Few cities have island parks within a 10-minute ferry ride of downtown high-rises, but TORONTO has just such an archipelago. The Toronto Islands are home to marinas, an airport, some tiny houses, a school, lagoons, a boardwalk, a clothing-optional beach, bike paths, restaurants, vast amounts of unspoiled parkland, views of Lake Ontario, super skyline views of the city, abundant wildlife, a theatre, and a children’s amusement park among other things.
Now thanks to a $200,000 gift and hundreds of volunteers from the Boy Scouts to Labatt Breweries, the Centre Island maze is on its way back. Torn up by city parks staff in 2011 after years of disrepair and lack of sunlight, 1200 black cedars have been planted in a network of hallways and dead-ends, just south of Centreville’s amusement park. <PHOTO ABOVE – Graham Slaughter/Toronto Star>
The labyrinth’s original blueprints were used in the restoration.
ABOVE – Peter Vanderwerf (1919-2009), a Dutch landscape designer who immigrated to Canada in 1948 and worked as a garden manicurist for TORONTO’s elite. In addition to receiving numerous awards from Landscape Ontario during his gardening career in Toronto, he was the designer of the Toronto Island Maze in 1967.
ABOVE – William Meany, a businessman, who donated the $200,000 to reconstruct the Maze – which will now be known as The William Meany Maze. As a boy, Mr. Meany fell in love with the labyrinth and pushed politicians to have it restored. The city will maintain it for about $15,000 annually.