Monday, August 4, 2014

Service Change: Toronto, Part 8 - The Centre and Ward's Island Ferries

The Toronto Islands used to be a peninsula, but nature caused them to become separated from the mainland. They're now a popular place to visit for tourists, but they also have some residential areas. It's actually North America's largest urban car-free community. But there's no bridge connecting to the islands, so there are three ferry routes to do the job. They operate with vintage ferries from the 1950's, which is very cool, and the ride for all three is about 15 minutes.

When we got to the ferry terminal, we were very surprised at the number of people there. SO many people. I figured the islands were popular, but not this popular. It took about a half hour just to make it through the line to get our tickets!

Remember when I talked about the crowded Bathurst streetcar replacement bus? Honey, that bus was nothin' compared to the crush loading on this ferry. We and about 50 million other people were left behind and had to wait for another. And I could see there were quite a few people that had to wait some more as our ferry left the terminal.

Quite a few people, as you can see.
Again, a large number of people appear in the picture.
There is a large mass of people in the location of this waiting area
That guy up there's probably having the time of his life.
There are boards to show where the next ferry's going.
Two decks.
They tried to pack as many people as they could onto this boat.
And finally, the crowded second deck.
Since it was such a short ride, the only view was of the Toronto skyline. But it was a pretty awesome view that I was completely willing to look at for 15 minutes.

Bye!
When close to the dock, you mostly just see these apartment buildings.
A view of the city.
A ferry going the other way.
Centre Island was, as you might expect, extremely crowded. We decided to get away from it all and take a walk down the rural boardwalk, visiting the cute residential areas of Algonquin and Ward's Islands. And it was at Ward's Island that we got on the ferry back. It was practically identical to the first one, just a little less busy. Overall, it was a pretty great day excursion - as long as you're not claustrophobic...

Another view. Man, I love that skyline.
Another boat.
This is the ferry terminal at Ward's Island.

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