How to go Toronto Island

A city escape like no other, the Toronto Islands offer a diverse array of attractions and activities, catering to all tastes and preferences. From picturesque beaches to thrilling amusement parks, park facilities, and mouth watering dining options to breathtaking city views, there’s something for everyone. Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure? Join us as we explore the wonders of the Toronto Islands, discover the various transportation options, and provide you with essential tips on how to go to the Toronto Island, making your visit a truly memorable experience.

Short summary

  • Access the Toronto Island via Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, or opt for a faster trip with the Toronto Island Water Taxi.
  • Explore attractions such as Centre Island Beach, Franklin Children’s Garden, Pier and downtown views of CN Tower from Olympic Islands Lookout.
  • Enjoy a range of activities including biking, disc golf, kayaking and more. Plus dining options to suit any appetite.
How to go Toronto Island

Getting to Toronto Island: Jack Layton ferry terminal

Your journey to the Toronto Islands begins at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, the main departure point for ferries to this enchanting island paradise. Located at the base of Bay Street and Queens Quay, the terminal offers a range of amenities, including washrooms, payphones, a ticket vending machine, an indoor waiting area, and a snack bar, all just steps away from the ferry (boats) docks.

To set sail to the islands, you can buy tickets or purchase tickets for the ferry docks online or directly at the terminal. Buying a return ticket beforehand is also recommended.

Once you reach Toronto Island with your ferry tickets, don’t forget to rent a bicycle at the Toronto Island bicycle rental locations to explore the islands with ease.

Toronto Island ferry service schedule

The Toronto Island Ferry Service connects the city to the three main islands in Lake Ontario: Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island, and Wards Island. when the ferry departs the ferry ride typically takes 10-15 minutes, offering a pleasant journey across the lake. To ensure a smooth visit, it’s crucial to check the ferry schedules for each island and plan your trip accordingly.

Ward’s Island ferry schedule

The Ward’s Island Ferry Schedule operates from Monday to Sunday and holidays, with the first ferry departing at 6:30 am and the last one leaving at 11:20 pm. Please note that the schedule is subject to change, so it’s advisable to consult the official Toronto Island Park website for the most up to date information.

During peak periods, you may experience wait times ranging from 30 to 60 minutes for the Ward’s Island ferry. To avoid the rush, consider visiting the island during off-peak hours or weekdays.

Centre Island ferry schedule

Centre Island, the heart of the Toronto Islands, is a popular destination for visitors, boasting numerous attractions and activities. The Centre Island Ferry schedule includes multiple departures throughout the day trip, starting from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The ferry operates on a 15 minute interval, ensuring a convenient connection to the island’s main attractions.

Keep in mind that the Centre Island ferry tends to be busier than the other routes, so plan your visit accordingly and be prepared for possible wait times during peak hours.

Hanlan’s point beach ferry schedule

For those seeking a more secluded experience, the Hanlan’s Point Beach Ferry Schedule caters to visitors looking to explore the island’s clothing-optional beach, disc golf course, and other attractions. Operating from Monday to Sunday and holidays, the first ferry leaves at 6:45 am, and the final one departs at 11:15 pm.

As with the other ferry schedules, it’s important to consult the official city of Toronto Island Park website for the most current information, as the schedule is subject to change.

How to go Toronto Island

Alternative transportation: Toronto Island water taxi

If you’re looking for a faster and more personalized way to reach the Toronto Islands, consider taking a water taxi. Although more expensive than the ferry, water taxis offer a more intimate experience and picturesque views of the city skyline.

Whether you’re on a tight schedule or simply prefer a more luxurious journey, the Toronto Island Water Taxi is an excellent alternative to the ferry service, ensuring a memorable trip to this beautiful island getaway.

How to go Toronto Island

Exploring Toronto Islands: top attractions and activities

Once you’ve set foot on the Toronto Islands, you’ll be spoiled for choice with numerous attractions and activities to discover. From the bustling Centre Island Beach and Pier to the stunning downtown Toronto views and the unique Billy Bishop Airport observation, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into these top attractions, providing you with all the necessary information to make the most of your visit to the Toronto Islands.

How to go Toronto Island

Centre Island beach and pier

A must-visit destination on the Toronto Islands, Centre Island Beach and Pier offers a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy. With its sandy beach and refreshing waters, it’s a perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing, while the Centreville Amusement Park provides endless entertainment for small children, kids and adults alike.

Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque boardwalk at Centre Island Pier, or rent a canoe or kayak to explore the surrounding waters. Whatever your preference, Centre Island Beach and Pier is sure to leave you with lasting memories of your Toronto Islands adventure.

Downtown Toronto views

How to go Toronto Island

One of the most striking aspects of visiting the Toronto Islands is the unique perspective it offers of the city skyline. From various points on the islands, you can marvel at the stunning downtown Toronto views, including the iconic CN Tower. While enjoying Toronto tours, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this beautiful area.

Some of the best vantage points can be found at Olympic Island Beach and Toronto Islands Lookout, slightly beyond Centreville. Be sure to bring your camera and capture these breathtaking panoramas as a keepsake of your visit.

How to go Toronto Island

Billy Bishop airport observation

For aviation enthusiasts, the Billy Bishop Airport Observation is a must visit attraction on the Toronto Islands. From a safe distance, you can watch planes take off and land at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, situated on one of the islands.

In addition to the thrill of plane spotting, the airport observation area also offers views of the Toronto skyline and Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. This unique attraction is sure to impress visitors of all ages.

How to go Toronto Island

Dining options on Toronto Islands

With a variety of dining options available on the Toronto Islands, you’ll never go hungry during your visit. Ranging from casual cafes to more upscale restaurants, these establishments offer a wide selection of cuisines accompanied by stunning views.

Some recommended restaurants include Island Cafe on Ward’s Island, Toronto Island BBQ and Beer Company, The Riviera on Ward’s Island, and The Island Greek Grill. Whether you’re craving a quick bite or a leisurely meal, the Toronto Islands have you covered.

How to go Toronto Island

Toronto Island park: recreation and outdoor activities

Beyond its beautiful beaches and exciting attractions, Toronto Island Park offers a range of recreational and outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. Rent a bicycle and explore the island’s picturesque walking trails, or try your hand at disc golf, a unique sport similar to traditional golf but played with a frisbee instead of a ball and clubs.

Water sports enthusiasts can indulge in kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing, while nature lovers can immerse themselves in the park’s lush green spaces and tranquil surroundings. There’s truly something for everyone at Toronto Island Park.

Tips for visiting Toronto Islands

To make the most of your visit to the Toronto Islands, consider the following tips. First, pack essentials such as sunscreen, a hat, a reusable water bottle, and a packable travel towel for a comfortable day at the beach. If you plan on needing bike rentals, bring a bandana or hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Additionally, choose the right transportation method for your needs, be it the cost effective ferry or the faster, more personalized water taxi.

Finally, plan your itinerary in advance to ensure you make the most of your time on the islands and visit all the attractions and activities that interest you.


In conclusion, the Toronto Islands offer a diverse range of attractions and activities that cater to visitors of all ages and interests. From the bustling Centre Island Beach and Pier to Ward’s Island and the secluded Hanlan’s Point Beach, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

With various transportation options, including the affordable ferry and the faster water taxi, getting to the islands is a breeze. By planning ahead, packing essentials, and choosing the right transport method, you’re sure to have an unforgettable adventure on the Toronto Islands.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best way to visit the Toronto Islands?

Exploring the Toronto Islands by walking or biking is the best way to experience all that they have to offer. You can bring your own bike on the ferry or rent a bike from Toronto Island Bicycle Rental.

How to get to Toronto Island by TTC?

Take the subway or GO train to Union Station, then board any streetcar south to Queens Quay Station. From there, proceed up and across the street to the ferry dock to reach Toronto Island.

What is the main departure point for ferries to Toronto Islands?

The main departure point for ferries to the Toronto Islands is the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

What are some popular attractions on the Toronto Islands?

Toronto Islands offer an idyllic escape from the city, with popular attractions including Centre Island Beach and Pier, downtown Toronto views, and Billy Bishop Airport observation.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, from swimming and kayaking to picnicking and biking. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes to explore, as well as a variety of shops and galleries.