Saturday, July 23, 2016

My trip to the Islands

Until yesterday, I had never been to the Toronto Islands.  I was supposed to go last year for a work picnic, but it was rained out.  Actually a few people still went (though it sounds like they didn't have a good time) but I wasn't interested in going and getting so wet.

I had actually expected to have a somewhat restful day, but people at work convinced me that since I had never been, I ought to bring my bike and ride around a bit on the island.  That meant that I rode my bike to work 5 days in a row, with the last two days being heat advisory days.  I think it was worth it, though between the extra biking and playing a bit of frizbee at the picnic, I was a bit sore in the evening.  I think I overdid it a bit.  It was a fun outing, perhaps even a bit more entertaining than I had thought it would be.

While I should take my family, I would say that it probably would have been better going a few years back, maybe right when we arrived.  My son has outgrown a lot of the rides in Centreville (basically the rides for kids that you would find at the PNE or ONE), though he might still like the bumper cars.  They might find it neat to be so near the beach, but really we could go to Cherry Beach or the Beaches, for a similar experience.  Since they don't ride bikes, getting around to the other parts of the island, as I did, might be a problem, though you can rent a 4-person bike-contraption.  Actually, that might be cool.  Maybe I'll consider an outing to the Islands for the late summer or early Sept. when we are back from Chicago.

I'll go ahead and post a slew of photos, then end with a few more reflections.

Looking back

Nearing Centre Island

At the picnic, watching another ferry come in

Swan boats at Centreville

Centreville train

Centre Island beach

Lookout point

"Secret" beach on Wards Island

Island cottages

Heading back - Ward's Island ferry landing

It's kind of neat how the ferry takes you out to a fairly restful location, unlike the Vancouver SeaBus, which drops you off in the heart of North Vancouver, which is nice, but doesn't feel much different from downtown Vancouver, until you get a few blocks further north.  (Granted it was still amazing that you could take a TransLink bus right to the foot of Grouse.)

We certainly were not the only office having an outing on a beautiful (though hot) Friday, and there were several other company picnics going on, many far more organized than ours.  But few people ventured further north to Centreville or the beach.  I thought the lookout point was particularly neat, reminding me at least a little of Shell Beach from Dark City.

Anyway, this is just one more thing to add to the list of things that make Toronto a very cool place to live.  I am hoping that we can check out canoeing on the Humber River as well, which seems like it might be a bit more rustic than kayaking on the Chicago River (not that that isn't cool in its own way).

While it probably won't happen, it would be neat if I am invited to a wedding on Ward's Island some day.  (I saw what appeared to be a reception, as I was biking around over there.)  I suspect I would get a little bored living in a cottage on Ward's Island, but if someone wants to offer me up a summer residency there, so I can work on a novel or finish my plays, I wouldn't say no...

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