The CENTREVILLE AMUSEMENT PARK or CENTREVILLE THEME PARK is a
children's amusement/theme park located on Centre Island, part of the
Toronto Islands , offshore of
Ontario , Canada. The park has
been operated by the Beasley family since 1967, currently through
Etobicoke -based William Beasley Enterprises Limited, on land leased
from the City of
Toronto and is open daily during the summer. Beasley
also operates the "Far Enough Farm" adjacent to the park.
* 1 History
* 2 Attractions
* 3 Far Enough Farm
Toronto Island Transit Service
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Centreville was built as part of a master plan to convert the Toronto
Islands land usage from cottage residences to recreational uses. The
park replaced the old
Sunnyside Amusement Park , which closed in 1955,
as well as Hanlan's Point Amusement Park, which closed in the 1930s to
make way for the island airport. The park opened in 1967, operated by
Bill Beasley Sr., father of the current president of William Beasley
Enterprises. The park originally had seven rides and has expanded over
the years, adding one or two rides a year. The park's buildings have
a 1900s turn-of-the-century village theme. A 1870s cast iron planter
Queen Victoria 's birthday that was originally located
in front of
St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is now featured in the center of the
park. In 2013, Centreville took over operations of Far Enough Farm,
which was threatened with closure. At the same time, the City
extended its lease to 2022.
Due to flooding of many areas of the
Toronto Islands, Centreville did
not open in May 2017. In late June, the animals at the Centreville Far
Enough were moved off the island. Centreville reopened on July 31,
except for the Far Enough Farm, which will remain closed until 2018
due to flood damage. Three rides will not be operational: the swan
ride, bumper boat ride (due to high water levels) and the train ride
(because of flood damage to the tracks). Mosquitos carrying the West
Nile virus had been found on the islands but the
Toronto Public Health
department said that with certain precautions, visitors should not be
concerned. A park spokesman said that the loss in revenue was CA$8
million due to the flood and the cost of repairs was estimated at CA$6
In June 2017, Centreville purchased a used ferry boat, the Dartmouth
Halifax Transit in
Nova Scotia for CA$100,000. Beasley plans
to operate its own service to the amusement park in peak season
(supplementing the public
Toronto Island ferries ), though probably
not until 2018. The boat can carry 390 passengers per trip.
Ferris wheel , dressed up as a windhill
The park attractions include a carousel , log flume , a Ferris wheel
(acquired from Crystal Beach Amusement Park in Fort Erie,
1989), a 'haunted barrel works', an enclosed "
Scrambler ", a miniature
roller coaster , pleasure swan boats, bumper boats , antique-style
motor cars and several kiddie rides , such as the tea cups , a swing
boat , drop ride and miniature fire engines . There are several food
concessions , some games and a gift shop . There is also a wading pool
, pony rides and miniature golf .
One of three miniature train rides in
Toronto operates at the park
(the others being at
John Street Roundhouse
John Street Roundhouse and
Woodbine Centre ). It
consists of two trains (the "Lil Red Express" and "Lil Blue Express"
respectively) with five passenger cars (cars about 14 to 21
passengers) on a narrow gauge track which circles the park grounds and
farm and travels through a tunnel. The gauge is two feet (0.6096
An aerial ride , the "Sky Ride," operated for some years at the park.
Installed in 1968, it was a chairlift type and carried passengers from
a point near the entrance to near St. Andrew's Church and back. A
patron was injured in 2010 while being loaded onto a chair and Beasley
lost a court judgment of over CA$250,000 for the accident in 2015.
The ride was subsequently closed but a new version went into operation
in early August 2017.
The park has a 1907-vintage carousel made by the Dentzel Carousel
Company , one of 150 of this type that remains in operation, acquired
Bushkill Park in Easton, Pennsylvania. Its 52 hand-carved animals
include cats, an ostrich, pigs, a lion and rabbits instead of the more
common style consisting primarily of horses. Of the 52, 36 move up and
down on brass poles. Other features include two ornate bench seats and
a Welte-Mignon/Wurlitzer band organ.
Mandated by the park's financial losses in the summer of 2017, the
carousel has been conditionally sold to the city of
Carmel, Indiana .
The sale was due to an estimated CA$6 million loss when it was unable
to open due to flooding of the area by high lake levels, according to
the president of Beasley Enterprises. The estimated selling price was
CA$3 million, approximately US$2.25 million. On July 31, Beasley was
quoted as saying he has not yet accepted the offer and that Toronto
Mayor John Tory is interested in keeping the carousel in Toronto.
Beasley is considering the purchase of a new carousel that would be on
site at Centreville by the 2018 park season. The Dentzel carousel is
expected to be shipped to Carmel in November 2017 to open in 2018 or
2019 as part of a multi-year downtown redevelopment project. An
announcement on Centreville's Facebook page on July 20 indicates that
the carousel would continue in operation on the island for the 2017
season. In mid-September 2017, the sale of the carousel to Carmel was
in doubt after that city's finance committee recommended that this
item be removed from the budget for the redevelopment plan. The City
Council will vote on the proposal on September 18. On September 19 it
was confirmed that Carmel was not purchasing the ride and will stay
put to solicit other buyers.
FAR ENOUGH FARM
Also maintained by William Beasley Enterprises Limited, the Far
Enough Farm exists on the eastern outskirts of the Amusement Park,
just past the
Toronto Island Mine Roller Coaster Ride. The hobby farm
opened in 1959 and is home to several domesticated animal species
including rabbits , goats , pigs , chickens , cows and ponies as well
as emus and peafowl which often freely roam around the farm. The farm
is staffed by a manager with farmers and farm hands employed by
Beasley and is normally open 365 days a year, except in 2017 when it
closed in May and would not reopen for many months due to flood
damage. In the meantime, the animals were being sheltered at the
family's equine facility in nearby Schomberg,
View of Centreville Sky Ride
TORONTO ISLAND TRANSIT SERVICE
William Beasley Enterprises Limited has purchased a used Halifax
Transit ferry Dartmouth III in the summer 2017 and will be added to
the island's ferry fleet. It will be privately run and not part of
the city run ferry service.
Sunnyside Amusement Park
* ^ Stevenson, Jane (April 29, 2016). "Centreville a fixture in
T.O. for 50 years".
* ^ A B "
Toronto Centre Island\'s Far Enough Farm to be saved -
CityNews". Citynews.ca. January 15, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
* ^ "City to extend Centreville deal to 2022". Global News.
* ^ Warmington, Joe (July 3, 2017). "An eerie silence at
* ^ A B Rizza, Alanna (July 27, 2017). "
Toronto Islands will reopen
on Monday, city confirms".
* ^ "Mosquitoes with
West Nile virus
West Nile virus found on
* ^ "Far Enough Farm at Centreville - Toronto4Kids - August 2013".
* ^ Shahzad, Ramna (September 2, 2017). "Centreville Amusement Park
suffers $8M loss in revenue due to flood-related damages". CBC News.
Retrieved September 15, 2017.
* ^ "
Toronto is getting a new ferry".
* ^ "Dartmouth ferry set to make slow, long journey to Toronto".
* ^ "Rides and Attractions". Centreville Amusement Park. Retrieved
September 15, 2017.
* ^ "Old Time Trains". www.trainweb.org.
* ^ "Bhatt-et-al v. William Beasley Enterprises Ltd" (PDF) (pdf).
Smitiuch Injury Law. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
* ^ "After massive effort,