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City hopes to increase ferry service to Toronto Islands 'soon,' mayor says
People photograph the City of Toronto skyline from the ferry as they make their way to the Toronto Islands in Toronto. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Published Sunday, May 17, 2020 2:03PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, May 17, 2020 2:27PM EDT
The city is not yet ready to ramp up ferry service to the Toronto Islands for the summer season but Mayor John Tory says he hopes that day is coming “soon.”
COVID-19 restrictions put in place by Transport Canada currently limit the number of people allowed on board ferries to 50 per cent of regular capacity.
Tory said at this point in time, it is not entirely clear what ferry service to the islands will look like this summer.
Speaking to CP24 on Sunday morning, Tory said discussions on the subject are happening regularly.
"One of the reasons we've been sort of not rushing to start up more regular ferry service is because the boats could only be half full anyway and that is a concession to COVID-19," he said.
He said measures will also have to be put in place to make sure people travelling to the islands stay “safe and healthy.”
“Centre Island is a big park and we want people to be able to use that park,” Tory said.
“We have to get open, which we are in the process of doing (with) the washrooms and different public amenities.”
Parks across Toronto are open but amenities within parks, including playgrounds and sports courts, are currently closed.
The mayor has previously said he would like to see some of those amenities, including off-leash dog parks, open as soon as possible.
The closure of facilities within parks was ordered by both the city and the Ontario government and in order to reopen those amenities, Toronto would need to get the green light from the province.