The ferry to the Toronto Islands has been open to the public since June 27 with several safety measures in place, but photos and videos of crowding on the boats indicate that the protocols may not be working as effectively as intended.
On Monday morning, a reader-submitted photos to blogTO of a ferry returning from the Toronto Islands on Sunday.
And while many of the passengers do appear to be wearing masks, the photos show a large number of people crowded together with little to no physical distancing.
"The ferry service is operating at half capacity and with a reduced summer schedule. Expect line-ups," reads a City of Toronto webpage on COVID-19 guidelines and procedures for the ferry.
The page also notes that masks are mandatory on the ferry, and that visitors must buy tickets ahead of time.
Unfortunately, footage posted to social media tells a different story.
"toronto island ferry makes me uncomfortable just looking at it lmao," wrote Al Donato, the podcast producer for Huffpost Canada, on Twitter earlier this month along with a photo of a packed ferry.
toronto island ferry makes me uncomfortable just looking at it lmao pic.twitter.com/oGM6qzA7YZ— Al Donato (@gollydrat) July 17, 2020
And a professor from the University of Toronto, Chirag Variawa, also posted a video of the ferry overflowing with people on July 13.
The Toronto Islands are a wonderful place to visit. Only a few minutes from the city too!— Prof. Chirag Variawa (@ChiragVariawa) July 13, 2020
Here's the view from our water taxi ($10/pp), cruising alongside the Toronto Island Ferry. What a view, eh! Beautiful city.#Toronto @blogTO #boating pic.twitter.com/6gHcWh9drS
One Toronto resident, who rode the ferry recently, tweeted that she actually witnessed some people remove their masks as soon as they moved past the entrance and onto the boat.
We were on the Toronto Islands ferry and some people put them on to get past staff and then took them off once on the boat and my kids noticed immediately. Though they're unfortunately getting used to understanding that many people just write their own rules.— Andrea is #Bubbling (@MommyGearest) July 22, 2020
A couple of weeks ago, footage of the American and Canadian boats at Niagara Falls went viral after many pointed out the stark differences between the Maid of the Mist, which was filled to the brim with tourists, and Hornblower, which has a limited capacity of just six passengers and four crew members.
Many said videos and photos of the two boats accurately represented the difference between Canada's response to the pandemic versus the U.S.', but one Twitter user aptly pointed out that the Toronto Island ferry is, unfortunately, looking a lot like the Maid of the Mist these days.
Here's hoping our COVID-19 case numbers don't also follow suit.
by Mira Miller via blogTO