Monday, July 03, 2006

Canada Day, Hanlan's Point, Toronto Islands

On Canada Day, I headed downtown to the nude beach at Hanlan's Point with two of my buddies, to set up for the fireworks display at 10:30 that evening.

Statue out front of Union Station, one

Statue out front of Union Station, four
When we arrived downtown at Union Station, I took a few shots of the statue out on Front Street, opposite the Royal York Hotel. Until the 1960s, the Royal York was the tallest building in the British Empire/Commonwealth. The seagulls were having serious success with their target practice on the statue's head. Illustrates pretty clearly what they think of us. I no longer lament the extinction of the passenger pigeon. :)

Seagull cracker fight, one
While we were sitting naked on the beach, we started tossing chips of Breton crackers to the seagulls. They came within a few yards of us as they fought over the bounty. I got about a dozen shots, and about a minute of video.

Sand tracks
From about 7 till nearly 9, we faced light-to-moderate showers. We sheltered by the school at the northwest end of Centre Island. About 8:30, I headed to the beach to check on the skies and the rain. As I walked along the sandy path to the beach, I noticed that my footprints left tracks of dry sand just a few millimetres under the wet. It was a really interesting sight.

I walked barefoot from the time we first arrived at the beach around 3:30 till we left the island at 11:15 or so. Over pavement, sand, forest floor, grass, and wooden boardwalks, I suffered no ill affects. My buddy in sandals developed blisters.

Driftwood, north beach, Centre Island, Toronto

Where's the Yellow Yahoo?

North beach open stretch

North beach, Centre Island, Toronto 2
Views of the beach along the northwest side of Centre Island. Isn't it lovely? You'd hardly imagine this was the focal point of five million people within a radius of thirty miles.

When we got back to the beach, we tried to find a spot to set up for photography. One of my friends scouted the trip back (we reckoned we had 15 minutes after the show to catch the last ferry out). The other guy and I secured a picnic table at a nice location that turned out to be a little too far south, with the island airport between us and the ferry. So, we moved further back up towards the nude beach and set up. A barge had been set out into Lake Ontario from Ontario Place. We were perhaps a mile from it where we were. The vista, from the island with nothing between us and the lake, was excellent...

Canada Day fireworks, 14

Canada Day fireworks, 16

Canada Day fireworks, 20

Canada Day fireworks, 24

Canada Day fireworks, 25

Canada Day fireworks, 48

Canada Day fireworks, 54

Hurry up, slowpokes!
Catching the last ferry back at 11:15. There are always stragglers. Here is one of the last knots of them rushing to catch the ferry back to the mainland.

Toronto downtown from the Inner Harbour, four
A view of the city at night as we approached the ferry terminal near the foot of Yonge Street.

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