I got a whole lot more than I bargained for.
Boarding the ice-breaker ferry with every layer in my closet piled onto my body, I started to realize this trip meant more to me than just research for school. The islands provided the silence I'd been craving for the last few months; a place free from rushing, stress, and the blare of car horns. I wandered aimlessly, snapping photos and striking up conversations with the people who lived there.
The overall theme from my findings was that although city dwellers might forget about the islands when the sun disappears and the cold comes in, the islands in winter are more peaceful than desolate, more welcoming than lonely. The Toronto Islands are in fact a year-round sanctuary.
Here's a bit of what I saw there.
Tips for survival on winter island trips:
*Hot chocolate at the Rectory Cafe (the only restaurant that stays open year-round) is absolutely necessary for a complete experience.
*BUNDLE UP. No matter how cold you may think it is downtown, the Islands WILL be colder.
*Make sure your shoes are waterproof; off trail adventures can lead to very wet socks.
*If you're starting to feel really lonely during your stay, the animals at Far Enough Farm are left out all winter, and would be more than happy to keep you company.
Between Shoe and I