There was a time when Toronto didn’t have its waterfront islands.
Instead, sandbars — the result of the Scarborough Bluffs eroding and currents carrying fragments of stone to the west — formed a peninsula jutting out into Lake Ontario.
The peninsula was regularly repaired as gaps formed, but in 1858 a storm cut it off from the rest of Toronto, and the gap wasn’t filled. Thus, the first island was born. Today, a network of islands are home to an airport, beaches, parks, homes, and more.
Toronto Island Airport, 1970
Toronto Island Airport hangers, 1970
Western Gap, looking south to Toronto Island airport
Olympic Island and Lagoon, 1925
Olympic Bridge, Centre Island, 1914
Gibralter Point Lighthouse, 1900
Avenue of the Island, 1980s
Toronto skyline from Toronto Island looking north, late 1980s*
*Present day photo taken June 2014