the city island

Someone made a movie about the Toronto Islands and it's getting its premiere tonight

The City Island, a feature documentary directed by Elizabeth Littlejohn, is getting its premiere tonight, and it's all about the hidden history of the Toronto Islands

The independent documentary was researched and directed by Littlejohn and was filmed over five years as she rode her bicycle around the Island.

The film takes a look at the Island's political history, issues with flooding, and includes memorable stories from its residents and arts community.

"I truly love Toronto and its history," Littlejohn told blogTO. "I feel like we're losing so much of it so quickly."

The documentary tells the history of the razing of Manitou Road, saving homes on Ward's Island, and the Lakeside Home for Little Children.

Toronto Island is home to more than six hundred residents and hosts millions of annual visitors.

Littlejohn said Island residents donated their personal scrapbooks and home movies to assist in making the documentary.

"As we interviewed people on the Island, it revealed more and more of its history to us," she explained to blogTO.

The documentary is also accompanied by a Toronto Island Puzzle Tour. The augmented reality app recreates the Toronto Island's invisible history.

You can follow five signposts to collect puzzle pieces through your phone for an Island-based guided tour, with a bonus locale for a souvenir postcard.

Littlejohn said the app shows you excerpts from the Island's complex history, so that you can better understand its lost heritage.

The tour engages you in a historical timeline to protect the Island as a park system, respect its Indigenous past and present, and preserve its fragile environment.

The documentary screens June 7 at 7 p.m. at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Theatre. The film is only on for one night, so make sure to grab your seats.

Tickets are $15 plus tax and can be purchased online.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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