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: Yes! Some attractions may restrict entry prior to their closing time.

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

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 Great spot! One of the true hidden/under-utilized gems in Toronto. While fully aware of it's existence, I didn't start really going here until I had kids. $7 ferry ride (return) is a lot of fun. The park itself is huge with tons of green space, BBQs, beaches, cafes and Centreville for the kids. Buy your tix online ahead of time to avoid long lines trying to get over. The ferries themselves hold a LOT of people. Centreville is also best mid-week as the lines to get on the rides are fairly long during primetime Saturday/Sunday. Head on over for a great day at the island!

Christopher Hollow - 3 days ago

4 Star Rating This place is good and cycling makes it more fun. I like the animals they have there and the food trucks. Water fountains are life savers, especially on hot days. You can't just sit anywhere because there is a lot of waste on ground because of birds. Make sure your spot is clean. Going to the island on a hot day is not too much fun.

Ali Hussain - 4 days ago

5 Star Rating It's a gorgeous spot! If you haven't been there, I highly recommend it. My wife and I regularly picnic there and have zero regrets. But, keep your lunch away from the brush around the edge - there are fire ants that love to join any party that gets too close.

Nathanael Lewis - 5 days ago

5 Star Rating It was clean even though crowded and we had a blast with the little one. The fountains are gorgeous and the views of the lake and the city quite spectacular. We had an amazing picnic there.

Georgiana Petec - 15 days ago

5 Star Rating It's so great that we have the island beside Toronto. The place is so clean and well maintained that undoubtedly there is no better place to spend a day. It has places to swim, riding bikes, bbq and etc.

Mohammad Reza Sookhak Lari - 17 days ago

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

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