Summer in the City: Family Vacation at Toronto Islands

Less than 15-minute ferry ride from busy downtown Toronto lays the best summer destination - Toronto Islands.

Approximately 5 km long, Islands are inter-connected by pathways and bridges, so you can walk from one end to the other. The spectacular view of Toronto’s skyline, rich fauna & flora, and no cars allowed, makes this the best place for enjoying some quiet time away from the city. If, on the other hand, if you’re missing some excitement, kids and adults of all ages can also find something to do or see there.


  • Get up close over 40 different species of farmyard animals and exotic birds at the Far Enough Farm. You can pet the animals, learn about the different species, and have your questions answered by the farmers themselves.
  • There are many rides at the Centreville Amusement Park, and although it is geared for younger children, there are also few others rides - like Haunted House - for older kids and their parents as well. Try an antique horse carousel, a small ferris wheel, bumper cars, or a mini train that goes all the way around the park.
  • Interactive and educational Franklin Children's Gardens are divided into sections for gardening, storytelling, and exploring wildlife, with a turtle pond, sculptures from the Franklin the Turtle series, and a serpentine path leading to a hill with the view of the whole Island.


  • Sandy beaches are the perfect place for soaking up the summer sun, but you'll also find paths near them that will lead you through sand dunes to beautiful wildflower-filled meadows.
  • A good way to explore the Toronto Islands is on the water. Rent a canoe, pedal boat or kayak and leisurely paddle through the peaceful open waters and lagoon. It’s a great habitat for aquatic life with over 35 species of fish, and you can also see turtles, herons and nesting swans if you’re lucky!


  • You’ll never go hungry as there are many restaurants and fast food outlets available throughout the Island. Have the classics - hamburgers, pizza, cotton candy, ice cream - or you can opt for a family picnic as there’s plenty of open space and grassland around the Island.


  • The Island is a perfect place to play many sports. You can check all the basics - with a tennis court, a soccer field, a baseball diamond, and beach volleyball, or try the newest addition - Stand Up Paddleboarding. Of course, you can also run, jog, walk, ride (yours or rental) bike and the large open fields are ideal for yoga or tai-chi.

Because of the many activities, you can enjoy the Island even in the colder weather, from May to the late September. For more information about the history, ferry schedule and maps visit the Toronto Islands website.


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