Toronto Island houses then and now

No sign of them, and only traces of former streets

Added 2010-12-14

The following map, dated 1955, shows the maximum extent of housing development on the Toronto Islands (with additional housing on Hanlan's Point not shown here).

Plan of Toronto Islands, Parks Department, 1955

This map is shamelessly lifted from the fabulous book Historical Atlas of Toronto by Derek Hayes; if you like Toronto history, this book is a must read.

What I found absolutely stunning about this map is that my friends and I have been up and down the Toronto Island frisbee golf course many times in recent weeks, without a clue that these houses used to be right where we're playing.

Last week I prepared an aerial view of the frisbee golf course, so naturally I decided to compare them.

After cropping, resizing, and rotating, here are the results.

Toronto Island houses in 1955Toronto Island frisbee golf course aerial view, 2010

Perhaps you might have to be somewhat familiar with the frisbee golf course for the impact of this comparison to hit home. You can see remnants of a couple streets today, but others have been almost obliterated. And of course no sign whatsoever of any housing.

The most striking example is the 10th hole fairway, which runs right along one former street, shown by the straight red line in the map on the left above. Here's a picture looking along the 10th fairway which shows clearly where the street was.

Tenth fairway on the Toronto Island frisbee golf course

The 8th fairway used to have dogleg, shown by the curved red line in the map on the left above (it's now a shorter, straight on fairway, and the dogleg is no longer in play). The dogleg goes around a group of large trees which are probably left over from before, because they sit right in the middle of some spacious back yards, and were probably spared by the bulldozers.


2011-04-18 by Ed

Your info on the Island Frisbee Course, comparing it to the old Island map, caught my attention. I am not into Frisbee Golf but an old Islander having lived there for some twenty years. What interested me is your info on the 10th hole where you indicate it following an old street. That street was Hooper Avenue.

Somewhere in the City of Toronto archives there is a photo of Hooper Avenue taken very near to the location of your photo of the fairway. If you are interested I will search it out.

2011-04-18 by Rudy

Thanks so much for writing, Ed, and thanks for the heads-up on the archive photo. I found it immediately using the archive search facility --

1927 Photo of Hooper Avenue on Toronto Island
See the larger image on the Toronto Archives web site.

Thanks once again for writing, I appreciate it.

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