Toronto, Ontario – Back in the late 1800’s Hanlan’s Point, near Toronto’s current Island Airport, was Canada’s answer to Coney Island. Named for world-record rower Edward ‘Ned’ Hanlan, it had a vaudeville theatre, dancing, an amusement park, and popular roller coaster called ‘The Big Scream’. In 1909 a stadium was built where the airport is now. It was destroyed in a fire, but rebuilt a year later, and it was here on Sept 5,1914 that a 19-year-old Babe Ruth hit is first professional home run. It’s believed the ball is still in the lake.
More than 1,225,000 million people visit the Toronto Islands annually. You can get there easily by taking an inexpensive 10-minute ferry ride from the foot of Yonge St. Centre Island, with its small amusement park, picnic areas, beach, bike rentals, etc., is popular for families. Today, Hanlan’s Point, at the west end of the island (where you find this plaque), is known for its ‘clothing optional’ beach and its popularity with Toronto’s gay community. Photo (c) Lucy Izon – click to enlarge. You can easily reach Hanlan’s Point during the summer by ferry from downtown Toronto. Just go to the ferry docks at the foot of Yonge St. (that’s the beginning of the longest street in the world.)
737 Lakeshore Avenue, Toronto, ON M5J 2W2, Canada