I spent an entire day on Toronto Island and it felt like a beach vacation even thought it was just a 15-minute ferry ride from Downtown Toronto. Toronto Island is located in Lake Ontario and is made up of 15 islands interconnected by pathways and bridges so you can easily walk from one end to the other. There is even a school, a church, day care centers and a small community of people that reside on the island all year round. It also has a small airport and several yatch clubs.
The three main points of the island are – Centre Island, Hanlan’s Point, and Ward’s Island. Centre Island – is the busiest of the islands and is where the amusement park and rentals are available. Hanlan’s Point – is where the nude beach is located and is usually a kid free zone. Ward’s Island – is the residential part of the island.
* Getting to Toronto Island – Private shuttle boats cost $10 one way and ferry costs $8 two way and leave from Queen’s Quay every 15 minutes. Make sure to get the upper deck facing the city on your return for breath taking photos and videos of Toronto skyline during sunset, believe me, you do not want to miss out on this!
* Activities – All age groups can easily be entertained on the island. Kids even have an amusement park, which includes a small Ferris wheel, a mini train that goes around the park, bumper cars, a small roller coaster, haunted house, log ride and many other rides. Sports facilities, bikes, paddle boats, kayaks and canoes are all available on rent at the island. There is also a small petting zoo with pony rides and a small lagoon.
* Beaches – If you miss the sand on your feet and sound of the waves, this is where you need to be. There are few beautiful beaches where you can swim including a nude beach. Changing rooms and lockers are easily available on the island and there are lifeguards on duty from 11am to 6:30pm.
* Food Joints – There are restaurants and fast food outlets available throughout the amusement park area which sell hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, cotton candy, ice cream and other snacks.
* BBQ – The Island is a perfect place to have a bbq. There are many grassy areas and some even have barbecue stations and all you need to do is bring your own charcoal. We spent an entire afternoon just relaxing and enjoying the bbq that we cooked on $10 portable grills that we found at Walmart – literally my best discovery yet.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, I highly recommend taking some time out to spend a day here just because it is so magical!!!
Right at the very heart of the chaos of downtown Toronto, you suddenly escape into this vacation mood of cocktails by the beach and yet when you look across, there lies the majestic skyline of the city staring so calmly at you.