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Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Canada, North America

Spending the day on Toronto Island, Canada

Spending the day on Toronto Island, Canada

With a city as huge and at times chaotic as Toronto – one need’s a respite; and Toronto Island is that. If you escape to the far side there is a beautiful beach and you cannot even hear the city. You can close your eyes and pretend you are far away. When in reality – you’ve found this beauty only 15 minutes from the downtown core. 

Getting to Toronto Island is very simple AND cheap. For $6.50 round-trip you catch the ferry at Bay Street and Queens Quay, aka the Toronto Ferry Docks. It is in the East end of downtown and plenty of street cars head this way and it is a VERY short walk from the subway.

I walked from Liberty Village to the Toronto Ferry Docks with this little bundle of joy. Her name is Sadie and she is a 7-month old cuddle muffin, or my cousin’s dog. Since my cousin works all day and I love dogs – Sadie and I enjoyed the 25+ weather Toronto was experiencing in March and walked our butts to the Ferry and around Toronto Island for the day.

The Island is certainly small enough to stroll around casually for a few hours, but large enough that you won’t be walking in endless circles. An interesting fact about Toronto Island is that people live on it; there are 262 homes to be exact. Families lived on the island for many years, but in 1953, with the founding of the Metro Toronto Council, the Island became city property- but not without a fight. For 20 years the Islanders protested after the City burned down some of their homes. In 1993 a settlement was reached and the inhabitants of Toronto Island were then required to pay rent to the city of Toronto to continue living on the Island which has always been their home. There is an over 100+ year waiting list to live on the Island. I suppose the Islanders don’t mind having the city as their landlord now if it keeps the populous to a minimum.

The Island is an extremely charming place. With little cafe’s, B&B’s, parks, and paths encircling the Island, you can’t help but be lured into this little beautiful escape. The Island is made up of smaller islands all connected by bridges and pathways.

The far-side of the Island is one huge expanse of beach. Stunning, sandy beach. I took off my shoes and let my toes feel the heat and wiggle around a little. They’d been trapped in shoes for 3 hours now – they deserved a good break. I sat on some wood staring out at the water and Sadie chewed on a log; she hasn’t learned about Sadie-sized sticks yet. I listened to the soft waves, laughter, and silence. This is a HUGE treat; silence; with one of Canada’s largest cities within sight on the other side of the Island. I think this is the Island’s best quality – it’s offer of tranquility.


After about 2 hours of tranquility, and sore feet, I decided to head back. I was also starting to worry that Sadie would pass out soon as every time I slowed my walking pace she would slump to the ground and try to take a nap. So we hopped on the Ferry and headed back to town. Since I didn’t want to spend the next hour walking back home, Sadie and I took a streetcar all the way up Harbour St to return safely to the beautiful neighbourhood of Liberty Village. Yes, Toronto is extremely dog-friendly and let you take dogs on streetcars!

In the end; Sadie and I had an incredible day wandering the beautiful Toronto Island. I would suggest everybody who is in Toronto to hop a ferry and spend the day. With it’s quaint appearance and its lovely wooden plank walkways; Toronto Island is almost perfect.



  1. Looking forward do doing just this, in Sunday!

    • I hope you enjoy every minute of it! It certainly is a gem outside the hustle and bustle of Toronto!


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