Centreville Amusement Park suffers $8M loss in revenue due to flood-related damages

Centreville Amusement Park and the farm it operates on Toronto Islands have suffered $8 million in lost revenue in due to flood-related damages and is now facing an estimated $6 million in fixes and repairs.

The park is now facing an estimated $6 million in repairs and fixes

Centreville Amusement Park has sold an antique carousel for $3 million to help offset its millions in lost revenue and repair costs. (Barry Smith/ CBC News)

Centreville Amusement Park and the farm it operates on Toronto Islands have suffered $8 million in lost revenue in due to flood-related damages and is now also facing an estimated $6 million in fixes and repairs. 

Shawnda Walker, Centreville's director of marketing, said the heavy rains and flooding the islands experienced this year had a huge impact on sales, revenue and damages. 

"It was our 50th anniversary. We expected it to be a great year, lots of things planned and this kind of came out of nowhere," she said. 

The amusement park usually opens its doors in the beginning of May. This year, it wasn't able to open until the beginning of August. 

"It's a huge loss that we aren't able to recuperate in a month. The kids are back in school on Tuesday," she said.

There were long lineups to get to Toronto Islands on the last weekend before the summer holidays end. (Barry Smith/ CBC News)

$6 million in damages and repairs

While most of Centreville has been back in action since the reopening, parts of it simply haven't been able to recover. 

Walker says the biggest piece of land that sustained damage was Far Enough Farm, which the park has operated for five years and which has not been able to reopen after the flooding. 

"The ride that got damaged the most was the train. It really runs right across Lake Ontario, and it goes over in some parts so it was flooded completely, the train tracks have shifted, so we haven't been able to open that this year," she said. 

The loading systems for the swans and the bumper boats were also flooded. In total, the cost of repairing all the damages is expected to be $6 million. 

Walker says the repairs will start in October once the season closes. 

The tracks for the train ride at Centreville were heavily damaged due to the flooding and the ride was unable to reopen this year. (Barry Smith/ CBC News)

Antique carousel sold for $3 million

In order to offset the losses, the park is selling an antique carousel that is more than a hundred years old. 

Over the last ten years, the park has had several offers for the antique carousel. Walker says it went for $3 million to help soften the loss in revenue.

The carousel is being bought by the city of Carmel, Indiana, though the purchase agreement has not yet been signed by Centreville and still requires approval from Carmel's city council, according to Carmel spokesperson Dan McFeely. 

Gisele Gordon, who was among hundreds visiting the islands over the long weekend for the first time this summer, said she was upset to see the carousel go.

The antique carousel at Centreville that is more than a hundred years old is making its way south to the U.S. after being sold for $3 million. (Barry Smith/ CBC News)

"It's devastating, it's one of the most important carousels in the world. It's historically one of the most significant things we have in Toronto that people aren't even aware of," she said. "I wish we had known, and tried to do a campaign to save it."

Walker says the amusement park will be receiving a new carousel sometime next year. The new one will be custom-made and some of the horses and zebras are expected to be replaced by some Canadian animals. The park is thinking about reaching out to Canadian artists for ideas. 

Despite the difficult summer, Walker says the ordeal has brought the community together. 

"The one thing we got from being closed was the outpouring of support," she said. "A lot of people realized Centreville and Centre Island are a beloved family tradition and when they didn't have it, it really woke up some people to how special this place is." 

Far Enough Away Farm is adjacent to Centreville and operated by the park. It has not been opened to the public this year. (Barry Smith/ CBC News)


  • A previous version of the story contained a quote that indicated that the carousel was purchased by Carmel, Indiana to celebrate the retirement of their mayor, Jim Brainard. Brainard is not retiring.
    Sep 05, 2017 12:14 PM ET

With files from Natalie Nanowski