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Winter's impact on Wards Island

Natalie Thomas, reporter
December 16, 2011 — Travel may be affected on Wards Island during the winter months, but residents take the delays in stride.

Residents on Wards Island rely on the ferry schedule to get to the city
Residents on Wards Island rely on the ferry schedule to get to the city

The Weather Network spent the day on Thursday out at Wards Island. It's one of the Toronto Islands named after the Ward family, the first family to settle on the island back in 1830.

We caught up with a few residents to find out what kind of weather they have to deal with throughout the year.

“People have a misconception of the island,” says Dejan Ristic, Wards Island resident. “The island is actually warmer than the city in the winter most of the time because of the influence of the water.”

One frequent problem on the island in the winter however, is the persistent wind gusts, which can affect transportation.

“If it's really windy, we might end up taking a bus down to the Hanlan's dock, which is the other end of the island,” explains resident Karen McKinnell. “And when that first happens you're not always prepared or aware. So you might come out for the boat, and it won't be there and you'll find out that you missed the bus 15 minutes ago.”

According to Wards Island resident Ian Rankin, your life can be dictated by the ferry schedule, especially if weather conditions deteriorate. Instead of taking 15 minutes to get to the city, you could be delayed up to 30 minutes or more. But despite the challenges through the winter months, Rankin says the ferry services are very reliable.

“There's probably only one or two days of the year in total where because there's ice in the harbour or ice on the dock that it's problematic and we have to get bused around. But other than that, it's very nice and it's a good service.”

With files from Andrea Stockton

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