Discover why one million visitors head to the Toronto Islands each year for family fun.
1 GUIDING LIGHT Visitors have enjoyed the islands’ lakeside charm for more than 200 years, and though history has given way to modern development, vestiges of the past remain. One the Great Lakes’ oldest lighthouses, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, has stood since 1808. It’s rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of its first keeper.
2 NURTURING NATURE Follow the squeals of delight to Franklin Children’s Garden (416-392-8192), an interactive learning environment based on the popular series of Franklin the Turtle books. Little ones can explore a tree house, learn how plants grow or sit down for story time at TD Storybook Place.
3 PEDAL PUSHERS More than 10 km of meandering paths are great for a stroll—or better yet, a bike ride! Island Bicycle Rental (416-203-0009) offers single and tandem bicycles ($7 and $14 per hour), while two- and four-seat quadricycles ($16 and $30) are a good option for families. A $10 to $40 deposit is required, depending on bicycle choice. Open daily.
4 THEME-PARK FUN A well-loved venue for family fun, Centreville Amusement Park (416-203-0405) has more than 30 rides and attractions, including the Rockin’ Ferry Boat, miniature golf and an antique carousel. Admission to the park is free, but all-day ride passes are available for $21 to $29.50. Open daily.
5 ANIMAL FARM Find the sights, sounds and smells of barnyard life at Far Enough Farm (416-392-8192). A menagerie of animals—from horses and goats to sheep, pigs and peacocks—pass the time munching on grass and mugging for visitors’ cameras. Open daily.
6 QUIET LUNCH Picnicking is the most popular way to enjoy a meal on the islands, but it’s certainly not the only option. The Rectory Café (416-203-2152) is a lovely alternative to wooden benches and overzealous seagulls. Fresh entrees are served in the small dining room or on the lovely lakeside patio, complemented by a selection of Ontario wines and premium loose-leaf teas. Open for lunch and dinner daily.
TIP! Boats depart from the Toronto Ferry Terminal at the base of Bay Street and take about 15 minutes to reach the islands. Return fares are $6.50 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and $3 for children under 15. Call 416-392-8193 for a departure schedule.