Boblo Island

Wednesday, 12th November 2008 by

This huge pavilion and dance hall is the only remaining structure from Boblo Island Amusement Park in Ontario.

The Amusement Park was open to the public from 1898 until 1993 and through the years it was home to a number of roller coasters, rides, shows and restaurants. The remaining dance hall is about 3300 square metres and for a while had the largest dance floor in the world.

Most visitors reached the island (also known as Bois Blanc) by ferry from Detroit, leading to perhaps the most historically significant development related to the park. In 1948 a US Supreme Court decision upheld the Michigan law preventing corporations from racial discrimination, however the ferry company tried to deny African-Americans passage as the island destination was foreign. The Court eventually decided it was not 'very foreign', being socially and economically closely tied to Michigan, and having no ties to nearby Ontario communities.

A comprehensive history of the park can be found here. Today the island is being developed with luxury housing, a golf course and a marina.

Just to the West of the island is the tree-lined Livingstone Shipping Channel.

The channel was cut through shallow water to provide a safe route for ship traffic heading south to Lake Erie.

Thanks to Kirk Hayhurst who submitted this fairly regularly for the last couple of years!