Lagoon Report XVIII

Ward's beach in winter, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

The Village

Like an arctic Smurf village, Ward’s beach assumes improbable shapes amidst a February cold snap.

Ward's beach geyser, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Old Faithful

Another Ward’s beach geyser erupts into strong sidelight.  After each session of shooting in -18°C weather, the cameras would be coated in ice and require careful defrosting for several hours near a constant heat source.

Eastern Gap breakwall, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

End of the Road

The breakwall that defines the eastern gap continues to crumble into the inner harbour.  Here a lonely bollard awaits its fate, many of its siblings already lying submerged beneath the icy waters.

Ward's beach geyser, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands


The waning sun catches the rim of a dormant geyser on Ward’s beach.

Ward's beach geyser, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Big Kahuna

All things must pass:  Big Kahuna, the largest geyser to form on Ward’s beach, goes dormant after reaching a height that dwarfed all other ice formations.

Ward's beach geyser, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Sunset Eruption

Like Old Faithful, a newly-formed geyser on Ward’s beach erupts into a million points of light under the full pressure of an incoming wave.

Ward's beach ice cave, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands


A dormant geyser leaves behind a cave large enough to crawl into, here framing early clouds ushering in a low pressure system that should see temperatures rise by almost 15°C.

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, Gibraltar Point, Toronto Islands

Red White and Blue

Amidst a fresh and still undisturbed snowfall, the Gibraltar Point lighthouse stands tall against a cloudless -18°C sky.

Cpt. Tom on the Ongiara, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Cpt. Tom

A gem from the archives: it’s January 2004, and the temperature has just plummeted by over 20°C. Plastic shatters, pipes burst, and hydraulic lines fail.  Without hydraulic pressure, the crew of the Ongiara are unable to raise the Ward’s Island dock, effectively trapping the ferry Island-side. For two hours everything was tried, including something enterprising […]