The Toronto Islands have two resident communities on Ward's and Algonquin Islands, with about 250 houses, and 650 residents, who live on homes leased from the provincial government. There is a waiting-list of over three hundred people who hope to one day assume a lease on the Islands. Islanders walk and cycle around, since cars are not permitted on the Islands. The Toronto Islands were created in 1858 after a storm washed away a part of Toronto's eastern peninsula. They quickly became a popular summer playground with its own hotels, amusement parks, and summer cottages. During World War Two, the cottages were winterized, to ease a housing crisis, but after the War, the city wanted to return the Islands to pure parkland, but Ward's Island and Algonquin Island survived the wrecking crews. In 1994, the 99 year lease solution was finally negotiated with the province.
There is 1 elementary school on the Island, everythign else is on the mainland.
Island residents do most of their shopping on the mainland.
There is lots of recreation on the Island, including cycling, running, baseball, soccer, tennis, swimming, sailing, canoeing, and cross-country skiing, and there is a children's amusement park on Centre Island.
The home leases are managed by the Toronto Island Residential Community Trust , and. Islanders are permitted to hand down both houses and leases to their heirs but no profit is allowed on the sale of Island houses or on the transfer of leases. Most Island homes are rustic and with painted wood exteriors
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