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Hanlan's Point


The Hanlan family was among the first year-round inhabitants on Toronto Island, settling at Gibraltar Point in 1862. After the islands were transferred from the federal government to the City of Toronto in 1867, Plan D-141 divided the land into lots and allowed cottages, amusement areas and resort hotels to be built. The west side of the island, commonly known as West Point, rapidly became a resort destination for the citizens of Toronto; the first summer cottage community was found here.

In 1878, a hotel was built by John Hanlan at the north-west tip of the island and soon after the area became known as Hanlan's Point. Edward "Ned" Hanlan, probably the most famous member of the family, earned international recognition as a rower and held numerous world records. By the 1890's, three hotels and a summer recreation centre had been built. In 1894, an ambitious lakefill project by the Toronto Ferry Company added space for an amusement park that included an exciting roller-coaster called the Big Scream. A baseball stadium, built in 1909 and destroyed by fire one year later, was rebuilt to hold 10,000 spectators. Babe Ruth, a baseball legend, hit his first professional home run here. The role of Hanlan's Point as a centre of recreation declined after the 1930's when the stadium was closed and the Maple Leaf baseball team moved to a new facility at the foot of Bathurst Street. The amusement park was demolished and in 1937 Toronto Island Airport was constructed.

Information provided by the City of Toronto website.


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