13 October 2014

A Day at Toronto Island Park

A lot has happened to the Toronto skyline since MoMI last visited Toronto Island Park in August 2006.  A flurry of high-rise commercial and residential development has made the city North America's hottest market for high-rise construction and substantially transformed the urban landscape in the downtown core.  On 31 August 2014, MoMI set out for Toronto Island Park to document the evolution of Toronto's skyline over the last eight years, and to poke around the lush greenery and family-oriented attractions on the set of islands that comprise the crown jewel in Toronto's network of parks and recreation areas.  

Above left: The Toronto skyline as seen on 16 August 2006.

Above right: New office towers and condominiums soar over Toronto only eight short years later, the result of the massive - and continuing - building boom in the city.
A sightseeing tall ship motors through Toronto harbour.
The Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Front St., as seen framed by the towers of the Westin Harbourcastle Hotel on Queens Quay Blvd.
The short ferry ride across to Toronto Island Park offers stunning views of the city's ever-changing skyline.
A Porter Airlines Q400 turboprop passes the CN Tower while on final approach into Toronto's Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport.  One of the world's great airport approaches, landing at Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport provides both fantastic views of the skyline and Lake Ontario, as well as an adrenaline-pumping, white-knuckle ride into this lakefront airport, conveniently located only minutes from the downtown core.   
The main (interior) passenger deck of the Thomas Rennie, one of Toronto's historic ferries that shuttle visitors from the downtown ferry docks to Toronto Island Park.  The Thomas Rennie was built in 1951 and can carry up to 736 passengers. 
The open, upper deck of the Thomas Rennie is preferred by most passengers, as it provides fresh air and unobstructed views of the skyline and harbour during the ride over to Toronto Island Park.
A sunny, summer afternoon view of the Toronto skyline, as seen from the Toronto Island Marina on Centre Island.
Canoeists and rowers enjoy Long Pond and the Allan A. Lamport Regatta Course. 
Walking south along the Avenue of the Island.
A fountain greets visitors walking from the Centre Island ferry docks along the Avenue of the Island.
Swimmers enjoy a refreshing dip in Lake Ontario at the sheltered Manitou Beach on the south shore of Centre Island.
The Y-shaped pier jutting out into Lake Ontario from the southern terminus of the Avenue of the Island offers expansive views of Lake Ontario and the southern shore of Centre Island stretching out to the east and west.
Two goats butt heads at Far Enough Farm located within the Centreville Amusement Park located on Centre Island.
A sow naps in her pen at Far Enough Farm.
One of the friendly barn cats that freely roam Far Enough Farm to keep down rodent populations. 
Far Enough Farm houses several Dexter and Jersey cattle.  The black Dexters originate from southwestern Ireland and are the smallest breed of European cattle, with full grown adults weighing only between 600 and 700 pounds.
The main barn at Far Enough Farm houses various breeds of rabbits.  The farm was originally established in 1959 and is home to various breeds of horses, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, peacocks, and other fowl.  
A Rex rabbit, one of several species of rabbit, guinea pig, and hamster that live in hutches and pens inside the barn.  A single female Rex can have as many as 72 babies in one year.
A key attraction for families, Far Enough Farm allows visitors to get up close and personal with over 40 species of animals and exotic birds.
Sheep graze in a paddock.
An alpaca rests on the ground of its pen.
An orange and white barn cat relaxes under a staircase.
The hustle and bustle of Canada's largest city seems a world away from the idyllic serenity of Toronto Island Park, where the only noise is the sounds of children playing, birds chirping, the wind rustling through the trees, and the gentle lapping of water against the shoreline.
A large open field on Olympic Island offers the ideal place for families to play or picnic while enjoying spectacular views of the Toronto skyline.
As dusk begins to set in over the city, another Porter Airlines Q400 zooms overhead.  
The William Inglis, a 400-passenger ferry built in 1935, returns to the Toronto Island ferry docks in downtown Toronto.

MoMI hopes you enjoyed this photographic tour of a small part of Toronto Island Park and encourages you to make your own trip and explore this fascinating recreational gem just minutes from downtown Toronto.

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