toronto islands

The Toronto Islands are finally getting the summer they never had

After a summer of floods, cold temperatures, and terrible weather, a series of warmer weeks (and a sweltering weekend) are getting people out of the city and flocking to the Toronto Islands.

As reports came in showing Sunday would be the first day of 2017 under an extreme heat warning, a trip to the island started to look more and more appealing.

The Parks, Forestry, and Recreation department says the Toronto Island Ferry had 26,536 passengers visit the Island. This is staggeringly high compared to the five-year historic average of 9,870 for the same weekend.

With crowds appearing on the beaches and around the islands, businesses are rejoicing.

“Usually this time of year, we’re serving chili to people wearing sweaters,” Maura McIntyre, co-owner of the Island Cafe, says, “but instead, we’re selling Piña Colada slushies.”

She says the traffic has been “crazy,” especially compared to earlier months when the weather was terrible and the Islands were closed.

“It feels like July,” McIntyre laughs, “but in July, it was raining. It’s backwards this year.”

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Linda Rosenbaum co-operates the newly-opened walking tour on the island, Walk Ward’s Island.

She says this year was “a crazy time to open a business on the Island because it was closed for two months,” but that, “people have been flocking to us once we started up in August.”

Rosenbaum said in May that the walking tour business would be put on hold due to the flooding and closure of the Island. However, things are going well with the reopening and the nice weather.

"Traffic back to the Island was slow when the park reopened," Rosenbaum explains, "and it steadily increased over August and September. But the biggest increase came with this hot weather."

She says businesses like hers are extremely happy that the summer has finally arrived.

If you’d like to take advantage of the sunny weather with your own trip to the Islands, it’s best to go soon. Later this week, Environment Canada is expecting a cold front to sweep in and cool things off again.

Lead photo by

francgauthier


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