Toronto islands reopen after Lake Ontario floods

Aug 1, 2017
Originally published on August 1, 2017 9:15 am

For a lot of people and business around Lake Ontario, flooding put summer on hold. Now that the water is going down, businesses are coming back, including an amusement park on one of Toronto's harbor islands.

For months, the closure of the Toronto Islands has put their main attraction -- the Centreville Amusement Park -- on hiatus. Now, after 80 days, the islands are open to the public again.

Shawnda Walker is the Director of Marketing for the park. She says they've been preparing for this day for a long time.

"We wanted to be ready," Walker said in a phone interview, "so that if we had 24 hours’ notice, we would be ready to open."

Listen: Toronto harbor islands hurt by Lake Ontario flooding

The islands were closed to tourists after spring rains made Lake Ontario rise. Walker says some parts of the islands are still underwater and beaches are much smaller than they used to be. Some of the park's rides are still out of service like the train that runs around the center island. But Walker is hopeful new rides will make up for it.

"We actually launched our new sky ride," Walker said. She described the ride as a kind of ski-lift that runs for 15 minutes across the island.

"It gives the most beautiful views of Lake Ontario, the city, and the island."

The city has resumed full ferry service, and some cafes and other seasonal businesses have resumed normal hours.

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