Toronto Islands

posted in: Things to do in Toronto | 0

Center Island TorontoThe Toronto Islands are one of my favourite things about Canada’s largest city. This long chain of land can be broken down into three main areas: Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island and Ward’s Island. You’ll find plenty of green space and fun activities to keep you entertained, which include a children’s amusement park, beaches, picnic areas and kayak rentals. In addition, I believe that Centre Island holds the best spot to photograph Toronto’s skyline.


For first time visitors, Centre Island is the best place to begin your journey. It has the most things to do and offers easy access to other areas. The most notable point of interest is Centre Island Park which is a longstanding favourite of children across Southern Ontario.


As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, you can take some amazing photographs of the Toronto skyline. My favourite spot is a short distance from the Centre Island Ferry Terminal. Upon exiting the boat, keep walking left across a bridge and hug the waterline until you come across a clearing of trees.

Toronto Islands Map
Map from OpenStreetMap; labels added by Padraic


Toronto Islands Bridge
Cross this bridge to reach the best photo spots.


The following two pictures are what you can expect from Centre/Olympic Island area on a clear day. You can also get some awesome photographs from the ferry, but I enjoy having the ability to shoot at my own pace and using a tripod if necessary. For example, using a tripod and an ND filter, you can get some cool pictures with water that almost looks like glass.

There are plenty of swans that live around the Toronto Islands. If you visit on a sunny day, getting beautiful pictures is a breeze. Bring a zoom lens and set your shutter speed to something quicker than 1/200 of a second and you’re sure to get some nice pictures. I have included a couple shots that I took of the Toronto Island swans.

Toronto Skyline
A typical view of Toronto’s skyline from Centre Island.


CN Tower Black and White


Toronto Islands Swan
One of the many swans which call Centre Island it’s home.


Swan Photography

How to Get to the Toronto Islands:

Toronto Islands Ferry

There are a few options to access the Toronto Islands, but I highly recommend using the ferry. From Jack Leyton Terminal, you have the option to visit Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island or Ward’s Island. The schedules change depending on the time of year, so be sure to check the timetables with this link. The queues for using the ferry can be crazy during summer months, especially between 11:00-14:00. You don’t want to wait in line for over an hour, so make sure you visit early in the morning or after dinner.

Thanks for reading my article on the Toronto Islands and be sure to check out my Toronto City Guide!

Toronto Islands Travel Log and Guide

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