Posts Tagged ‘sailboats’

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

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!

 

This is a story about an exhibit that is showing at the Art Gallery of Ontario at the moment, “A Story of Negotiation” by Francis Alys.  The exhibit is a look at three of Alys’s large projects.  For each project there were many studies, notes, and sketches.  Drawings and paintings dot the walls and cover many tables.  There are three large videos to watch (not the ones shown below).  It is a fairly complex installation and only a small part of it is included here.

two women looking over a table with art displays on it , in an art gallery

below: In 2006 Alys tried to organize two lines of fishing boats, one from Florida and one from Cuba, that would form a bridge between the United States and Florida.  It was unsuccessful.  He repeated the project in 2008, this time between Spain and Morocco.

a young man is looking at two video screens that are mounted on the wall

a line of little sailboats on the floor, all parallel to each other, the base of the boat (hull) is a flip flop or sandal.

below: More on borders, pairs of words that depend on which side you’re on.
Words such as leave/return and us/them.

4 small green and yellow pictures on a pink wall

Alys also spent time embedded with British forces in Afghanistan.

a display of pictures, paintings, drawings, sketches, and notes as part of an art exhibit

below: Alys made a videos on kids flying kites in Afghanistan.  There was also a video of kids rolling a large reel of film through the streets and alleys in an Afghan city.

3 wood benches in front of a table mounted to a wall, art on the table, a video screen on the wall with a movie about kids in Afghanistan flying kites, some people in the background

below: Weapons made of found objects

in a yellow room with two small pictures hanging crookedly on the wall. A table in the middle of the room, glass covering artwork on the table. Sitting on the table is an automatic rifle (artwork) made of found objects

below: Instead of a round of ammunition, there is a reel of film. This is true in all of Alys’s ‘automatic rifles’ that are displayed here

close up of a sculpture of an automatic rifle where the round of ammo is replaced by a reel of film

a circle of art weapons, automatic rifles, made of found objects, with barrels all pointed inwards,

The exhibit continues at the AGO until April 2nd.

a little wooden human figure is doing the front crawl, one arm outstretched, on a bubble of clear plastic on a table top

Tarps, ropes and metal cradles. 

Lovingly and carefully stored boats, asleep for the winter awaiting spring and the start of a new sailing season.  Canada, where the sailing season is short.

National yacht club, sailboats in their cradles, snow on the ground.  In the center of the picture is a blue and red boat with the name Gecko written on the side.  There are a number of other boats, most of which are white.

Red and blue Gecko in hibernation.

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National yacht club, sailboats in their cradles, snow on the ground.  In the center of the picture is a yellow and blue sailboat.  On the right is a dark blue hull in which there are reflections of the boats around.

A chilly trio in white, blue and yellow.

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The bows of two white boats, one on top of the other.  The sun is trying to break through the clouds in the background of the picture, making for interesting lighting conditions.

Whiteness on a winter afternoon when the sun is trying to shine through the clouds.

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close up of a red, dark green and off-white striped hull of a sailboat.  A knotted white rope is in the photo too.

All tied up and radiating griminess.

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In the background the sun tries to shine through the clouds.  There is enough light that rays of sunshine bounce off the yellow hull of a boat that is in the foreground.

Rays of sun try to brighten the day.

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b_boats_white_boats

Perched on shore and looking out over the lake, but stuck behind barbed wire.

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Although snow and ice are an integral part of a Canadian winter, it is always interesting to find them in different settings. For example, icicles forming along the seams in the hull of a boat that is up for the winter.

small icicles hanging from the side of a boat.  A braided beige and green rope runs along the side of the boat where boat meets ice.

Braided Ice.

icicles hanging off the side of a blue and white boat.  Close up shot.

More Icicles

bboats_dial

Looking southward from under a blanket of snow.

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bboats_knots

Serenity carefully tucked in and tied down to wait out the cold.

With many thanks to Stephen for giving me access to the yacht club for a few minutes this afternoon!

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