Toronto Islands are a small island chain in Toronto harbour also known as the Toronto Island Park.
Toronto’s own island community offers a quaint summer amusement park, paddleboats and bikes for rent, in-line skating paths, and plenty of grass and beach area for picnics. Best of all, there are no cars! Summer cottages from the 1920's are home to some 250 families, and feature charming English-style gardens. The Islands are a 10-minute ferry ride from the docks located at the foot of Bay St.
Catch the ferry at the Toronto Ferry Docks at the foot of Bay Street and Queens Quay. Return fare is currently $6 for adults, $3.50 students and seniors and $2.50 for children. There is no extra charge for bicycles. Water taxis are also available but are much more expensive. The last ferry leaves the island at 11:45 pm during the summer months but take the ferry back at sunset for a spectacular view.
The Islands provide the most spectacular view of Toronto’s impressive skyline, and are user friendly; signs instruct visitors to “Please walk on the grass”! There are no cars allowed, which make the area a favourite for cyclists, walkers and rollerblade enthusiasts. The many lagoons and waterways are populated by ducks and swans, and some areas are off-limits to people, designated instead as “wilderness zones” for migratory birds.
The three major islands - there are eight islands with names and several without - are connected by a tram system. And each has its own atmosphere.
The most popular is Centre Island, which features huge picnic areas, greenspace, a maze, a beach, a chapel, and award-winning gardens. It also features an amusement park geared towards younger children. 'Centreville' has some 30 rides, a petting zoo featuring farm animals and pony rides, and picturesque swan boats circling a small lagoon.
There are drinking taps on the islands if your running low on cash otherwise there are various places to buy assorted overpriced beverages.
Camping is officially prohibited, although you may be able to bribe a local to allow you to camp in their garden.