Toronto Islands

A fun ferry ride, picturesque park grounds, and a stunning view of the Toronto skyline are just some of the reasons that the Toronto Islands are such a popular attraction. Nestled in Lake Ontario just offshore of Downtown Toronto, the Toronto Islands attract over a million visitors each year. The main islands are easily accessed by several public ferries that depart regularly from the Toronto Ferry Docks.

There are plenty of beaches for swimmers and sunbathers to enjoy on the Toronto Islands, including the Centre Island, Hanlan's Point and Ward's Island Beaches. The Islands are also a favourite destination of recreational boaters and feature a public marina, several sailing and yacht clubs and a dragon boat course.

Whether you are a family looking for a place to spend the day throwing a Frisbee and soaking up the sun or a couple looking for a peaceful retreat to rent a bicycle and ride alongside the lake, the Toronto Islands are the perfect place to head to on a warm summer day. Click to book your Toronto Inner Harbour and Island Cruise.

Centre Island

Toronto Islands
Of the several small islands that make up the Toronto Islands, this one is the largest. Located between Hanlan’s Point and Ward’s Island, Centre Island is the main attraction for tourists with its sprawling acres of greenery and charming amusement park Centreville. A popular activity for visitors is to rent bicycles and tour through the lush parkland, or simply stroll along the sun-dappled pathways. Canoes and tandem bicycles are also available for rent. There are tennis courts and plenty of areas to picnic, as well as colourfully landscaped gardens to admire. Kids will love the fountain area with water sprayers, especially on a hot summer day.

Centreville

Located on Centre Island, this amusement park features over 30 family-friendly rides and attractions, a charming turn-of-the-century-inspired village, and small shops and restaurants. There is a great variety of rides at Centreville; tots will love climbing aboard the animals on the antique carousel, taking a spin on the twirling teacups, zipping around in the fire engines or sailing through the water on the giant swan rides. The park also has a miniature golf course, bumper cars and motor boats that speed between Centre and Olympic Islands.

Ward’s Island

The Toronto Islands were originally a peninsula that was broken apart by storms in the 19th century. First settled by the Ward family in the 1830s, Ward’s Island is the eastern section of the original land mass and home to many Island residents. Visitors to the island enjoy the peacefulness of the area, which provides a picturesque retreat from the city with its beach, playground and picnic areas.

Hanlan’s Point

First settled by the Hanlan family in 1862, this area features two supervised beaches (including one with a clothing optional section) picnic areas with fire pits, volleyball courts and softball diamonds. Hanlan’s Point is noted for its place in baseball history; it once was the home of the baseball stadium from which Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a professional baseball player. Hanlan’s Point is also home to the Toronto Island Natural Science School as well as the historic Gibralter Point Lighthouse, the oldest landmark in the city dating back to the beginning of the 19th century.

The Homes on the Toronto Islands

A small residential community lives on the Toronto Islands. These 262 quaint cottage homes are mostly concentrated on Ward's Island and Algonquin Island. In the early 1900's, there were many more homes and businesses on Centre Island and Hanlan’s Point, however in the 1950's, an initiative was undertaken by the Metropolitan Toronto Council to phase out the residences in order to increase the amount of parkland available to the city. The island community shrank as homes with expired leases were demolished. A two-decade long protest by the remaining residents resulted in the provincial government passing an act which allowed the people who live on the Toronto Islands to purchases 99-year land leases from a land trust. Click to book your Toronto Inner Harbour and Island Cruise.

Visiting Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are all connected, so visitors can hop on any of the ferries and walk to the island they want to see. The approximately 15 minute ferry ride from the docks offers a stunning view of the Toronto skyline. Visitors can bring their bicycles aboard the ferries.

Location: Public ferries to Centre Island, Ward’s Island and Hanlan’s Point can be boarded at the Toronto Ferry Docks, located at the foot of Bay Street and Queens Quay.

Click here to visit Toronto Islands official website and for ferry schedules.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

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