The Toronto Islands

Located downtown and easily accessed via a 15-minute ferry ride, the group of islands collectively known as the Toronto Islands is a great escape from the busy city. Originally formed as sand-bars from the erosion of the Scarborough Bluffs and carried by the lake currents, these islands are now a favorite recreational destination for Torontonians to relax and enjoy a countryside setting without actually leaving the city. The island chain, which is comprised of about ten or so large and small islands, is also North America’s largest car-free urban community. The western end is home to Toronto’s small city airport, the Billy Bishop Airport.


The route as tracked by MapMyHike.

There’s lots to do on the islands. In addition to the landscaped parks and wooded areas, there’s a small amusement park for kids (Centreville) and a few beaches (and yes, even a nude beach). You can also rent bicycles for the day, which is a great way to get around the area. A few weeks ago, I took the ferry across and walked the outer perimeter of the islands from one side to the other to take a few pictures. It was typical Toronto spring weather – first rainy and cold, but then the gloom suddenly cleared up.

For some of the photos I used a variable ND filter, which accounts for the somewhat odd colour cast. I probably won’t use that filter again 😦

Toronto Islands

View of downtown Toronto from the islands.

Toronto Islands

Spring bloom at Ward’s Island.

Toronto Islands

Along the boardwalk on the south side of Ward’s Island.

Toronto Islands

Migrating geese back for the summer.

Toronto Islands

Rainbow over Tommy Thompson park, a haven for migrating birds.

Toronto Islands

The Central Pier on the southern shore.

Toronto Islands

Breakwater rocks next to the pier.

Toronto Islands

An abandoned pier.

Toronto Islands

Gibraltar Point lighthouse, the oldest brick structure in Toronto.

Toronto Islands

The lighthouse door. Some say the place is haunted…

Toronto Islands

Old dock, now off-limits.

4 responses to “The Toronto Islands

  1. Wow! Great photos, especially of the pier and lighthouse! When I was younger, I had gone on an overnight field trip to the island and oddly enough, one of the days we went to the Gibraltar Point lighthouse. I remember that red door so clearly, I also remember the ghost story about the lighthouse being told to my class while inside of it, I was about 10 at the time, to say the least I was terrified!


    • Yeah, the story of the lighthouse keeper who was presumably murdered and his body never found. You’re braver than me if you went inside 🙂


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