Monday, April 15, 2013

Toronto Island Fun! (Part 1)

The work of art always surprises us;
it has worked its effect before we have become conscious of its presence.
                                                    Sir Herbert Read


Ward’s Island is a great way to spend a day and since tourist season has not yet arrived that was the only ferry running to the Toronto Islands. Center Island is the island that seems to get most of the attention because of its Amusement Park something I am not really interested in. This turned out to be an adventure that neither one of us would forget, off season I think is the way to go. $7 each return trip is well worth the experience even if we only took the trip and returned. The view alone would be worth this.

Kat and I boarded the tiny ferry (well tiny compared to the one that runs to Victoria on my trip out west) and I watched as the whitecaps lapped the side of it as we were loading. I have to tell you boats in the water especially raging cold white capped water is not one of those favourite situations I like to put myself in but this was to be our time together and I was going to love every moment. We decided to stand on the deck instead of sitting inside leaving both of us shivering; my arms were wrapped tightly around myself trying to stop the cold and I was wondering why we had believed the weather channel that it was to be 15c today. I guess we never took in to consideration the cold Lake Ontario water and the wind tunnel created between those islands and the City of Toronto. I surely wish I had of worn more layers.


As we watched the shrinking City of Toronto and its landmark CN Tower I was amazed at how vast it looked and knew that this was a great idea, I cannot imagine a better view of the city. I found that I forgot the piercing cold winds as I took my camera out and started shooting. The other choice we had been considering was Allen Botanical Gardens, but seeing this view now I know it would have paled in comparison, we wanted to have a day trip that we would not soon forget and I am pretty sure this had been the right choice as I watched the city shrink and those cold winds lap that water higher and higher onto the sides of that little ferry. Oh yes this was a perfect choice.


The ferry docked in what appeared to me to be another world, no hustle bustle here, well except for the huge crowd that marched off the ferry ramp with us. No traffic noise no screeching of that subway underground, no funny smells only a crisp fresh air smell, there was just this peace and quiet much like the peace I have always found on the farm. This was a place with beautiful colourful houses in a little village tucked just off to the south of the largest city in Canada. The best of both worlds requiring only a ferry ride to escape the noise and busyness. I was delighted to find this little oasis.

Friendly Island Resident

A very nice lady told us how to get to the Rectory Cafe, the only thing open this time of year and she pointed out which way to get to the beach and Lake Ontario. By this point I was shivering and wanted to get farther into the interior of this little paradise and out of the biting cold wind. We walked with a crowd to the right passing a tiny house with two pianos tucked in for those waiting for the ferry to enjoy listening or playing on. Music floated through the air as a young couple who had also landed on the shore played beautiful music, oh yes a different world indeed.

There was a little portable shed thrift store or should I say a sharing center sitting in the middle of the island it was filled with clothes, books and movies for anyone who was in need. I loved this place already a place where people cared and shared with all on this island what could say “Sense of community” better than that? I sadly looked through the pile of clothes for a sweater or at least a scarf to borrow to keep myself from shaking and shivering in this cold Lake Ontario wind till I returned to the ferry. No such luck.


We made our way back to the front of the island facing the City over a very cool wooden bridge with views of canoes and houseboats and that incredible view, Kat sat on the bench while I being brave or silly walked closer to the shoreline to take some photos. I was happily snapping away and enjoying the captures when a huge cold wave splashed up on the shore showering me from head to toe, I was glad I had worn my Gortex keeping my body dry but my legs were soaking wet. I watched Kat laughing and wishing she was the one holding the camera to capture that. Now that I was wet I really wanted to find that Rectory Cafe and grab something warm to drink and a place to huddle to get warm. I think back to landing in that creek on the farm a couple of weeks ago and wonder why these things always seem to happen to me.

We made our way through a gorgeous tree covered lane something I am sure I will be returning to see once the trees return to their beauty after hibernating for the winter. We took our time enjoying the sights and artistry scattered on lawns, I thought to myself this must be where artists are inspired and live, a place to dream, create and be free, yet close enough to the city where you could sell your wares and possibly make a living doing it.


Finally the little cafe shows itself and we walk into the doors of this lovely old house, the atmosphere the warmth, especially the warmth, wraps its arms around me like a welcoming blanket. A very friendly man leads us to a table near a window, the cafe was crowded and our thinking that we were only going to order a warm drink, warm up and then leave was thwarted once we listened to the very friendly waitress describing the specials and sharing stories of living on the island. Oh yes we ordered the Frittata and a large mug of green tea. We enjoyed this incredible meal in the warmth. 


The waitress suggested we should tour the island till sunset, to see the view we would never forget. I remember thinking if there had of been a warm sweater in that little sharing shed I would probably make it but with this cold I am pretty sure that was not to be. We left the comfort of the cafe and headed to the south away from the view of the city to explore the boardwalk and the beach.

 This is going to be fun. Shiver shiver.

Later

  


30 comments:

  1. Ha! Sorry you felt so chilly. I have never been there, TRUE! I may be going there this May for the first time. Funy how you can live so close to a place and never go there, isn't if?

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  2. how fun! and what a cute little resident :)

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  3. Love that little furry resident! And congrats on 300 followers! xo

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  4. Sounds like a time to remember forever.
    The weather is catching all of us off guard . . .
    By now I KNOW you've warmed up and are prepared for the next remarkable adventure -
    THANK YOU for Sharing with us.
    love & love,
    -g-

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  5. What a fantastic view! I'd love to take that ferry.

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  6. This sounds like a wonderful day, chill and all. I love visiting places off season. I don't usually care too much about all the touristy things that aren't open. There is something about the way a place feels when it's not about that. The cafe sounds fantastic. I wouldn't have been able to resist that frittata.

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  7. What loads of fun! I love ferry rides and I'm glad you got to go and visit that special place. Cute little pup~

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  8. awwwww that little puppy would have been the high light of my trip. So cute!! Sure looks to me like you girls had way to much fun.

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  9. You have such fun adventures! I would love to see this place in person some day. I'll be sure to dress warm!

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  10. Go back in the warmer weather...you'll be able to take in more of the sigts.

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  11. This is one area of Toronto I have never visited. It is now at the top of my list...and I haven't even read part 2 yet! : )

    Hugs
    Andrea

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  12. Thank you for taking us along to the island. The views are beautiful indeed! I could feel the chill in the air just from your description. I would have wanted to stay in that cafe for a while longer! :-)

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  13. I know the area well! Our company head office was at Queen's Quay, before they moved to Montreal.

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  14. It looks like you had a grand adventure, Buttons! I recall my only trip to Toronto decades ago...I had fun too.

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  15. What a wonderful adventure!

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  16. sounds like a great little place - if you're dressed for it!

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  17. I love the island in the autumn. A bit too chilly for me this time of year.

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  18. What a cute dog! Sorry, after all those gorgeous views, the dog captures my attention. The views are beautiful. I think you get such good views from a ferry as you move away from a city.

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  19. Oh I could feel the cold seeping through this post!! The view was almost worth it! Hope you are warm and cozy now :)

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  20. Hi. Nice island. I like the portrait of the islander. I think I could live with those.

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  21. even if i never make my journey around the lakes like I want to - all i have to do is read your words - you put us right there ;)

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  22. I always enjoy the view from the ferry when I go from Seattle to one of the surrounding islands! But I hate being cold too!

    B, thanks for sharing all your wonderful pictures and memories from this trip! I love coming along with you! :) xx

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  23. I love your photos! The view really was amazing. And the island resident couldn't be any cuter!

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  24. I think you are enjoying your trip despite the chilliness of the weather. It did make me feel cold reading about it brrrrr :))

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  25. Sounds like fun even if it was a bit chilly..

    Hugs~

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  26. Sounds like a lovely place to visit and that is a pretty cute little resident! I would probably want to go when the weather was a little warmer though. :)

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  27. You could have bundled up with the furry island resident, B! I would have wanted to see that sunset so badly. Ready and waiting for Part II. :)

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  28. What a fantastic outing you are enjoying. It is wonderful to visit other countries through all these fabulous blogs so thank you so much for sharing. Looking forward so much to the second chapter in this adventure.
    We are fortunate in Perth that we seldom have to consider the wind chill factor and don't even own overcoats.

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  29. I have never been to the Toronto Islands! And here, you are describing such a paradise!!! Now I want to spend a couple of days there...

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  30. i have taken this ferry ride myself. hubster and i rented bikes to see the island. i was not aware there was an amusement park anywhere though. we kept to the quite dirt roads and walking paths. really beautiful escape from the city. thanks for the reminder. :)

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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