Tag Archives: Public Service Announcement

Can the Toronto Centre Island Ferry Schedule be Improved?

There must be a better way to adjust the schedule for the Toronto Centre Island ferry than to wait until after the Victoria Day weekend.

Make Your Own Toronto Event: Take the Centre Island Ferry

"Toronto Island Ferry in 1978" by Bobolink (Robert Taylor)
“Toronto Island Ferry in 1978” by Bobolink (Robert Taylor)

The winter and spring of 2012 have been remarkably mild and pleasant. I’ve had fewer training runs in snow or rain than usual. Birds and butterflies migrated earlier than usual.

Yet, once again, mainstream media such as 680 News has reported that “Big crowds cause lineups and delays at Toronto’s ferry docks“. On May 20, the Sunday of the Victoria Day long weekend, “the ferry service, still on its spring schedule, could not keep up with the demand”.

An estimated 15,000 people used this service yesterday.

In 2011, the Toronto Star reported “Gridlock — and good cheer — at the ferry docks” for Dragonboat racing in June 2011. Presumably the ferries were on their summer schedule.

But in 2010, the same newspaper stated that “Crowds overwhelm single Toronto Island ferry” on a warm April weekend. At that time, it was reported that the ferry schedule is planned about half a year in advance. This includes inspection, maintenance, and hiring temporary crew; tasks that cannot be jiggered and rushed based on a quick change of weather.

A Modest Suggestion for the Toronto Centre Island Ferry Schedule

A quick glance at the official Toronto web page, “Toronto Islands – Ferry Schedules & Fares“, shows the spring/fall schedule changes to summer on May 25, 2012.

By my reckoning, there are about six extra scheduled “departures from the city” to Centre Island on weekends and holidays after the change from spring/fall to summer. This can be improved on an ad hoc basis, depending crowds or weather, if all the ferries are in commission.

The change from 24 to 30 scheduled departures for Centre Island does not seem like much; but 6/24 is a 25% improvement.

OK, Toronto Parks management, that’s only a week after the long weekend. Surely to goodness you can plan to be up and running at full capacity a week sooner.

Why Visit Toronto’s Centre Island?

Toronto’s Centre Island is a great place to visit: walk, lounge on a beach or picnic. BYOB, meaning “bring your own bicycle“, for trails but be courteous to pedestrians. Or rent one from the Toronto Island Bicycle Rental station.

The Centreville Amusement Park generally is open on weekends in May and September, and daily from June through August. Check their web site for details. It is a very child-friendly attraction for the whole family. (Amusingly, Centreville is on “Middle Island” or “Olympic Island”, not “Centre Island”.

As an alternative on a crowded holiday weekend, arrange for a canoe tour from Harbourfront’s Canoe Toronto on Queen’s Quay and Rees Street (Robertson Crescent). They can guide you across the harbour so you can paddle around the Islands, rather than joining the crowds on the ferry.

The 24th Dragon Boat Race Festival will be held on June 23 and 24, 2012. As I had noted in an earlier article, “To Untangle Two Toronto Triathlons in 2012“, Multisport Canada will hold short-distance events on the Islands on Aug. 25 and 26, 2012.

Plus, the Islands give a terrific view of downtown Toronto. Enjoy!

(Thank you for reading this “public service announcement”, or at least my opinions on this Toronto public service).

Did We Ignore Vic Toews Preparing for an Emergency?

Apparently the Hon. Vic Toews, Canada’s minister of public safety, had announced that May 6-12, 2012 is “National Emergency Preparedness Week” in Canada.

I certainly can use an annual reminder to re-stock my emergency first aid kit.

But I only noticed this because of the red banner on the Environment Canada weather site that I check almost every day.

Environment Canada with Red Banner Link
Environment Canada with Red Banner Link

Prepare for Emergencies during May 6-12, 2012

The important resource is the Government of Canada’s “Is Your Family Prepared?” site.

Read and heed, if you please!

A Gap in Online Coverage for Emergency Awareness?

This afternoon I ran a quick search for “toews safety emergency” in the Bing search engine. Other than official Canadian government web sites or historical news and articles, the only other top-10 reference that I noticed was that the MarketWire service did publish an advisory on May 2nd. Didn’t the media cover this event and publish it online? The announcement was to have been made on May 3rd.

I know that I hadn’t noticed it in the news…so I assume most of Canada missed it, too.

Valuable Emergency Preparedness Information from the Canadian Government

The government site has links to a number of publications and articles.

We may think we know about storing emergency candles in the home, and keeping a sleeping bag in the car’s trunk. Do we actually keep some clean drinking water handy in case the water main breaks?

It’s a lot easier to read about emergencies and to prepare for them before they occur. As the Boy Scouts might say, “Be prepared”!

Feedback: Did You Know about Emergency Preparedness Week?

After being flooded with spam comments some time ago, I added a “captcha” and now receive very few. I just tried to make a comment, and received an “internal server error”. (Insert expletive of your choice).

Please send me an e-mail if you already knew about about “National Emergency Preparedness Week”, and your source of information. Thanks!