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Toronto Islands: Complete Guide for a Delightful Visit in 2024

Toronto Islands: Complete Guide for a Delightful Visit in 2024

Toronto Islands comprises 15 interconnected islands in Lake Ontario and south of Toronto. It is a hub for lots of fun and exciting activities. Therefore, it is a great destination for a day off, a family gathering, a relaxing weekend, and so on. 

Located only about 3 kilometers south of Downtown Toronto, Toronto Islands is a must-see in all Toronto Landmarks. Here in this article, we will discuss all the fun and relaxing activities on the Islands and the ways to get there. So stay with us till the end and let’s get started. 

Things to Do in Toronto Islands

Here are some possible activities for you to do during your journey.

1. Take Pictures of the City Skyline 

There are going to be some incredible views as soon as you step onto the boat at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. As you go on the ferry, it is a golden period to watch around and breathe in the magnificent view of Toronto. 

With the Rogers Centre and the CN Tower Toronto as prominent landmarks, the breathtaking metropolis starts to wake up in the glittering light of the sun.

Once you’ve arrived, there are many locations on the Toronto Islands where you may get amazing cityscape photos. If you want to take pictures of the iconic buildings of Toronto, Centre Island is the place to go.

2. Wander in Gardens and Amusement Parks 

In addition to offering the greatest views of the Toronto cityscape, the Toronto Islands are home to a variety of activities, such as gardens, an animal park, and a small theme park.

Centreville Amusement Park

Despite being a theme park targeted especially for young children, Centreville Amusement Park is a fun place for adults, too. So, don’t hesitate to visit there even if you don’t have any kids. 

It feels like something out of a fantasy land because of its ancient carousel, log flumes, and bumper cars. 

There are plenty of snack vans outside the park, so this is your best option if you’re craving something sweet after a pleasant time in Centreville. 

Far Enough Animal Farm

Located in Centre Island, Far Enough Animal Farm is a terrific place for families or anybody looking to make some furry friends. This animal farm in Toronto Islands is home to over 40 species, from exotic birds to regular pigs, donkeys, goats, and other animals.

The petting zoo on the farm allows you and your kids to form a closer bond with animals. 

Franklin Children’s Garden

If you want a quick walk in a wonderful place, Franklin Children’s Garden is the place to go. The gardens are named after Franklin the Turtle, the protagonist of a children’s book.

Despite this, the garden is a charming place on the Toronto Islands, with several walkways decorated with bronze statues. There are pretty spots in the trees that serve as a relaxing spot or for having a meal. 

These spots also serve as an escape pod from the crowded and roaring Toronto City that is adjusting to you. 

3. Enjoy Toronto Islands Beaches

Even though the islands are small, they offer plenty of beaches. These beaches all have basic standards and provide a relaxing and enjoyable environment. They include washrooms and changing rooms. Some, like Hanlan’s Point, also have playgrounds. 

One of the attractions of these beaches is the possibility to easily rent a boat and surf the area. You can rent either single or double kayaks and have a great time in the waters of Lake Ontario. 

One of the smallest beaches of the islands is Ward Beach. It is located in the east of the Islands. Its remoteness makes it a fantastic place to relax and calm your nerves. 

If you don’t feel like going for a long walk, you can use the bike trails or take the ferry to the beach .

Choose Centre Island Beach or the nearby Gibraltar Point Beach if you’re searching for more beach activities. They provide more restrooms, equipment rentals, and convenient access to nearby food and drink establishments. 

However, Hanlan’s Point Beach has an optional clothing policy. Therefore, if you want more excitement and feeling nature while being completely naked, that’s the spot for you.

If you are looking for a blue-flag beach, all Toronto Islands beaches except Hanlan’s Point Beach have the standard. However, on the Toronto mainland, few beaches, such as Cherry Beach Toronto, can acquire a blue flag. 

A blue flag is an indicator that the water of the beach is clean enough for swimming and other fun activities. 

4. Do Sports on the Toronto Islands

After a relaxing time on the islands, there are plenty of opportunities for excitement.

Riding a bicycle around the islands is one of the most popular sports. There won’t be any traffic because the islands are completely car-free. All 15 of the islands are connected, and the views of all the routes are marvelous. 

If you prefer water sports, there is something for both novices and the more daring, such as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, which can be done on the sheltered canals and surrounding the islands. 

Places to Eat on Toronto Islands

After all your relaxation or perhaps biking all over the islands. Now is the time to have a nice meal and regain your energy. Here are some of the best places to have refreshment:

1. Toronto Island BBQ and Beer Co

This barbecue establishment is the Toronto Islands’ greatest place for a nice and indulgent meal. Every piece of beef on the menu is slow-cooked on a low, smoking grill which makes it soft and delicious. 

If you’re having trouble deciding what to eat, try the very flavorful mac & cheese brisket burger which is famous all over Toronto. 

One more fact about this restaurant is that the majority of their beer is local and has a great touch to it. 

2. The Island Greek Grill

You won’t find a better gyro kebab on the islands than this beachside kiosk. It is not the fanciest in the town but definitely has its own perks. Choose your gyro from chicken, lamb, beef, or pig.

Make sure to get a side order of steaming hot French fries. They also provide high-quality beer if you want some with your meal.

3. The Upper Deck

Located in Toronto Island Marina, with its expansive views of the Toronto skyline, The Upper Deck is typically quieter than other restaurants. The reason is that it’s tucked away from the main tourist route. The vast appetizer menu includes burgers and a wide variety of veggie options, all at extremely affordable prices.

How to get to the Toronto Islands

  • Taking a Ferry

The simplest method is to take a ferry from Bay Street’s Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. Seasonally, ferries sail from this location to three distinct locations on the Islands. Visitors can select from Ward Island, Centre Island, and Hanlan’s Point during the busiest summer months; however, throughout the winter, the service is limited to Ward Island.

This method will be much easier if you are staying in one of the studio apartments in Downtown Toronto. This way, you are within a 10-minute walk from ferries and staying in high-quality apartments in Toronto. 

  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Billy Bishop Airport is also located in the Islands. You can access Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport by using the pedestrian tunnel that connects the island terminal to the city’s mainland.


Toronto Islands has been a place of relaxing and calm days for the people of Toronto for many years. It is a cluster of 15 smaller islands with lots of beaches and recreational facilities that make it a superb destination for weekends or after a hard day’s work. Ride a ferry, grab a beer at local cafes and restaurants, and relax on one of the beaches to clear everything out. 


1. Is the Toronto Islands Worth Visiting?

There are many exciting tourist sites on the islands such as Centreville Amusement Park, and the historic lighthouse. You can also enjoy the city skyline and its many beaches. 

2. Is Toronto Islands Free?

To reach there you need to take ferries from Jack Layton Ferry which will charge you. However, the beaches are completely free. 

3. How Long is the Ferry Ride to Toronto Island?

It takes about 15 minutes to reach one of the main islands as you depart from Jack Layton Ferry. 

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