Toronto Islands finally open to public after spring flooding

Click to play video: 'Toronto Islands reopen after nearly 3-month closure'
Toronto Islands reopen after nearly 3-month closure
The Toronto Islands finally opened to the public today, months after heavy rain and rising lake levels flooded them out. As Eric Sorensen reports, the shifting shoreline of the city's premiere park may be a sign of broader things to come – Jul 31, 2017

Toronto Island Park is now open to the public for the first time this summer after the popular destination was shut down in early May due to flooding.

Hot spots such as Centre Island, Centreville Theme Park, Ward’s Island and Hanlan’s Point are now accessible to visitors, however officials say some portions of the beaches may be operating at a “reduced state.”

WATCH: Shallima Maharaj was on the first ride of the season
Click to play video: 'Toronto Island finally open to public after season of record breaking floods'
Toronto Island finally open to public after season of record breaking floods

Lifeguards will be on duty from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

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Ferry service has also resumed but the public is encouraged to purchase tickets in advance to avoid lineups at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

READ MORE: Parts of Toronto Islands to remain closed to visitors all summer

The peak period for lineups at the terminal is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so people are being advised to arrive at the ferry outside these hours to avoid the large crowds.

The first ferry departs from the mainland to Ward’s Island at 6:30 a.m. and from the mainland to Centre Island at 8 a.m.

City officials say some areas of Toronto Island Park, such as Olympic Island, are still experiencing flooding impacts and remain closed.

Signs have been posted to indicate areas that are closed and members of the public are cautioned to avoid restricted areas.

“There’s some repairs to be done,” Mayor John Tory said. “There are areas that are still closed off, but it’s by and large open. It’s safe and I hope people show up in record numbers to experience the Toronto Islands.”

READ MORE: Mosquitos test positive for West Nile virus on Toronto Island

Meanwhile, event permit processing will begin once again. However, officials say they will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Permits that cannot be rescheduled or relocated will be refunded.

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As for activities, businesses on the island are now open and the public can now visit Centreville Theme Park. Franklin Children’s Garden and the William Meany Maze are also operational.

Visitors can also rent canoes, kayaks and pedal boats from The Boat House.

Officials say there were more than 1.46 million visitors to the park last year with warm, sunny weekends seeing close to 20,000 people a day.

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