From MUD ROADS AND PLANK SIDEWALKS: LESLIEVILLE 1880
By Sam Herbert (1876-1966)
For a few years regular excursion steamers plied between Toronto and Victoria Park during the summer season. They were well patronized and the return fare was twenty-five cent s for adults. Near the Victoria Park Dock, the wreck of the T.S. Robb remained for a long time. In the Park was a shooting gallery, and various forms of outdoor entertainment, also a high wooden tower. I don’t remember what it was for. It may have been a look-out tower of some kind.
At Munro Park, later on, there were various entertainment, singers, merry-go-rounds, shooting galleries, fortune telling, and so on. They all drew their quota of people in the evenings. The Toronto Street Railway extended its tracks nearer to the Park and ran moonlight excursions. It consisted of open cars with strings of coloured electric lights along the ides. Bicycles were in their hey-day, and hundreds of people wheeled to the park in the evenings.
A trip around the Belt Line was another outdoor pastime that was very popular in the evenings. Open street cars with strings of multi-coloured electric lights strung along the sides made the trip from King Street, up Sherbourne to Bloor, along Bloor to Spadina Avenue, down Spadina Ave. to King and east along King to Sherbourne again. Of course, one could board the cars at stops en route. A popular saying at that time was that if a chap put his arm around a girl’s waist, he “was going around the belt line.”