and orange bowler hat.  Around the garage door are flowers on a blur background.

A garage door painted orange, then the word Yarka painted in blue letters

Mural of a large monkey sitting, holding a green book with his feet and smoking a pipe using one of his hands.

Sunday of the long May weekend,
along the waterfront,
sun, water, and people

A man is sitting by the lake, his back to one of the posts supporting the chain links that separate the walkway from the water.

Two people are lying on the deck of a large boat that is moored at the waterfront, in the background is the Rees wave deck, a wavy sidewalk, on which a lot of people are walking

View of HTO beach with its yellow umbrellas with the Toronto skyline in the background.

people lying in the sand or sitting on chairs, reading, talking, and enjoying the sunny afternoon under large yellow beach umbrellas.

sitting under yellow beach umbrellas beside Lake Ontario

A couple is lying on their backs on a concrete bench beside lake Ontario.  Their legs are bent and feet are on the bench, feet towards the lake, head towards the camera.  You can see the backs of their heads.

part of the Toronto waterfront, looking towards the city with high rise condos and the CN Tower.  some boats are moored , a man is standing beside the water reading a book.

The tall shil 'Caledonia' is moored in the foreground.  Behind and to the left are red fire boats, to the right is a walkway beside the lake on which people are walking and cycling.

A child looks askance at thing made of green balloons.

A man on stilts and wearing a black tux and tophat along with a red cumberbund and rose in his lapel is entertaining a group of people

People on the waterfront boardwalk taking pictures of two swans and two ducks that are in the lake