gardens of the toronto island
Living at the lake in downtown Toronto with the Toronto Island in view across the water, I make it a custom to take the short ferry ride over to this cottage country in the city at least once a summer. A few weekends ago I did just that. It was a beautiful day for traversing the series of islands on my bike and relaxing on my favourite bit of white sand beach at Gibraltar Point (one of Toronto’s many Blue Flag beaches). On every visit I also like to meander the ‘streets’ of the two cottage communities on the islands, admiring the quaint homes and interesting gardens.
It’s astonishing that a spectacular city view such as this that many of the homes overlook can be improved upon, but the Island gardens certainly elevate the enjoyment of the setting. A lot of the gardens reflect the artistic nature of many of the residents, but I tend to gravitate to those that are slightly more organized yet still somewhat organic, in almost an English garden direction. These serene settings were all captured on Algonquin Island.
An even more organized and expansive garden is maintained by the City on Centre Island, featuring many fountains and pools, boxwood hedges, a plethora of perennials, and strands of fragrant lavender. This formal garden appears to be quite lush this year, likely helped by the record rain fall in June and the fantastically warm weather Toronto has experienced since the spring.
I missed the Toronto Island House Tour & History Tour last month, but will be sure to mark my calendar for this event next year.