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Toronto Islands

A labyrinth of long beaches, woodland walks and tranquil waterways, this miniature island chain is the ultimate city getaway.

Swim in the calm, clear lake and sunbathe on soft sand on the Toronto Islands. Enjoy the excitement of the central amusement park or wander between pretty parks and historic buildings.

Leave the urban jungle behind and spend a day exploring the beautiful islands that lie on the perimeter of Toronto Harbour. Ward’s Island is the biggest and holds many of the region’s most enticing attractions. Head straight to gorgeous Manitou Beach and its pier for great views of the city skyline or take a ride on the island’s tram tour. Look for the delightful lakeside church and Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. A plaque here reveals that the 19th-century lighthouse is supposedly haunted by the ghost of its first keeper, who was found mysteriously dead in 1815.

Cross from here to Centre Island and head to Centreville Park. Children and adults can try more than 30 rides including a log flume, roller coaster and ghost train. Get close to horses, goats and rabbits at the petting zoo and grab something to eat at one of several fast-food restaurants.

After a busy morning, set off on foot or rent bikes to see more of the islands. Watch yachts sailing from Algonquin Island and admire graceful ships at the Toronto Island Marina.

If you’re tempted to get out on the water yourself, rent a paddleboat and explore the sheltered channels that wrap around tiny Snake Island and Snug Harbour.

Before you head for home soak up the friendly atmosphere at the Rectory Café. Sip a refreshing drink while the sun begins to set and indulge yourself with a generous portion of fries or pizza.

Reach Toronto Islands via a 10–minute ferry that departs regularly from the dock at the end of Bay Street on the mainland. The ferry has a small fee. The islands have no visitor accommodations although there are bathrooms and several food outlets.

Guide to Exploring Toronto Islands