16K Walk to Hanlan’s Point

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #44! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

The first week of November was cool with a mix of sun, clouds and brilliant Fall colours. Before jumping into November, I wanted to reflect on October and what a wonderful month it was. I had a beautiful Thanksgiving with my family, I stayed healthy, I enjoyed time with my niece, friends and neighbour, and I had plenty of fun from my leisure pursuits.

I chose to write about one event that combined three elements that I value: family, fitness and fun. After a wonderful visit to Ward’s Island in September, I planned another trip with my family to Hanlan’s Point on Thanksgiving long weekend in October.

Hanlan’s Point is on the west side of the Toronto Islands. Unlike Ward’s Island, there is no residential home in Hanlan’s Point. We come here mainly for nature and a few historic points of interest. For a brief history of Toronto Islands, click here.

The ferry service from the mainland to Hanlan’s Point was temporarily suspended so we boarded the ferry to Centre Island then walked towards Hanlan’s Point. The weather was sunny with daytime high temperature 22C (72F), ideal for being outdoors.

View towards Hanlan's Point.
A beautiful morning and adventures await. Looking towards Hanlan’s Point.
Island Public/ Natural Science School.
First, we visited Island Public/ Natural Science School which dates back to 1888. The current school was built in 1999 with an environmental focus.
Notice - Coyotes.
We stayed vigilant after seeing this Notice of Coyotes.
Island Water Treatment Plant.
Next, we passed the Island Water Treatment Plant.
Island Water Treatment Plant information board.
We learned about its history and important function.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse.
We visited Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. Constructed in 1808-09, it’s the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Great Lakes.
Trout Pond.
We walked the circumference of the Trout Pond and admired the reflections in the water.
Grey heron and snowy egret.
We saw a grey heron and a snowy egret in the wetlands.
The main trail to Hanlan's Point.
We walked on the paved main trail…
Trail into the woods.
then headed into the woods.
View of the CN Tower.
We caught a glimpse of the CN Tower.
Ned Hanlan's statue.
We reached Hanlan’s Point ferry dock where Edward Hanlan’s monument is located. The statue was sculpted by Emanuel Hahn.
"Ned" Hanlan's sculling achievements.
We learned about “Ned” Hanlan’s sculling achievements, including his world championship win in 1880.
Ned Hanlan Tugboat.
Nearby is Ned Hanlan Tugboat, built in 1932, retired in 1967, and named after world champion rower Ned Hanlan.
Gibraltar Point Beach.
We skipped the clothing-optional Hanlan’s Point Beach and walked to Gibraltar Point Beach for beautiful nature: Sky, sunlight, water, sand and shells.

Back on the trail, we looked up to see bright red wild berries and looked down to find a variety of fungi in the grass.

We stopped by Franklin’s Children Garden which is inspired by Franklin the Turtle from the celebrated book series written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark. It’s an interactive garden for families.

We explored the seven sections of this garden: Franklin’s Pollination station, Hide-and-Seek Garden, Snail Trail, Little Sprouts Garden, Turtle Pond, Pine Grove, and TD Storybook Place Amphitheatre.

We continued to Far Enough Farm on Centre Island to meet the animals there. The farm was quiet since the animals have left for their winter home north of Toronto. We hope to be back and pet them next spring.

The direct distance from Centre Island to Hanlan’s Point is merely 3.25 km (2 miles). In typical Natalie the Explorer fashion, we had a lot of fun exploring and enjoying the beauty all around us.

How much fun? We walked 16 kilometers (10 miles) and came home smiling! This outing was one of the highlights of my October.

Linked to #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC21, #TheChangingSeasons, #ThursdayDoors.

How was your week? What were the highlights in October for you?

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98 thoughts on “16K Walk to Hanlan’s Point

  1. Dan Antion November 5, 2021 / 8:12 am

    Natalie, this is such a feel-good post. You’ve brightened my day with these photos. I love the animal statues from the book. They look like they’re having fun. I absolutely love the lighthouse! That’s a beautiful door (in case you wanted to share) and I didn’t know that it was the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Thank you for bringing us along.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you, Dan, for your comment. I’m glad my post brightened your day. The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, being the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes, is a treasure for sure. I feel fortunate to be able to visit it easily. The US Lighthouse Society web site has a lot of interesting facts and history of many lighthouses in the US and Canada if you like lighthouses. I’ve now linked this post to Thursday Doors. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill Weatherholt November 5, 2021 / 8:32 am

    Wow! I loved this post, Natalie! Thank you for taking us along. I had a difficult time scrolling past the lighthouse…it’s amazing. Have a great weekend! xo

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 4:30 pm

      Thank you, Jill, for your comment. I’m glad you loved this post. Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is kept in such good shape, isn’t it? I’ve visited it several times and always want to go see it when I’m on Toronto Islands. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. leannelc November 5, 2021 / 8:40 am

    Hi Natalie – I always enjoy seeing what you’ve been up to and where you’ve been hiking or whatever. This spot looks really pretty and I love the little statues too. It looks like it would have been the perfect day’s outing (and fabulous weather too).

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:19 pm

      Hi Leanne, Everything came together nicely for this outing. Franklin’s Children Garden is worth a visit on its own and it’s great for all ages, not just children. I love visiting Toronto Islands and Franklin’s Children Garden.

      Like

  4. Ally Bean November 5, 2021 / 9:20 am

    A great adventure. What fun. We have coyotes around here, but I’ve never seen a sign like that one in any parks. Can’t go wrong when there’s a lighthouse involved in your week. Thanks for taking us along with you.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:24 pm

      Hi Ally, During the pandemic, wildlife like coyotes seem to be emboldened in Toronto. There has been sightings and reports of coyote attacks. We were hoping to see one at a safe distance but didn’t see any coyote on our walk. Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is in good shape. I like to visit the lighthouse whenever I’m on Toronto Islands. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Astrid November 5, 2021 / 9:54 am

    I’m so proud of you and your family for having gone on this 16km walk! I am glad you had so much fun exploring all the sights while you were on your way.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:27 pm

      Thank you, Astrid. There were so many fun places and things to explore that we kept going. By the time we got back on the ferry, our feet were a little tired but we were all very happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Retirement Reflections November 5, 2021 / 10:47 am

    16 kms! That’s a great walk. Add to it such beautiful surroundings and no wonder you came home smiling. I especially liked the sign about the coyottes. I would have given an extra look out for them as we do not have any coyottes on Vancouver Island. Lovely post!

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:33 pm

      Hi Donna, We were hoping to see at least one coyote at a safe distance but none showed up. It was a beautiful day and beautiful surroundings. We all had fun exploring this part of Toronto Islands. If the animals at Far Enough Farm hadn’t moved to their winter home, we would have continued walking to visit them.

      Like

  7. Suzanne@PictureRetirement November 5, 2021 / 12:00 pm

    Natalie, what an interesting walk. I love that little fungus shaped like a Witch’s Hat! Very cool.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:40 pm

      Suzanne, That fungus is called “shaggy ink cap” or “lawyer’s wig”. It’s such a fun name.

      Like

  8. Cee Neuner November 5, 2021 / 12:14 pm

    Lighthouses, statues and benches. Who wouldn’t love this post. I like your butterfly bench 😀

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:42 pm

      Thank you, Cee. This walk is lovely and we had such good weather on that day. What a coincidence that we both had butterfly bench this week.

      Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:44 pm

      Thank you, Janis. I love to visit Gibraltar Point lighthouse and Franklin’s Children Garden whenever I’m in this part of Toronto Islands. The garden is well designed and great for all ages, not just children.

      Like

  9. Gary A Wilson November 5, 2021 / 1:06 pm

    Another postcard quality tour of the world around Toronto. You are so fortunate to be surrounded by so much beauty. Thanks for sharing and hosing our weekend get together’s.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:48 pm

      Thank you, Gary. I do feel fortunate to be close to such beautiful nature. Have a nice weekend!

      Like

  10. Manja Maksimovič November 5, 2021 / 2:37 pm

    I love your good times and many of your photos but none more then the reading goose! Excellent!

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:50 pm

      Manja, I also love the reading goose. She sits on the steps of an “amphitheatre”. When Storytelling time is on, people can sit and listen to the stories read.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thistles and Kiwis November 5, 2021 / 2:57 pm

    What a lovely walk and so many wonderful photos again – I agree with Gary about the postcard quality of the tour. A nice start to Saturday (for me at least!(.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 5:56 pm

      Thank you, Barbara. This part of Toronto Islands is quite lovely and with good weather that day, it was easy to get nice photos. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  12. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com November 5, 2021 / 4:32 pm

    What a contrast to have all of that beautiful nature around and yet to see the city over the horizon. Just crazy to me. I always enjoy your walks and adventures. There seems to be art in every corner of Toronto. Those bronze sculptures are whimsical and fun…like Beatrix Potter characters or something from Mother Goose. The water is so still it looks like a mirror in every shot. Perfect weather for a perfectly wonderful day.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 6:18 pm

      Hi Leslie, Yes, Toronto Islands are about 13-minute ferry ride from the mainland and feel so different. The walk towards Hanlan’s Point is wonderful. Franklin’s Children Garden is worth a visit on its own. It’s a beautiful and fun place for all ages. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  13. Kirstin November 5, 2021 / 9:38 pm

    I’d love to visit that island. How pretty. I love that lighthouse too! I always love your treks around your city. It makes me want to get out and explore more around my own area.

    Like

    • Natalie November 5, 2021 / 10:19 pm

      It’s fun to get outside and explore. I love to go to Toronto Islands for nature, wildlife and historic sites like Gibraltar Point lighthouse.

      Like

  14. Jennifer Jones November 5, 2021 / 11:44 pm

    As a lover of history and lighthouses I really enjoyed your post Natalie. Looks like a lovely walk and to share it with family would have been wonderful

    Like

    • Natalie November 6, 2021 / 10:14 am

      Jennifer, I’m glad you enjoyed my post. This part of Toronto Islands has beautiful nature that my family and I both love. The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is definitely a highlight.

      Like

  15. Mary-Lou Burma November 6, 2021 / 6:45 am

    What a lovely adventure, thanks for taking us along. I cannot remember the last time I was in Toronto, let alone visiting the island. I think we sometimes forget how much history & adventure is right in our own backyards. 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie November 6, 2021 / 10:21 am

      Mary-Lou, Toronto islands and the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse are well worth visiting. I love going there for nature and history. So much beauty in Ontario and Canada to experience.

      Like

  16. Marsha November 6, 2021 / 9:30 am

    What a walk. First of all ten miles is quite a physical feat. You even had time and energy to take pictures along the way, so kudos. The walk felt serene and peaceful, yet filled with interesting tidbits of information. It’s everything a person could want in a blog post and perfect for PPAC. Thanks for joining, Natalie. 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie November 6, 2021 / 10:52 am

      Thank you, Marsha. I’m glad you think this post is perfect for PPAC. Walking feels natural to me and this trail is beautiful so I didn’t even think about the distance. I knew we were walking for about four hours. A family member used his phone to track our distance and time. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha November 6, 2021 / 4:17 pm

        I will. You have a great week-end, too. 🙂

        Like

  17. Scribble and Scran November 6, 2021 / 9:56 am

    I have no idea why, but I’m a huge fan of light houses. Possible my folks pointing them out whenever we went anywhere. They always seem to mark some point in history. I love the fact we keep them alive albeit unmanned now.

    Like

    • Natalie November 6, 2021 / 11:00 am

      I think lighthouses are symbolic (light, guidance, hope, etc.) and they sure have a lot of history. I’m glad that Toronto has Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, the oldest surviving lighthouse on the Great Lakes.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. trentpmcd November 6, 2021 / 10:34 am

    Sounds like a fantastic walk! Hope you are having a great weekend and have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie November 6, 2021 / 11:02 am

      Thank you, Trent. It was a wonderful walk. This weekend is sunny and warmer than usual here so I’ll be out for a walk again 🙂 Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 6, 2021 / 6:02 pm

      Thank you, Sue, for joining me. Your Thankful post is timely. I’ll hop over to your blog shortly.

      Like

  19. dinah November 6, 2021 / 6:12 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks so much for sharing! Glad you had a lovely holiday!
    💜🙏💜

    Like

    • Natalie November 6, 2021 / 8:16 pm

      Thank you, Dinah, for stopping by. I’m glad you liked my photos. Have a nice weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. csuhpat1 November 6, 2021 / 8:29 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful place and a beautiful walk. I would love to walk it. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    Like

    • Natalie November 7, 2021 / 9:05 am

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it. Have a nice weekend!

      Like

  21. Jo November 6, 2021 / 10:21 pm

    What a beautiful walk – it had everything going for it. Have a lovely week Natalie.

    Like

  22. Ju-Lyn November 6, 2021 / 10:24 pm

    So happy to have you join in The Changing Seasons.
    And for yet another fabulous glimpse at a Toronto highlight. Such a fun family outing – but long long long. Did everyone cope ok with the extended distance?

    Love the scenery & the art you’ve shared – particularly the animal sculptures. Fun fun!

    Like

    • Natalie November 7, 2021 / 9:10 am

      Thank you, Ju-Lyn. I’m glad to join in the Changing Seasons. Everyone who came with me on this outing was good at walking long distances and was fine. By the time we boarded the ferry home, our feet were a little tired but we were all in good spirits. We also had a nice dinner to finish the day.

      Like

      • Ju-Lyn November 11, 2021 / 11:15 pm

        It’s important that everyone is on par with stamina & energy levels on long outings like these. I’ve seen so many families with children or older folk who look so tired.

        Like

        • Natalie November 12, 2021 / 7:52 am

          I agree. I do this type of long walks with family or friends who walk regularly and are able to do them. I also checked in with them during the walk to make sure everyone was OK to continue.

          Like

  23. Sanch @ Sanch Writes November 7, 2021 / 4:29 am

    Looks like such a lovely walk with so much variety! Thank you for sharing with us

    Like

    • Natalie November 7, 2021 / 9:11 am

      Thank you, Sanch, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.

      Like

  24. Maria November 7, 2021 / 5:05 am

    It certainly looks like a perfect day for a such a long walk. The weather is very mild still, is that the norm for Toronto this time of the year? Or is it unusually mild? I enjoyed your beautiful nature photos. I hope you are enjoying a fabulous weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie November 7, 2021 / 9:16 am

      Hi Maria, The weather has been unusually mild this Fall here. The daytime high temps range from 12C to 16C (54F to 61F) for this weekend and the next few days. I enjoy it while it lasts. The weather forecasters say it will turn cold suddenly in the last half of November. I’m used to the four seasons so when it turns colder, I’ll put on more layers and adjust my outdoor activities accordingly. Have a fabulous weekend!

      Like

  25. Suzanne November 7, 2021 / 2:35 pm

    Unusual to see a lighthouse in those surroundings as most I have seen are near the sea. It certainly an interesting walk. Thanks for sharing, Natalie. Enjoy your week.

    Like

    • Natalie November 7, 2021 / 4:37 pm

      Suzanne, Excellent observation! When completed in 1809, the Gibraltar Point lighthouse was located 7.6 m (25 feet) from the shore. Since then, sand has built up over time so that it now stands about 100 metres (110 yd) inland. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Deborah Drucker November 7, 2021 / 5:17 pm

    The lighthouse looks really solid, an interesting design. Very pretty scenery.

    Like

    • Natalie November 7, 2021 / 6:36 pm

      Thank you Deborah for your comment. The lighthouse is made of stone from Queenston and Kingston. This part of Toronto islands is very nice for a walk or bicycle ride.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Antoinette Truglio Martin November 7, 2021 / 5:43 pm

    Another fantastic stroll in your beautiful neighborhood.

    Like

    • Natalie November 7, 2021 / 6:37 pm

      Thank you Antoinette for your comment. I hope you’re doing well and enjoying the weekend.

      Like

  28. AdventurousAngela November 7, 2021 / 11:41 pm

    Hi Natalie, these are some beautiful pictures! It’s great that you had the opportunity to get out and explore this weekend. 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie November 8, 2021 / 7:50 am

      Thank you, Angela, for your comment. Everything came together and we all had a great time.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Julie November 8, 2021 / 12:59 am

    Thank you taking us on a walking tour of the island!

    Like

    • Natalie November 8, 2021 / 7:51 am

      Thank you, Julie, for taking the tour virtually. Have a great week!

      Like

  30. Inspiring Max November 8, 2021 / 1:44 am

    Hi Natalie
    What an amazing day out. If ever we get back to Toronto I would love to see it myself especially the sculptures and the coyote sign.

    Like

    • Natalie November 8, 2021 / 7:53 am

      Hi IM, I highly recommend a visit to Toronto Islands. Beautiful nature and the fun Franklin’s Children Garden are wonderful for all ages.

      Like

  31. Thattamma C.G Menon November 8, 2021 / 2:08 am

    Wonderful nature and inspiring photography and awesome lines too 👌🙏🌷😊

    Like

  32. Min Write of the Middle November 8, 2021 / 8:53 pm

    Beautiful! I particularly love that old lighthouse – it’s so pretty. It’d lovely to draw/paint. Also love the bronze sculptures. Another beautiful spot and looks like such a lovely day out too Natalie!

    Like

    • Natalie November 8, 2021 / 8:59 pm

      Hi Min, The lighthouse and the bronze sculptures are “must-sees” whenever I visit this part of Toronto Islands. I’m glad you love them too. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week!

      Like

  33. Debbie November 9, 2021 / 3:29 am

    What fun sculptures Natalie! I love the autumn light in your photos too, it’s definitely changing seasons for you.

    Like

    • Natalie November 9, 2021 / 8:58 am

      Yes, we’ve had a beautiful and warm Fall so far. It will get colder as we get closer to winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Terri Webster Schrandt November 9, 2021 / 11:08 am

    What an amazing outing, Natalie! You show us beautiful architecture, autumn leaves, and lovely water all on a sunny day (we saw snowflakes yesterday morning!). Glad you’re out and about and thanks for sharing the fun!

    Like

    • Natalie November 9, 2021 / 1:22 pm

      It has been unusually warm here, Terri. Yesterday daytime high temp was 17C (63F) and sunny. The rest of this week has above normal temps. I’ve been cycling and hiking this Fall while the nice weather lasts. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Denyse Whelan Blogs November 10, 2021 / 6:39 pm

    What a beautiful place to share for us all Natalie. Your world is full of interesting treasures from history and today. Love learning more. It’s always good to see your blog in the link up for Life This Week! Thank you so much for being a part of this community. Next week I am announcing my plans for 2022 on Denyse Whelan Blogs. See you then too, I hope. Denyse.

    Like

    • Natalie November 10, 2021 / 7:10 pm

      Thank you, Denyse, for your comment. It’s great that you’re already planning ahead. I look forward to learning about your plans for 2022 on your blog next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Janet Alcorn November 11, 2021 / 6:09 pm

    Sorry to stop by so late–this week got away from me. Your photos are gorgeous as always! And you’re so lucky to be near so much natural beauty.

    Like

    • Natalie November 11, 2021 / 6:29 pm

      Thank you, Janet, for stopping by. There is no deadline so you’re not late 🙂 I hope your week is going well. Look forward to hearing your next coffee share.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 12, 2021 / 6:19 pm

      Thank you, Sam, for your visit and comment. I greatly appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Gary A Wilson November 14, 2021 / 8:24 pm

    The Ontario Legislative Building is magnificent Natalie. Do they let people up to see the inside of the clock tower? That would be amazing. Thanks for sharing and hosting another great weekend.

    Like

    • Natalie November 14, 2021 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you Gary for stopping by. Before the pandemic, visitors can tour inside the Ontario Legislative Building. The tours are on hold atm. I’m sure they’ll resume once it’s safe to do so. Have a great weekend!

      Like

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