Life on the Toronto Islands consists of carefully planned routines—scheduling comings and goings around ferry schedules, making use of the limited services and retail options on the Island, and so on. Since 1979, Mark Williams’ Saturday morning visits have been a key part of island life for its 600 and some residents.
Every other Saturday, Williams and his younger brother, John, drive the Toronto Public Library bookmobile from the North York Central Library to the ferry docks for the 9:30 crossing. With 30 years of experience, he knows how to curate the 2,500 items (books, DVDs, CDs) he hand-picks: “They really like mysteries and thrillers.”
After grabbing a coffee at the Island Café last Saturday, the pair made a rare drive through the car-free community from Hanlan’s Point to Ward’s Island, where they parked across the street from Rectory Café to wait for the 10:30 start time and the first onset of patrons.
Sixty-four-year-old islander Linda Rosenbaum marveled at how Williams had been around long enough to watching kids become adults and have their own children (who, on Saturday, perused the small young-adult section).
With Williams retiring in 2015, this particular island routine will come to an end soon enough.