You don’t have to go very far to escape the hustle and bustle of Canada’s largest and busiest city.
Toronto Islands is the perfect getaway for both the local and the visiting sort. Some peace and quiet on a busy summer afternoon.
The Toronto Islands is actually less 30 minutes from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. A good suggestion is to buy your tickets for the ferry in advance. It’s not an expensive ride. Only $7.50 per person, which is a round trip. The reason I suggest buying in advance is the line ups tend to be pretty long. This will save you some time.
There are three ferries that take you to the islands. Hanlan’s Point, Center Island, and Wards Island. All three take you to three very different parts. I suggest taking Hanlan’s Point, as its usually the least busy. However, this ferry is not the most attractive one. Its actually a ferry for cars and trucks. The other two are classic riverboat style passenger ferries.
Hanlan’s Point is in my opinion, the best of the islands. It’s quiet, large, and not so crowded. This is the best place to plot yourself down on the grass and get some shut eye. A perfect spot for a family or company picnic. If you are a cyclist, this is also an idea stop, as it marks the beginning of you bike journey.
Center Island is the busiest. This is because Center Island is the touristy part of the island. It boasts a family amusement park, beaches, restaurants, a pier and many other interesting attractions. Like Hanlan’s point, there are many areas for picnics however expect more other picnickers all around. While there are many restaurants and eateries in the area, bringing your own lunch is part of the fun. Food in the restaurants is good, but can be a little pricey.
Ward’s Island is the residential part of Toronto Islands. Venture out to this little quiet community and study the cottage like homes for their uniqueness. There are not real streets, just paths and sidewalks. Take a moment to observe the stress free life of the locals but be respectful. To some, this would be the perfect life in a big city.
Once you have taken it all in, plan to head back to the mainland at sunset. On a clear day, the city glistens with the sunlight. This makes for an interesting photo opportunity. Nightfall is also a good time to head back as you witness the Toronto skyline in all its glory.
An inexpensive excursion in a city filled with concrete and condos. Toronto Islands provide much of the serenity of cottage country, without have to drive very far.
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