City sunniest islands. Toronto.

For almost two weeks in Toronto weather reigns spring. Spring is not timid, not modest and arrogant, calling on all sides smelling summer. Therefore take from last year's bins bicycle-travel size report about the glorious city of Toronto. The fact that Toronto is located on the shores of Lake Ontario, is known to all. But that is part of the city is still a small group of small islands, located directly opposite the downtown that these islands are recreational areas, villas, parks, lighthouse, nudist beach, but also a city airport + many other things - are aware of this, not all . A wonderful summer day, when we have not yet been Luggage carrier, and ride around the house a bit fed up with it already, we decided to hit the ceiling and jerk on the Toronto Islands - Toronto Islands.

Toronto Islands are a group of islands with a fun and complicated geological history. Initially all these islands is the length of the peninsula, connected to the "mainland" of sand, and the resulting advantage of the sedimentary rocks of the river, namytyh here from the east, where slowly destroyed the very Skarborovskie cliffs, about which I wrote not too long ago.

Map of the city of York (Toronto) in 1818. Islands are a long peninsula / braid.

But in the mid-19th century there was a kind of local storm party, which led to a change in the landscape and the emergence of multiple channels, divided the peninsula on the island group. In the twentieth century torontovchane attended to the future of the archipelago and artificially redrew the geography of the area by building a protective breakwaters and jetties. To date, the group of islands are three major Toronto - Central (Centre Island), Algonquin (Algonquin) and in-Ward (Ward's Island).

Bulk supposedly serves as a protective barrier between the turbulent waters of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands fragile landscape.

The distinctive feature of the Toronto Islands is the fact that this area is the largest urban car-free area on the North American continent. With the exception of company cars, here you will not meet other modes of transport other than bicycles, scooters, boats, yachts, canoes, etc. To get to the island is by water - from the central pier walk part of the regular ferries on three routes: the east coast, in Central Park, and to the territory of the city's airport. Even there you can sail under its own power by swimming: canoeing on the board, or a dog. In addition, there want sea taxi - boats. And, of course, by air, arriving at the airport.

Yes, Toronto has two airports: big Pearson International Airport that the city, and a small, cozy, insular, but quite busy and also international (!) Airport named Billy Bishop - Canadian air ace of the First World War. But about the airport later.

So, on the island ferries. Ferries run frequently (every 15 minutes on weekdays, every half an hour - at the weekend), travel costs $ 7, ugly children and students receive discounts. Ticket includes travel expenses in both directions and permission to bring the islands iron friend (not Woodman, and bicycle). On the boat, of course, provided racks for bicycles and life jackets for the passengers.

Almost 150 years ago, the municipality bought land Toronto Islands from the federal government and took the area under his wing. Conversion plan was developed islands in a resort and entertainment complex, have been allocated land for building houses, hotels, theaters, amusement parks. At the junction of the 19th and 20th centuries lived on the island have a sufficient number of permanent residents that the city took part in the organization of these settlements in separate cottage villages.
We started our bike trip on the eastern tip of the island, where at the moment is the bulk of residential cottages. Old wooden houses, neat sites, peace and quiet grace. A strange sense of awareness of the fact that these cottages have nothing to do with my childhood ... But in my head for some reason clearly moves "Coming through the apricot, take the vineyards and on the shady street, I'll stand in the shadows ..."

The second half of 1900 brought a lot of trouble to the inhabitants of the islands. The municipality engaged in the reorganization of the area in an attempt to turn the island extremely entertaining Stay zone. This has led to a significant reduction in the number of houses, demolition, transfer them to other parts of the islands, conflicts with landlords and sites. After nearly 20 years of litigation, the time was won by the people - in 1993 was awarded "nonaggression pact" - Act, offers residents continue to lease the land for the next 99 years.

In my scorched post-Soviet realities imagination immediately drew a picture in which the City "generous" goes to meet residents, offering them stay in their homes, to extend the lease of only some 99 years, which, of course, be unthinkable for those amounts and they are unable to afford it, will be forced to abandon their houses, in return sucking a lollipop. Imagine my surprise when I learned that according to this Act, the cost of renting the land for 99 years ranged from 36 to 46 thousand dollars! And it is on Lake Ontario, with a view of downtown Toronto and the CN Tower, in a stunningly beautiful and delightfully secluded park!

Photos of the Toronto Islands city archives. 1929

Act limits the ability of owners to sell / resell their homes to such transactions must be carried out under the supervision of a special fund (Island Trust), to avoid financial speculation and manipulation. House owners (tenants sites) have no right to bequeath or otherwise transfer the right to use their property to anyone other than their spouse or children! Any other transaction (purchase and sale) can only fund, the procedure will be organized in such a way that the buyer and seller will hold public information about each other (that is, simply will not know each other)! List of wanting to buy a house (now in it about 500 people) will not be published in the clear, and you can get there through lotteries held every few years. Participation in the lottery is worth $ 110 ($ 100 return, if not in the list). Each year of being in this list is worth $ Once in the list, each gets lucky serial number on the list and moving up with loss to other members above it. When setting homes for sale (on average 1-3 deals per year) application for housing becomes available the first hundred in the list. If the claim on the house a few people from the first hundred, preference is given to party with the lowest number (the one who stands above the list). Ie to actually become the owner of the house on the islands, it is necessary to break into the top, which may take 40-60 years.

Photos of the Toronto Islands city archives. 1929

To finish you with information about the Islanders, I would say that they are not allowed to take their homes for a period of more than 2 years in every five-year period. They are obliged to live in their homes for long (at least) 220 days a year. At the moment, there are only about 600 people living in 262 sites. They have to put up with the influx of visitors to the islands (more than 1.2 million a year), which have the full right to roam between the beaches and marinas along the streets of the village. The island has a sewer, fire and medical parts, school, two kindergartens, a church, its own water treatment plant, but no grocery stores. The police, as expected, moved or boating or biking.

Knurled for residential areas, we continued on our way down the coast on which are scattered numerous beaches. In the south-western edge of the archipelago is the official nudist beach. We did not scare nudists their sweaty faces, and warning labels slightly alarmed: "Attention, then begins the territory in which the wearing of outer clothing is considered optional."

Instead, we went to the ancient (by North American standards), the lighthouse, by the way, the oldest (of the currently existing) lighthouse on all five Great Lakes. It was built in 1809, its first superintendent was the one Reydan JP Muller.

In 1815, drunken soldiers roamed the peninsula in search of alcohol and in a fit of generosity accidentally knocked heavily-old man caretaker, then also randomly dismembered his body and buried in the woods. Since then gave way to a lot of lighthouse keepers (the latter rose to 1958, when the lighthouse was officially sent into retirement), but they say that the moans and sobs of the poor man Muller still be heard at night in the vicinity of the lighthouse.

A significant part of the archipelago is a well-groomed park area with hiking and biking trails. If necessary, visitors can rent a bike (for not very humane prices) or just such velokaretu.

But, of course, better to go with their bikes. Ride all day, swim at the beaches, the blue flag, eat hot dogs, lounging on the green grass.

And all this in 10 minutes from downtown Toronto - the harsh Canadian metropolis.

I, as a native resident of Kiev, could not help but recall the native water park. Nostalgia iron grip grabbed my throat and not let go until the very end of the journey. Where the restaurants and snack bars with screaming from the speakers at each other and Leps Serdyuchka or (even worse) with some terribly talented live performers?

The photo shows the bicycle parking (funny round squiggles).

Where alcohol and kebabs pets, pasties in boiling oil on every corner?

BBQ (US kebabs) are allowed only in designated smoking areas.

Where seeds, damn? Where the drunken crowd, every tree, choose a city park family vacation to celebrate his vodka-without fail-to-most-ears birthday? Crowds are usually surrounded by mountains as their garbage, which is easier to fall down under a tree than be attributed to the trash?

Perhaps I was small and silly, but in my childhood memories memory deposited the fact that the water park once went to ride on the carousel, play badminton or towns, eat ice cream on a stick ...

Toronto Islands - a must-visit attraction of the city. By the way, it offers the same, easily recognizable views of the coastline of the city of Toronto.

Well, that's already the end of our trip we got to the airport Billy Bishop. It is a small airport serving one airline Porter, which operates flights not only for Canada, but also in the United States. The airport was opened in 1939 on the site of a former amusement park and sports arena. During the Second World War was used as a summer school for future air aces. The airport is becoming more and more vosstrebovan and periodically raises questions about additional ways of communication between the city and the island. The idea of a road bridge threw back a long time. Last year there were rumors about the decision to dig a tunnel. Now here we wait.

In addition to the implementation of official civil air transportation airport on the island is the central and favorite airport for pilots of small aircraft.

Of course, the story of the islands would be incomplete without mentioning the numerous marinas and piers. Yachts, boats, sailboats. Mentioned. 

On the islands is one of the oldest, and then really there to be modest, one of the best yacht clubs Toronto - The Royal Canadian Yacht Club (Royal Canadian Yacht Club), founded in 1852..
Thumbing through in the past year, the magazine of the Canadian regatta, I found that more than half of the participants and the winners thereof comprised in this club.

Enough to roll, having a lot of fun, we boarded the ferry back to the mainland.

At the end of the post, I note that according to our cycling and cycling organizations in Toronto, I am pleased to write an short article. Though not in Amsterdam, but also quite a bicycle city. And since our city veloopyt essentially began last summer, then we have to learn on their own lame mistakes. It just so happened that in this great raid on the island we went without bike carriers. We have fun, with songs and rhymes, loaded our bikes unsuitable for this machine, and coped with this task in 15 minutes. As a result, our trunk looked like this:

On the way to downtown on one of the traffic lights with us abreast car roof is proudly perched two great, and the third was secured behind bike carriers. I shyly looked away toward the eye, because neighboring passengers cars with interest considered rich interior of our poor "version" ... fun started at the end of the trip, when pretty tired and rolled off the ferry we got back to the parking lot. It turned out that during the celebrations on the islands of bicycles had to grow up - they are not in any going to put in the car. We spent at least 50 minutes and two buckets of swear words out to decorate the interior of the machine clean authentic tire tracks, fresh earth and grass. The next day we went to the store and bought a Bicycle Rack. Therefore, the following velopoezdka already looked like this:

Traditional remnants of photos without vlezshih article.