On what has actually turned out to be the one of the cloudiest days of this month, we hopped on a ferry over to Toronto Island to explore. I’d been to Vancouver Island but never Toronto Islands and aside from knowing that they were in no way meant to be the same, knew nothing about the Islands. I don’t even know why I mentioned Vancouver Island, really.
Anyway, the ferry costs $7.87 (return) and with that you can get on any of the boats leaving (there are three – going to Hanlan’s Point, Ward’s Island and Centre Island). We got the ferry to Ward’s Island and walked from there to Hanlan’s point, where we got the returning boat.
The walk itself only takes about an hour depending on how often you get sidetracked by lighthouses, boats, beaches and the many other things you can come across there. As it’s October, the Island was quite quiet – on Centre Island there is a theme park, which was closed for the season when we were there. I imagine it gets a lot busier in peak season though!
Hamilton and I were amazed by how serene and homely Ward’s Island felt, considering it is only a 15 minute boat ride from downtown Toronto. If those islands were near London, they would be overpopulated and pricey as all hell. In fairness, I don’t know how much it costs to live there but it seemed like a lovely place to escape, or retire to; there weren’t that many houses, it was lush and green, and filled with nice beaches. Ok, the Centre Island is a lot more touristy but it didn’t seem like people lived there. There’s also an airport on the island, which is fun.
As we got off the boat we overheard two women bump into each other. One had a baby and some shopping bags, the other had a bicycle and insisted that she could take the shopping bags back to her house for her. A small gesture in the grand scheme of things but a lovely one at that.
The whole place had a really chill atmosphere (probably because most of the tourists weren’t there) and was really lovely to walk around. Its really not that far from the hustle and bustle of the city and the beaches are legit really nice. There are so many beaches and green spaces around Toronto that I must say, top London. Even though it’s a fairly big city with skyscrapers and a subway system, it doesn’t feel that big and I think all of these places people can escape to are partially what makes the difference. London is so crammed and crowded, if you want to find some peace you have to basically go to another place entirely (I still love London a ridiculous amount, don’t get me wrong).
We didn’t spend that long on the Islands but I think we got a good feel of the place and I would like to return when its warmer (I’m aware I might have to wait a while). There are loads of little Islands as well as the main ones, so there’s plenty to see if you did want to spend longer there.
There are also places to eat and drink, though less than in the busier months as a lot of places were closed when we were there. We had lunch in a place called ‘The Carousel Cafe’, which was next to Centreville Amusement Park. I can imagine it makes sense as a place to eat if you’re at the theme park but it felt a bit random for us. We were just really hungry and we went into the first place serving food! The food itself was good but the interior was a bit odd; there were tiny birds flying around and a bit of a mess in general. I didn’t take any pictures but take my word for it.
We still have a lot more of Toronto to explore but we’re trying to do all the outdoor things before it gets too cold, then we’ll get to the museums in winter! If there is anything you can recommend we are all ears!