The Island

Day 2 of my little Toronto holiday commenced with Montreal style bagels. Next to waffles, they’re my favourite kind of breakfast food. 

whatta bagel

It was a beautiful fall day, with temperatures already in the teens and predicted to reach the low 20s. With the sun shining, and the beautiful orange, red, and yellow tones of the leaves surrounding us, we ditched the coats before heading onto our next adventure.

My brother, Em, & I walked through the city centre, past all the worker-bees heading into the office for the day, and headed towards the water.

toronto in fall

cn tower in fall

royal york toronto

downtown toronto

Can you guess our destination?

Two clues: 1. I’ve never been here before. 2. It’s got great views.

It’s…Toronto Island.

toronto island map

I’m actually surprised I’ve never been, but it made for all the more of an adventure.

We purchased tickets for the ferry, cracked out the map, and headed on our way.

Unfortunately, the day before, everything had changed to the winter schedule – which meant there was only one ferry, to the farthest part of the island. But, that wasn’t stopping us from enjoying it.

We stood at the back of the ferry and sailed away, taking in what was a truly fantastic view of Toronto’s shoreline.

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views of toronto skylineThe buildings stood out in all shapes and sizes as their glass twinkled in the sky, and the crisp blue water shone its reflection below. And, it was all made even more beautiful with the sun shining down on us.

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toronto skyline

In no time we had reached our destination.

The immediate peacefulness of it all was absolutely surprising. The quiet water lapped onto the shore, and even amidst a bunch of other tourists, it was utter bliss.toronto island views of the city

toronto skyline
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We spent a few moments at the beach, taking it all in, before heading on.

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It was a beautiful time to explore the island and walk along the boardwalk. Not too touristy, still warm, and full of those incredible autumn vibes.
fall trees
toronto island harbour

toronto island sign
tree leaves in fall

toronto island in fall

Again, unfortunately, the new schedule meant that bikes were no longer available for renting. But, that was no bother at all. The boardwalk was stunning, and we walked barefoot along the shore.

toronto island shore

lake ontario

lake ontario

About 2 kms in, we grabbed a spot in a grassy field, and whipped open a picnic. Popcorn, sandwiches, apples, and soda – the perfect combination.

toronto island boardwalk

toronto island

We spent a little more time touring around, finding the perfect park bench for a rest, and truly feeling like we were miles away from the buzz of the city.

toronto island

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And with that, it was back to the ferry.

Now, if you follow me on twitter, you’ll already know that the ferry ride back was a bit of a disaster, to say the least. It’s easy to laugh about it now, but in the moment it was actually quite harrowing. I’ll tell you about it briefly, because you need to be warned. First, the typical schedule has the ferry leaving the island once every 30 minutes. But for an unknown reason, it’s in the fine print that this schedule stops around 2:00, and then the next ferry doesn’t arrive until about 3:30. So, that’s about an hour and a half of people building up, thinking they’re about to hop on the next ferry any minute (us being three of them). When the ferry did actually arrive, you can imagine the crowd was a bit anxious and ready to hop on.

But wait, on this particular day, instead of letting the swarm of passengers onto the ferry, they pushed on two Uhaul trucks – and then told everyone it was full. Now, imagine how angry people were when the ferry sailed away, and that was all the info we got. But wait, it gets worse. Another 30 minutes rolled by, at which point the crowd was pushing into the gate and you could bet everyone was thinking – I’m getting on this next one no matter what. But this time, a crowd of school children flooded on, and then we were told there weren’t anymore lifejackets to fit the adults. With absolutely no explanation, the gates closed again, and we were all left wondering whether it would be another 30 minute wait (we’re up to 2.5 hours now if you’ve been counting). When the ferry arrived again, 30 minutes later, we did manage to squeeze our way on – but I can’t say it was pretty.

toronto island ferry disaster

toronto island ferry disaster

The day was still pretty wonderful though, so I’ll leave it at that! I would recommend visiting in the summer when the ferries come regularly and bikes can be rented – but if you’re looking for a quiet way to enjoy nature nearby, then definitely consider attending in the fall!

Besides, who can stay mad after this view on the way back.

toronto sunset

After that, it was off to a family dinner and a late night of heart to hearts.

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