Toronto's Waterfront

Spanning more than 25 miles, Toronto's waterfront is lined with urban landmarks, parks, beaches and historic attractions. From the Harbourfront to the Beaches, there are several popular districts in the city that overlook Lake Ontario. TTC buses, subways and streetcars offer easy access to the lakefront destinations. From luxurious hotels and upscale seafood restaurants to museums and marinas, the waterfront areas offer plenty of activities and amenities.

Beaches and Parks

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Covering more than 800 acres, the Toronto Islands are natural sanctuaries just minutes away from the hustle of the Financial District. Covered by a lush landscape, the islands are easily accessible by express ferry services that depart from Jack Layton Terminal. Docks are located at Ward's Island, Centre Island and Hanlan's Point near Bill Bishop Toronto Airport. Miles of paved and unpaved trails run through the Toronto Islands. Families will have lots of fun at the Centerville Theme Park, which includes amusement park-style rides, Ferris wheels and other classic attractions. During the summer, Chelsea Beach and the Centre Island Pier attract flocks of visitors. This popular beach is surrounded by the Franklin Children's Garden and the William Meany Maze. Several marinas, sailing and yachting clubs also operate on the islands. There are several other premier beaches in Toronto that straddle the shoreline of Lake Ontario. Woodline Beach perhaps has the largest capacity for summertime visitors. This urban beach is neighbored by the Ashbridges Bay Park and Beach Community Edible Garden. Situated just south of Queen Street East, Kew Beach also has an urban flair. A boardwalk runs along the entire span of this well-maintained beach that has numerous breakwaters. If you're looking to get away from crowds, find a spot at the tranquil shores of Tommy Thompson Park. A historic lighthouse and High Point stand at the tip of this scenic peninsula. Covering nearly 200 acres, Exhibition Place is a mixed-used property that also has some of Toronto's best waterfront features. BMO Field, the Enercare Centre and Canadian National Exhibition are some notable venues at this district. Click to book your Guided Bicycle Tour - Toronto Waterfront, Island and Distillery .

Downtown Waterfront

Toronto's urban waterfront is concentrated in the Entertainment District. Luxurious condos and spacious promenades dominate the scene in the Harbourfront area. From HTO Park to Harbour Square Park, there are plenty of great spots for relaxation along Lake Ontario. Appropriately located just a few blocks from the lake's shore,Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is one of the city's top attractions. More than 450 marine species thrive at this venue, including sharks and endangered freshwater fish. Standing above the aquarium, the famous CN Tower is another notable landmark in the city's waterfront district. Having an architectural height that exceeds 1,800 feet, this structure has an observation deck that offers 360-degree of Toronto and the neighboring cities. Professional sports are also played just steps away from the lake, including ice hockey and basketball at the Scotiabank Arena.

Visting the Toronto's Waterfront

Lake Shore Boulevard provides access to all major points in Toronto's waterfront areas. The Gardiner Expressway is another high-capacity road that leads to the city's lakefront attractions. TTC Streetcars also run through the heart of the waterfront districts. For example, the 6A and 72B routes make multiple stops on Queens Quay near Harbourfront. The 301 and 501 lines stop on Queen Street East, just a few blocks away from the top urban beaches. Located just west of Downtown Toronto, the Bathhurst Ferry Terminal links Toronto with the Billy Bishop Airport. Additionally, Union Station is situated less than 0.5 miles away from the Toronto's waterfront. Commuter and subway trains serve this busy transportation hub, which is directly connected to Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Published On: 2019-04-16
Updated On: 2019-04-16

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