Thursday, 17 January 2013

Canada Day Boat Cruise on Lake Ontario

One  of the fraternal groups within the Gay Community sponsors a boat cruise on Lake Ontario almost every summer. July 1, 2010 was a near perfect day for such an activity and the cruise was sold out. For those of you who are not familiar with Toronto and area, there are a series of small islands (large sand banks) a half mile or so from the foot of Yonge Street. We sailed through many of the passages between the islands, back and forth past the downtown core and well out onto the lake. There could not be a better way to see Toronto and the islands than that!

Being such a perfect day, ours was not the only craft out on the water. Here is a canoe passing between our boat and another cruise ship.

                             If you think that the canoeist was brave - how about this kayaker?

As well as all sorts of tour boats and private craft, there was a 'Tall Ship' gathering too.

                                  This boat looks more like an Oriental junk than a 'Tall Ship'.

                      Another 'Tall Ship' was moored beside some condominium towers.

It being such a lovely day the Center Island ferries were continually passing back and forth - full while bound for the islands and near empty on the return trip.

Cruising east from the boat slip we were soon past the downtown core and could see St. James Anglican Cathedral.
Where is the cathedral in the above photo? The green spire in front of the tallest building on the right hand side.

                                                  And  it was a grand day for sailing too!

As the captain of our boat kept cruising back and forth, the views were not always in chronological order. Here are two more 'Tall Ships' moored off of the islands.

A rival to the cruise ship which we were on is the Mariposa Belle. Reminds one of the Mississippi and 'Showboat'?

To the east of the downtown core is an estuary into which the Don River flows. A local street passes over on a bridge with the elevated Gardner Expressway behind it. As our boat approached this spot the helmsman turned to the right so we cruised between Wards Island and the Leslie Street Spit (Tommy Thompson Park).

 Trees on Wards Island are in the foreground with the CN Tower and condominium buildings along the shore and the bank towers in behind.

                                         Looking across Ward Island to the downtown core

Two more unusual watercraft. Yes - the guy on the surfboard was actually paddling in the channel and the craft near to him is a Native Indian canoe!

          The derelict Leslie Street Spit Lighthouse as seen from off of Ward Island.

When I snapped this photo our boat was a couple of miles out on the lake from the islands

                                          Cruising through the passages between the islands

On our way back to 'port' the Captain steered towards the west near the mouth of the Humber River and the arced foot/bicycle bridge over that waterway. The bridge can be seen behind the two sailboats

This is the ferry which carries passengers across the strait to the Billy Bishop Airport

From there the captain steered the boat to the pier from whence we had left. A day among great friends and out on the lake in sunshine and a nice breeze, I was tired - but the cruise was well worth the price. 

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