Lieutenant-Governor SIMCOE, who picnicked, hiked and went horseback riding on the islands in 1793, decided to make York [Toronto] the naval and military centre of Upper Canada, with Gibraltar Point (now Hanlan's Point) guarding Toronto harbour. In 1813, however, American soldiers landed and destroyed fortifications on the islands. A residential community for over 150 years, Ward's Island, at the eastern edge of the archipelago, was named after fisherman David Ward who settled there with his family in 1834. The Ward's Island community is linked by bridge to that on Algonquin Island, and together their residential population occupies 250 homes, owned by islanders on land leased from Metro Toronto. In the early 1950s, 8000 people lived on Centre Island, but its elegant summer resort hotels, theatres and stores were demolished in the late 1950s and 1960s to make room for parkland. Since 1956 the remaining residents have struggled to save their homes. In 1981 the Government of Ontario passed legislation ensuring that the community will continue to exist at least until 2005.
Author ROBERT SWARD
Links to Other Sites
Toronto in Time
Peer into Toronto's past through a fascinating collection of "then and now" photographs and stories featured in the "Toronto in Time" app (available on iOS and Android devices). From The Canadian Encyclopedia and the Historica-Dominion Institute.
The website for "Imagining Toronto," an award-winning book and related York University course taught by Amy Lavender Harris. Check out the online lecture notes and the wide-ranging bibliography of works related to past and present Toronto. Also see the latest news about Harris's public talks on Toronto literature and the imaginative qualities of cities.
175 reasons to love Toronto
In honour of Toronto's 175th birthday, The Toronto Star offers their list of 175 great things about Canada's largest city. Includes photos and video clips of Toronto scenes.
Toronto Islands Residential Community Trust
This site describes the provisions under which the land and buildings associated with the Island Residential Community are to be managed on behalf of Island residents and the general public. Scroll down to the end for links to related documents including the Toronto Islands Residential Community Stewardship Act (1993).
Centreville Amusement Park
Get the lowdown on all the family-friendly rides and attractions at the Centreville Amusement Park located on the Toronto Islands.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
The official website for Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provides current news and information for travellers, pilots, and local residents.