March 22, 2023

Just 10 minutes from the mainland, Toronto Islands make for an idyllic day-trip getaway.

The Toronto Islands buzz in summer, but are also active in winter, with cross-country skiing, skating, and ice sailing.
Any Toronto vacation – be it a family trip, a couples getaway, or a gathering of friends – can be enhanced with a little day trip to the nearby Toronto Islands. Just hop on the ferry, and in 10 minutes you’ll find yourself transported to a whole different world filled with relaxing and enticing offerings.

Though many islands actually make up the Toronto Islands, three islands – Centre, Ward and Algonquin – are the major draw. The absence of cars here creates a peaceful escape for visitors, with tree-filled picnic spots, marinas, quaint cottages, and beachfront attractions that can be visited by paths, bridges, and boardwalks connecting the islands. Be sure to visit at least one of the top four beaches on the islands – Centre Island Beach, Gibraltar Beach Point, Hanlan’s Point Beach, and Ward’s Island Beach.

Centre Island
The most popular island, Centre Islands draws visitors with its extensive picnic areas, bike paths, beach, award-winning gardens, and a maze. Activity options include renting paddleboats, bicycles, and in-line skates to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere of the island. If the trip is a family one, you may want to plan some time at Centreville, a small amusement park aimed at younger children. The park features some 30 rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a small lagoon with swan boats.

Ward & Algonquin Islands
Summer cottages from the 1920s mix with marvelous modern cottages, peppered with picturesque English-style gardens, evoking a charming atmosphere of times gone by. This is the magic of Ward and Algonquin Islands. For a peaceful retreat, head to Hanlan’s Point to visit Toronto’s famous haunted lighthouse. There’s also a clothing-optional beach, for those who are so inclined.

Getting There
Three regular ferries depart from the foot of Bay Street and Queen’s Quay to bring visitors to the islands, with beautiful views of Toronto’s skylines along the way.

Ready for a trip to the Toronto Islands? Start planning your trip here.

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