A day at the island

Playing the fabulous Toronto Island frisbee golf course

Added 2010-04-02, Updated 2010-04-05

Five (5!) of us headed over to Ward's Island on a fabulous sunny Good Friday for a round of frisbee golf. Here's Reg with Leaf legend Eddie Shack and Fairlawn Market employee Kal before leaving with Andrew for the Island.

That's Reg on the left

Chris and I initially took the ferry alone, wondering if the others were even showing up, and decided to wait on the island instead of on the mainland, in case the others had already gone across. While waiting, we decided to take a quick swing by the house on Ward's where Chris used to live. Here he is with a former neighbour; they immediately recognized each other and spent a few moments reminiscing.

In front of Chris's former home on Ward's Island

Wouldn't it be great to live on the island and own a boat.

Jimmie's home and the cove tucked in behind the Eastern Gap

Anyhow, we finally met up with the boys at the firehall and started in. It's a truly picturesque frisbee golf course, with opportunities galore for fabulous scenic shots. Here's the bridge over to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (on its own little island), with the CN tower across the bay.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club as seen from the Toronto Island frisbee golf course

The course itself is monstrously long, and naturally, being men, we prefer to play it from the long tees, there being two choices. There were originally two targets on each hole as well, but for some reason the shorter targets have been removed.

Last year, when Chris, Aubrey and I played the course, we assigned a par rating to each hole based on what we thought was fair, given our experience (which is substantial, considering the many hundreds of times we've played), and using rules such as "eagle should be within reach with strong drives" and "you should be able to ace a par 3 with a terrific shot." To give an example of the course, here's the signpost showing the layout of the 11th hole:

The par-3 11th hole on the Island frisbee golf course

So playing from the men's tee, this is supposed to be a par 3, but it's 130 yards and not even Reg can ace that type of shot. So for us it's a par 4. Our overall rating for the course is par 46 out and par 46 in, for a total of 92.

Unfortunately, we did not anticipate(!) how incredibly popular the frisbee golf course was going to be on a holiday(!), the first really warm weekend of the spring. The phrase we heard most often this afternoon was "Do you guys mind if we play through?" There were countless other disc golf enthusiasts out, and it seemed as though every one of them had brought a duffle bag of dozens of those hard little 6-inch drivers. Some of those guys were awesome, able to throw drives that easily went three times further than what we were capable of with our oversized "normal" frisbees. We were even lapped by one group.

At the end of the day, the big winner was Reg, with a 5-under 87. Chris got even par, 46 out and 46 in. Andrew was 5 over at 97, Aubrey at 103, and I came in last with a 14-over 106, a full 19 strokes off the lead.

Oh, and in closing let me just say that if the agreement over the phone is that we all meet at 10:15, there can really be no recriminations against the guys who showed up at 10:10 but missed the earlier ferry. Also, never completely trust what you read on the internet, like ferry schedules. That is all.

Update April 2, 2010

CityTV remarked this evening upon how busy the ferry was. There was only the one ferry in service, the little car ferry, the Ongiara, because we're still within the "winter" schedule (the one they never updated on their web site) and the main ferries (e.g. the Trillium), resting comfortably in their docks, ready to go, haven't been properly inspected yet.

The Ongiara on CityTV

Update April 5, 2010

The Toronto Star ran a story yesterday about fisticuffs and other uncivilized behaviour on the ferry: Crowds overwhelm single Toronto Island ferry; Hundreds languish in hours-long lineup.

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