Toronto Islands offer a necessary break to those who want to escape for a while from the hustle and bustle of this cosmopolitan city. Toronto Islands comprise a group of islands and islets on Lake Ontario connected by pathways and bridges so that you can walk from one end of an island to the other.
The eight largest islands are Centre, Muggs, Donut, Forestry, Olympic, South, Snake, and Algonquin. Centre Island, with its amusement park, beaches, and gardens, attracts one million visitors a year.
Toronto City Centre Airport forms the northwest area of Hanlan’s Point. A nice feature of the islands, which my family always enjoys, is that they are car-free, which provides a perfect environment for peaceful, honk-free strolls, bike rides or picnics. Something that I appreciate after a week of rush and noise in the city. The exciting thing is that each of these islands has something unique to offer. Centre is the most complete regarding sporting rentals, parks, and picnic areas. It is the entertainment hub, especially for the kids. Your children will enjoy the Centreville Amusement Park open daily from July to early September. Admission is free but, of course, you´ll have to pay for the rides which include a roller coaster, a ferris wheel, bumper boats, and some other great attractions. For the young ones, you have Franklin Children´s Garden where they can enjoy rides for toddlers.
Summer is the time when many people rent canoes, kayaks and pedal boats and have fun in the surrounding waters of these islands. Although most locals and visitors love the chance of taking a long breather from the cosmopolitan, busy city atmosphere of Toronto, some object to the overrunning feeling they get particularly in Centre Island, and the inflated prices they pay for amenities in and around Centreville. However, almost everybody express satisfaction once they leave the island.
Ward and Algonquin are less busy areas and have less crowded beaches than Centre Island. They are an urban cottage colony, with permanent residents since one hundred years ago. Hanlan’s Point, at the northeastern tip of the islands, has the only beach in the area that is “clothing optional” but, I would say, nothing to write home about. Entry to the islands is free, but you will have to pay for the ferry ride. You can find the ferry to the Toronto Islands in Queen’s Quay, in the Harbourfront neighborhood in downtown Toronto, next to Union Station. For more information on what to see and do, I always check out the Toronto Islands website to find out what new things they have.
Far Enough Farms deserve some particular lines. It is a must-see with your little ones. My children and I love animals (my wife not so much, really, even though she grew up on a farm). Anyways, these farms have to be on your bucket list when visiting the islands. Far Enough Farms are just east of Centreville Amusement Park; they are open daily and admission is entirely free to enjoy! Yes! Your eyes are ok, FREE!
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