August 16, 2017 5:03 pm
Updated: August 16, 2017 7:29 pm

Toronto Island’s 110-year-old Centreville carousel to be removed after final season

Wed, Aug 16: Centreville visitors are taking in the beauty of the antique carousel, which has just been sold after spending decades on the island park. As Erica Vella reports, generations of people have vivid memories of the ride and some are hoping it will stay.


Centreville’s antique carousel will be spinning for its last season on the Toronto Island after it was sold earlier this summer to recoup costs following flooding on the islands.

William Beasley, president of William Beasley Enterprise Ltd said the island’s closure resulted in a large amount of lost revenue and they had to sell the carousel in order to keep the park in operation.

“We were forced to stay closed till the end of July,” he said.

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“It’s become evident that we need to sell the carousel to keep us moving forward.”

The carousel was built in 1908 by the Dentzel Company and its original home was in Bushkill Park in Pennsylvania.

It wasn’t until 1967 that the carousel was sold to the Beasley family for $20,000 and moved to Centreville on the island, hosting both children and adults.

The carousel was sold for approximately $3 milllion and will be on the island for the remainder of the season before it’s moved to its new home in Carmel, Indiana.

“It was very difficult,” Beasley said. “It’s a beautiful ride and you don’t come upon those rides very often and that’s why it’s worth the amount of money that it is.”

Lesley Massie said she remembers visiting Centreville with her children, who are now in their 30s.

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

“It’s such a beautiful old carousel and our children who are now in their 30s, we’ve been bring them here since they were little,” she said.

“It’s unique because it is an old ride and if you look at it you can see the antiquity of it. They don’t make them like that anymore.”

READ MORE: Toronto Islands set to reopen on July 31 after severe spring flooding

Jean Quinn visited Centreville on Wednesday with her grandchildren and marvelled at the antique ride.

“It’s always special,” she said.

“We always, always, always went for that one first. That’s a big memory and now I’m here with my own grandchildren.”

Craig Gamache started a Facebook group to save the antique carousel.

“I want to see it saved because I think it’s a great part of history,” Gamache said.

“It’s a great part of many people’s histories, it’s a great part of Toronto — I think someone should save it and keep it where it can be seen for a long time.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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