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Toronto Island Park will reopen July 31, Tory optimistic about other sections

Last Updated Jul 27, 2017 at 5:30 am EDT

Crews are working on the ferry docks on Toronto Island ahead of Monday’s planned reopening of sections of the park to the public.

Mayor John Tory said Wednesday they’re making sure the boats can properly and safely allow passengers to get on and off.

“Some of the work is being done on the docks in order to allow the ferry boats to properly and safely have people come on and off those boats to get to the island and that work is being done as we speak,” Tory told CityNews.

“I talked to the contractor yesterday and they’re well advanced on their work.”

Ferry service has been halted for non-island residents since early May because of flooding, but Tory said he’s optimistic the reopening date will be met.

“We’re optimistic that the July 31 date will be met and that lots of people will be able to go to significant portions of the islands at that time, but we’re going to take it one day at a time,” he explained.

Despite the progress, parts of the island will be closed for the rest of the summer including Olympic Island and Gibraltar Point.

On Thursday morning, the day after Tory spoke to CityNews, it was announced that Toronto Island Park, including Centre Island, Centreville Theme Park, Ward’s Island and Hanlan’s Point, will reopen to the public on July 31.

“The regular summer ferry schedule will resume on Monday, with the first ferry departing from the mainland for Ward’s Island at 6:30 a.m. and the first ferry departing from the mainland for Centre Island at 8 a.m. City of Toronto recreation programs will also resume on Monday,” the city said in a statement.

“All beaches on the island will be open with lifeguards on duty, however, portions of some beaches will be in a reduced state. Signs will clearly indicate areas that are closed to the public. Olympic Island remains closed to the public due to high water levels.”

But visitors may have more to worry about than just getting soggy shoes.

According to The Toronto Star, residents of the islands received an email on Tuesday from a Toronto Public Health official warning them that mosquitoes collected from traps on the Toronto Island tested positive for West Nile virus this week.

Dr. Christine Navarro, associate medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health, said the risk of catching West Nile in Toronto is low.

“The risk for acquiring West Nile virus in Toronto is low. Since 2002, Toronto Pubic Health has been testing mosquito batches for West Nile virus and shares this information with the public,” she said in a statement.

“Mosquitoes positive for WNV have been have been found in various parts of the City for many years through our mosquito surveillance program, including on Toronto Island this year.”

Ways to prevent becoming infected with West Nile virus include wearing long pants, loose-fitting shirts with long sleeves, socks and a hat. It’s advised to wear clothing that is light-coloured as mosquitoes are generally attracted to dark colours.

For more information on the West Nile virus, click here.

Related Stories:

More than half of buildings on Toronto Islands threatened by rising water levels

Video: Carp swimming in flooded baseball diamond on Toronto Islands

Island Public School relocated due to Toronto Island flooding

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