Me and my wife, Lei, both enjoy postcards, so when I saw a new blog carnival, Evelyn Theriault’s A Festival of Postcards, I figured that would be an easy one to write a post for. It has been a little more difficult than that, when I saw this editions theme, “Water” and the rules: it’s time to get out those postcards depicting bodies of water, boats, bridges, fish – or anything that contains liquid! And please feel free to interpret the theme as liberally as you wish. I thought I had it – but when I found the postcard ….



OK I was thinking it was about a bridge, I see a bridge, wheres the liquid, the bridge isn’t even mentioned, it seems to be a “main street” postcard. It does say “Centre Island” that’s about water, right?, well I hope I haven’t been too liberal, but I really enjoyed the morning I spent learning about the sandbar islands just offshore of downtown Toronto, and their history.

I googled and searched, hoping to find out what bridge this might be, I have found no mention of “Main Street” on Centre Island, and if this 1910 postcard is of “the” main street on Centre Island, I would say from my search that the bridge and the street are gone now.

The following quote seems to be repeated on every site about the Toronto Islands:

Centre Island is between Hanlan’s Point and Ward’s Island. A carriage route along the peninsula connecting the mainland to Gibraltar Point Lighthouse later evolved into Lake Shore Avenue, the main east-west axis along Centre Island. By the late 1800’s, many of Toronto’s wealthiest families built beautiful Victorian summer homes along Lake Shore Avenue, east from Manitou Road to Ward’s Island.

Two distinctive bridges, still in use today, were built to accommodate the increase in traffic along the central north-south axis as the Centre Island Ferry, operated by the Toronto Ferry Company, became more popular. The Manitou Road bridge (1912) replaced an old wooden bridge and the Olympic Island bridge (1914) was built to link Olympic Island with Island Park.

I only found one article that has any more to say than the Chamber of Commerce version, I found it very interesting, it is one man’s view of the history of the islands and how they came to be what they are today. LINK

I sure hope that one day my wife and I will have the means to visit the islands first hand, after an extended stay in the Napanee area. of course, where the sisters below were born.

Martha Pringle Postcard

This post card was sent by Martha Elvira Pringle Richens to her sister Ella Pringle Dutcher (Mable is a cousin I believe). The address 126 St Helens Ave makes it looks as if she is staying with her brother Myron, he and his wife Hattie lived at 128 St. Helens Ave. in the 1911 census of Toronto.

Ella and family had just moved back to Michigan from North Dakota or British Columbia. In 1900 most of my Canadian Pringle ancestors were in Grand Rapids (GR) that is where Ella met and married my GGrandfather Claud Dutcher.

Ella Dutcher and her sister

This photo is labeled Ella and her sister. (Ella is on the left)

In 1898 when their mother, Sarah Fretz Pringle, passed in Grand Rapids, Martha Elvira reported on her death certificate that of her 13 children, 5 were living.

Miss Mable Pringle

This photo is labeled Miss Mable Pringle.


This post was written for the 4th Edition of A Festival of Postcards– Water
Hosted by Evelyn Theriault at A Canadian Family Blog