Biking to the Islands #2

When I went to the Toronto Islands last week, I didn’t have much time to bike around beyond Ward’s Island, but did want to get the chance to go further, and poke around Centre Island – a place pretty much overrun with people on summer weekends.

I hadn’t been to Centre Island for over 50 years(!), except for one memorable blues festival in 1974 which featured Son House‘s last public performance, plus the great Johnny Otis and Roy Buchanan among others. (Just found a terrific video from the early 70’s of Johnny with son Shuggie playing with Buchanan. Video quality is bad, but the music is great!)

The weather forecast for tomorrow is snow, but today was another gorgeous January day, temperature a few degrees below freezing, sun shining and not a cloud to be seen.

A perfect day for biking.

Co-incidentally, while on the island, I came across a couple of tweets from Sean Marshall (@SeanYYZ) about the islands.  One tweeted a link to an article on the Spacing website, “Exploring “downtown” Centreville in the winter: A ghost town in more ways than one” about the history of the Islands, as a once bustling (relatively speaking) residential community. The other tweet linked to a post on Sean’s website about his day biking the Islands last December.

Besides Centre Island, I looked forward to the fun of ferrying through the ice there and back, watching the ice split and move away from the boat, and then gather back together after we passed, all accompanied by a great ice-crunching sound track.

While buying my ticket, I got into a conversation with the ticket collector about what a beautiful day it was, and how much I enjoyed the icy trip across the bay. She told me she has worked there for 27 years, but has never taken the ferry to the Islands! She said she knew she had to one day, and I told her to make sure she did.

A one minute clip, to the island and back:

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