It's been decided. I have found where I want to live and it's the Toronto Islands, Canada.
I instantly felt at home in Toronto but with so many places to visit it was difficult to figure out how to split up my time with less than a week in the city. There was, however, one place I loved so much I visited twice doing my short stay - The Toronto Islands. The islands are an archipelago of 15 interconnected islands just a short hop from Toronto city and here's just some of the reason's they've become one of my new favourite places and why you'll love it too!
The City Skyline from the Toronto Islands. As soon as you board the boat at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal you know there are going to be some epic views. During the 15-minute trip over to the Toronto Islands don't forget to look back to get spectacular views over Toronto. The amazing city just seems to loom up out of the water and sparkles in the sunshine with the unmistakable landmarks of the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre easy to see.
Once you've made it to the Toronto Islands there are plenty of spots to get awesome images of the cityscape. Try Centre Island to capture the iconic buildings framed by the island greenery.
Amusement Parks, Gardens and Attractions Not only is this the best spot to view Toronto skyline but the Toronto Islands are home to a number of attractions including a small theme park, animal park and gardens.
Centreville Amusement Park is a theme park aimed at small kiddies but is actually a lovely place to walk through even if you don't have little ones. With lots of traditional rides such as bumper cars, log flumes and an antique carousel it has an otherworldly fairy tale feel. There's an abundance of snack vans too so if you're in the mood for a sugary treat here is your best bet.
Also located on Centre Island, Far Enough Animal Farm is also a great spot for families or just those who fancy making some furry friends and the farm has more than 40 different species, with goats, pigs, donkeys and lots of bird life. My first spot on the island was supposed to be the beach but having discovered the petting zoo en route I became somewhat delayed. The zoo is also free of charge.
Toronto Islands Beaches. Despite their small size, the islands have a lot of beach on offer and even better, each is served by it’s own ferry service and typically achieve a Blue Flag rating each year.
During my visits I spent most of my time on Ward Beach which is the smallest and furthest away of the beaches on the Toronto Islands but it meant I got to walk along the boardwalks which seems to run the entire length of the islands. If you don’t feel like a long walk you can take a ferry to the beach or utilise the bike paths.
Ward Beach is fairly quiet and so a good spot for lunch. It may seem a little breezy as it faces out onto Lake Ontario but after a few minutes you definitely won’t be feeling the chill. I spent a few hours sunbathing here which is something I don’t generally do and in this case turned out to be a bad idea as by the next day I was looking very burnt. As the islands are a little further out and get the breeze first, it may seem cooler on the Eastern edge but remember to keep applying that sun cream to avoid the lobster look.