Discovering the Charming Toronto Islands

Toronto’s hidden gem, the Islands, stole my heart and left me longing for more.


As a travel writer with a passion for discovering hidden gems, I recently had the pleasure of visiting the charming Toronto Islands. Located just offshore from the bustling city of Toronto, the islands offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The stunning beauty and unique attractions left me wanting to share my experience with others. So, in this article, I will take you on a journey of discovery as we explore the Toronto Islands together. Let’s get started!

Getting There:

As a travel writer, I have visited many destinations around the world. However, getting to the Toronto Islands was one of the most unique experiences I have had. There are different modes of transportation to access the islands, but I chose to take a ferry ride from downtown Toronto. The 15-minute ride provided stunning views of the city skyline and the islands themselves. I highly recommend taking the ferry as it adds to the overall charm of the Toronto Islands. The cost of the ferry ride was also very reasonable, making it accessible to all visitors.

The Attractions:

As soon as I stepped off the ferry onto the Toronto Islands, I was immediately drawn to the stunning views of Lake Ontario. I decided to rent a bike and explore the islands on two wheels. The bike rental was affordable and the perfect way to see all the attractions the islands have to offer.

One of my favorite attractions was the Centreville Amusement Park, which was full of fun rides and activities for both kids and adults. I also visited the Franklin Children’s Garden, which was a beautiful space for families to explore and learn about nature.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing activity, the islands have several beaches to choose from. I spent a few hours soaking up the sun at Hanlan’s Point Beach, which had a lively atmosphere and offered stunning views of Toronto’s skyline.

For the adventure seekers, the islands have plenty of water activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. I rented a kayak and paddled around the islands, taking in the beautiful scenery and feeling the breeze on my face.

No matter what your interests are, the Toronto Islands have something for everyone. The attractions are well-maintained and offer a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Food and Drink: When it comes to food and drink on the Toronto Islands, there are plenty of options to satisfy any craving. During my visit, I stumbled upon a charming cafe called Island Cafe. It had the perfect atmosphere for a peaceful lunch, with outdoor seating and a stunning view of Lake Ontario. I highly recommend their avocado toast and fresh squeezed orange juice.

For those who prefer a more casual dining experience, there are several food vendors scattered throughout the islands serving up classic summer treats like ice cream, hot dogs, and funnel cakes.

For a unique dining experience, check out the Rectory Cafe. This historic building used to be a church, but has been converted into a cozy restaurant with a beautiful patio overlooking the water. The food is delicious and the ambiance is unbeatable.

And of course, no trip to the Toronto Islands would be complete without a stop at the Island Mercantile for some refreshing drinks. They offer a variety of drinks including craft beers, local wines, and even non-alcoholic options like kombucha.

Conclusion: Summarize the key points of the article and encourage readers to visit the Toronto Islands.

– Reiterate the beauty and charm of the Toronto Islands.
– Encourage readers to explore this hidden gem for themselves.

Accommodations: When I visited the Toronto Islands, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of accommodations available. For those who want to stay overnight, you have a few options. If you’re looking for a hotel, there’s the historic and grand Royal Canadian Yacht Club, which offers cozy rooms and stunning views of the lake. My personal favorite, however, was the bed and breakfast option. I stayed in a charming house that was converted into a bed and breakfast, with a beautiful garden and a deck that overlooked the water. The hosts were incredibly welcoming and made me feel right at home.

For the more adventurous, there’s also the option to camp on the islands. I met a group of friends who had set up camp and were enjoying a bonfire by the water. They told me that camping on the islands is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the islands and that the campsites are well-maintained and equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay.

No matter what type of accommodation you choose, booking is relatively easy and can be done online. However, I would recommend booking in advance, especially during peak season, as availability can be limited. Overall, the accommodations on the Toronto Islands are a great way to extend your stay and fully immerse yourself in the island experience.

Hidden Gems:

As someone who has been to the Toronto Islands multiple times, I can attest to the fact that there are many hidden gems that are often overlooked by tourists. One of my favorite places to visit on the islands is the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, which is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes. The lighthouse is no longer in operation but it has been preserved as a museum and it is open for tours.

Another hidden gem on the Toronto Islands is the Rectory Café. This charming café is located in an old rectory and it offers incredible views of Lake Ontario. The food is also delicious, with a menu that features locally sourced and organic ingredients.

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path activity to do on the islands, I would highly recommend renting a kayak or paddleboard and exploring the lagoons. The lagoons are a peaceful and serene place to paddle, and you can often spot turtles, fish, and even swans.

Finally, if you are a fan of art, be sure to visit Artscape Gibraltar Point. This artist retreat offers residencies for artists and it also hosts events and exhibitions throughout the year. Walking through the studios and seeing the works in progress is a unique and inspiring experience.

Overall, the Toronto Islands have so much to offer beyond the typical tourist attractions. Exploring these hidden gems is a great way to have a more authentic and memorable experience on the islands.