Park Enters Winter After Tumultuous Year
By Jim Sanderson
After a topsy-turvy year across Canada and around the world, Bluffer’s Park finally appears to be returning to a semblance of its former self. After being closed during the spring lockdown and then re-opened in July to crowds of visitors, sunbathers, sailors and an army of Bylaw officers, the park remains open – despite the recent COVID-19 surge in Toronto. Some hearty visitors still visit the place. People dressed in winter coats, hats, and gloves are strolling the beaches and paths while practicing social distancing. Trails nearby, like the path along the high west side of the Brimley Hill, are also areas where people can get out and walk, jog, or bike in the natural world with Fido and friends.
While the Bluffer’s Park Restaurant closed after the pandemic hit, the Dogfish Pub in the Marina hung on during the boating season before shutting down in September. The Take-out counter, revamped in 2020 with a new look and menu, provided great eats for Park visitors until the weather turned. Now, it too is shuttered.
Other elements of park life have entered winter mode more-or-less on schedule. The yacht club haul-outs were completed in October, and projects like rebuilding the docks at CBYC to accommodate changing water levels and improvements to the SBSC Clubhouse got finished on schedule. Salmon fishermen enjoyed a good run under the bridge until the November die-off, and the ambitious reconstruction of the western headland remains on track for completion in the middle of 2021. On top of all this, wet and dry suited people of all ages – alerted by information on Facebook pages like Toronto City Surfers, Surf Ontario, and The Toronto Surf Club – continue to ride big waves when favourable winds whip them up from the south.
So, after a dodgy summer in the park, which in addition to COVID-19 was the scene of incidents, accidents, and even some deaths, a positive turn may be on the horizon. Though COVID-19 cases soared in December, vaccines are now being administered. the Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, has announced that Canadians will have one of the highest per-capita vaccinations available in the world. In the meantime, visitors and workers in Bluffer’s Park are routinely getting exercise and fresh air. Let’s hope these patterns continue into a better, healthier, and happier 2021.
Happy New Year to all from Bluffs Monitor, and the Bluffer’s Park Journal.
~ Jim Sanderson is a local resident, and the author of Toronto Island Summers, and Life in Balmy Beach.