Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day Trippin' The Toronto Islands

My wife and I made the journey down to the Toronto Islands to attend a kids birthday party on Centre Island. After the party was cancelled last minute due to a rainy forecast, we decided to board the ferry across anyways and explore this under-appreciated piece of Toronto parkland.

There are several islands just off the coast of downtown Toronto in Lake Ontario. A ferry is needed to get to the islands, but once across everything (except Billy Bishop Airport) can be reached on land routes through a series of paths and bridges.

Toronto Island Ferry making the journey across - Source 
As the birthday was cancelled there was no need to linger at our child-centric ‘Centre Island’ entry point, and we quickly headed east towards the residential Ward’s Island. As the rain started to spit we decided that a roofed 2-seater pedal car (are these considered bikes?) was the best method of transportation. While the island won’t mistake for Algonquin Park, it is almost surreal to see the secluded homes and open fields while the Bay Street skyscrapers practically still cast a shadow over you.

Toronto skyline as seen from Ward's Island
A typical home on Ward's Island
Riding the 2-seater bike across the island
Wet conditions didn't deter from the adventure!
We wheeled around on leg-power to the far reaches of Ward’s Island, exploring the residential areas that dot the island in addition to an old church house and some marinas filled with nice little sailboats (one day!). As the rain was increasing and temperatures dropping we decided to head for shelter at the local island eatery. We just ordered drinks but they served all sorts of lunch and dinner fare for those whose picnics were cut short by the weather.

Historic St. Andrew's Church 
Picturesque marina
While we were able to make the best of the rainy and chilly conditions, the Toronto Islands would be much better served on a warm sunny day when you can bring a cooler and a hibachi BBQ and enjoy the cottage lifestyle in downtown Toronto.

Mike @ Palms & Pints

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