Toronto Islands

Toronto Islands provide an unbeatable outdoor oasis just a short ferry ride from Downtown Toronto

A Toronto Island Ferry leaves Centre Island
A Toronto Island Ferry leaves Centre Island cc licensed photo by ilkerender

Toronto Islands and Toronto Island Park form a beautiful pedestrian only oasis comprised of 570 acres of small islands in Lake Ontario across from downtown Toronto. After a fun 10 minute ferry ride from Downtown Toronto, you will find there are no cars, just fabulous beaches, trails, gardens, attractions and more, making this a fantastic place to enjoy the day.

The islands were originally a long sand spit formed by a combination of erosion of the Scarborough Bluffs and currents in the lake. Storms in the 1800s opened up channels in the spit to form islands. With no intervention the islands would have eventually eroded away, but they have been protected by the extension of the Leslie Street Spit and 'hardening' of the shore lines. Land has also been reclaimed over the years by dredging up sand from the harbour.

The islands are now home to the Regional City Centre Airport along with Parkland, Beaches and over 250 homes and cottages, but no cars! Vehicle traffic is limited to service vehicles making the islands a peaceful place to spend some time strolling or cycling. There were once over 600 homes and cottages in the community, but the city wanted to convert most of the islands to parkland and, in a battle with residents that lasted for decades, expropriated and demolished the majority of the homes on the island. The battle was finally settled in 1993 with the remaining residents able to purchase a 99 year lease. Access to the islands is provided via ferry service from Queens Quay in Downtown Toronto. The ferries operate daily from morning until nighttime. For information on fares and schedules go click on the 'Map and Directions' tab. You can also contact the Ferries by phone at 416-397-2628.

Recreation on the islands includes Centreville Amusement Park, a children's turn-of-the-century themed amusement park with a miniature railroad, vintage carousel, ferris wheel. pony rides and more. It is open daily during the summer months.

Located just east of the Centreville Amusement Park you will find Far Enough Farms, a free petting zoo with over 40 species of farm animals and exotic birds on display. This is a great place to take your kids and will appeal to the kid in all of us. It is open from 10am-5pm 365 days a year.

There are several swimming beaches on the islands. Recreational boating is popular with the islands being home to four yacht clubs and the Toronto Island Marina. Canoe and boat rentals are available from Toronto Island Boathouse on Centre Island and Bike Rentals are available next to the pier on Ward Island. Friends of Toronto Islands website is a good source of additional information about the islands.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes - For ferry service to the islands

Open Now: No

Hours This Week:
  • Monday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Address: Middle Island - Olympic Island, Toronto, ON M5V, Canada

Phone: (416) 392-8196

Official Website: Toronto Islands

Directions

Streetcar and Ferry Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Yonge-University-SpadinaUnion Station2 MInutes

How to get to Toronto Islands by Streetcar and Ferry

From Union Station take either the #509 Harbourfront or #510 Spadina streetcar and get off at Bay and Queen's Quay Stop. The entrance to the ferry docks is on the south side of the street. See the Toronto Island Ferry Schedule for sailing times.

The ferry trip is not included in the TTC fare. The round trip on the ferry is $7.00 for Adults, $4.50 for Seniors and Students under 19 and $3.50 for children 2-13.

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Reviews

Rated 4.7 out of 5

5 Star Rating My wife and I usually try to visit the island once a year. It's a great spot to take your bikes and tour the whole island. There are are small restaurants a couple of bars and a nude beach if you so choose:). It's a great place to sit back and relax. We like to take a bottle of wine with us to sip on while sitting on the pier or on the grass watching the planes landing and taking off. If you stay until the last ferry leaves in the evening. You can see the cityscape all lit up. It's beautiful sight. Great place for young kids also. They have a petting zoo and small rides.

OMGGAMER 21 - 2 days ago

4 Star Rating Really nice park to spend the day in nature. The pier and beaches are the best parts, and I bet it all looks even better in summer/fall! The ferry over is $7.71 and try to be on the right-hand side to take amazing photos of the Toronto skyline. You can expect to spend from 4 to 6 hours on the island, and if you can bring your own food for a picnic then do so, the restaurants are usually packed. I'm giving it 4 stars because there is no real organisation when boarding the ferry and it was absolute chaos getting to the park. The way back was way more organised. Do recommend seeing this island before leaving Toronto though!

Jenny Medeiros - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Toronto Island Park is a stunning location which is regularly accessible by boats from downtown Toronto. There are little beaches, gorgeous hiking trails, a few remote buildings and even a zoo to discover. The big city life isn't present there at all and it's the perfect spot to relax during the summer. You should spend an entire day there in order to discover all the sights at a smooth pace.

Sebastian Kluth - 1 month ago

4 Star Rating Convenient island hideaway just off the city. Some great beaches for swimming with surprisingly warm water in the summer. Some nice cafes within walking distance (though there could be more food & dining options). Nice bike & walking paths. A great little escape.

Christine H. - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Going to Toronto Islands is a lovely getaway from the city. The ferry is quick and not expensive ($7,50 round trip). The islands are big, very well maintained and there is enough to see and get (like food/drinks) to spend at least half a day with. If you want to see a lot of the island, you may want to rent a bike. We went for a swim and the water had such a nice temperature. Water level is not that big though. The view on the skyline of Toronto is amazing!

Annemieke Roeland - 4 months ago

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Watch this video for some great reasons to visit the Toronto Islands during your vacation

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