The Toronto Islands – also called the Island, or Toronto Island Park – is located in Lake Ontario, a 13-minute ferry ride from downtown Toronto. Boats to the Island leave from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay St. and Queen’s Quay. The Island is actually a group of 15 islands inter-connected by pathways and bridges. You can walk from one end of the Island to the other.
The island is approximately 5 kms long from Ward’s Island to Hanlan’s Point.
Kids and adults of all ages can find something to do or see on the Island. There are beautiful swimming beaches (including a Clothing Optional Beach on Hanlan’s Point!), sports facilities, bike, canoe and kayak rentals, a boating marina, large grassy fields for picnics, a theatre, nature paths, EMS and fire station, an amusement park and a charming 150 year-old community of 600 people living year-round in cottage-like homes.
You can walk, run or take your bike on the island, walk your dog (on a leash), visit the 200 year old lighthouse or the trout pond or have a coffee or beer at one of the restaurants. There are lockers at several busy locations, a pier, boardwalk, formal gardens, playgrounds, artists retreat and even a public grade school.
Ferry terminal locations, directions, ticket prices and ferry schedule to get to and back from the islands. Ferry info
Want to go for swim? Get a nice tan? Play beach volleyball? Find information about the island beaches here.
Planning a trip to Centre Island? Read about the most popular island to find out how to get there and what to do when you arrive.
The park, however, is a seasonal place that comes alive in May and stays buzzing until later September. During the winter months it’s eerily quiet and most facilities are closed.
Though the Billy Bishop Airport sits at the western end of the Toronto Islands, it is serviced by a different ferry system (and new tunnel), at the foot of Bathurst St. It is not accessible to visitors to Toronto Islands.
The view to the city is georgeous and the island itself is just as beautiful – it’s a photographer’s paradise indeed. And the best part? There are no cars allowed! (service cars exempt). If you’ve never been to the islands be sure to add it to your to-do list!
The island has plenty of garbage and recycling bins to help keep the grounds free of garbage – kudos to city staff for keeping it clean!
Directions to Toronto Island
The islands are located directly across downtown Toronto.
Most people get to the islands by ferry. Read about ferry information and schedule. You can also get to the islands by a tender or water taxi. Note that the tender and water taxi do not leave from the main ferry terminal – see map below. Alternatively you can also take a kayak a canoe. You cannot swim across, don’t even try – it’s dangerous, long and cold!
As with most attractions around major cities the best way to get there is by using public transit. The ferry terminal is easily accessible by public transit whether you’re coming from the city of Toronto or from the surronding areas.
By TTC or GO transit: Take the subway or GO train to Union station. It’s a ten minute walk south from the ferry docks at the foot of Bay Street. Or take the Streetcar one stop from Union Station to the Island Ferry Docks. The docks is also served by the Bay St. bus. Get off at the Queen’s Quay stop.
By car: Parking around the ferry terminal is shamefully expensive. It can cost $20 – $30 for the day on weekends. Parking lots get full quickly so it may take some time to even find one with an empty spot, which isn’t fun in heavy traffic. It’s much cheaper to take the train or subway.
Toronto Islands, Toronto, ON, Canada
Sat, 01 July, 2017, 9:00 am