The skeleton of a Victorian-era amusement park still remains on a small Ontario island just west of the quiet town of Amherstburg.
Boblo Island Amusement Park opened in 1898 on Ontario’s Bois Blanc Island. For over 100 years, the only way to get to the theme park was via ferry rides that departed from the shores of Amherstburg. During peak seasons, each boat would carry up to 2,500 passengers at a time.
Some of the theme park’s most memorable rides include The Nightmare, Sky Streak, Screamer and Wild Mouse; along with a petting zoo, ferris wheel, and dance hall. In a time when racial tensions were high, the theme park had an uncanny ability to bring people of different races together in harmony.
Unfortunately, the park closed down in 1993 as it became overshadowed by newer, nearby theme parks such as Cedar Point in Ohio. Today, the surrounding area is being transformed into a housing community, with some of the abandoned park still sitting right in the middle of it all. While many of the old buildings of the park have been torn down, there are still some ruins that remain on Boblo Island that are creepy to explore but still beautiful, nonetheless.
According to Atlas Obscura, because Boblo Island is an abandoned, it is greatly advised that adventurers contact the current owners of the park before visiting it, to avoid any trespassing laws. Just a few months ago in August 2016, a team of people made the journey to Boblo Island to see how much has changed. They mention that ferry service to the island is still available from Amherstburg (at $10 round-trip), and that there are still no hotels in the area for people who might wish to stay there overnight. They also note that many of the park’s iconic rides were sold when the park closed, but that several interesting remnants still remain, including:
- Old painted signs,
- The original dock passageway,
- Out-of-order fountains,
- The “Space Needle” (which was once a drop ride)
- The entertainment theatre,
- The bumper cars and mini golf buildings,
- The old dancehall and bathrooms, and much more
Follow us on Snapchat: narcitytoronto