It was a long weekend this weekend. Toronto seems to have one every month in summer, not that I am complaining!
This weekend I felt disappointed we were staying in Toronto. I feel eager to get out and explore the wilderness beyond the city walls – but we had a couple of commitments that meant we needed to stay put.
That is one of the things I have found hardest about moving to Canada. In the UK I am so used to just being able to hop on a train for a couple of hours and be in a whole new place – be it a new city, or the seaside, or the countryside. Or getting a budget airline across to Europe for a cheap and cheerful holiday. Here, unless you have a car, or a lot of money for a flight, I find you can feel slightly trapped in the city. It’s hard to appreciate the sheer vastness of the country, and you can’t simply pop between places quite so easily.
That is why I am so thankful for Toronto’s green spaces and many parks. And this weekend to escape the hustle and bustle of the city we took the short ferry ride over to Toronto Island Park.
It wasn’t the most glorious day weather wise, with a fair bit of drizzle in the air, but that did mean we barely had to queue at all for the ferry – and the park was probably overall quieter than a typical long weekend day.
The ferry ride over takes around 15 minutes (once you are on the boat) and cost 7.50 CAD for an adult return. Pretty reasonable in my opinion. There are three different ferry options arriving at different locations around the island – we took the ferry to centre island as this is where the main bulk of the attractions are.
The area around the ferry terminal when you arrive is pretty busy – with lots of families, many visiting the islands fun fair. Venture away from this area and you will be sure to find some tranquility. The island also offers stunning views back over to Toronto’s skyline.
A fun way to see the island is to hire a quadricycle. Its 18 CAD per hour for a two seater – but you can hire four seaters too.
We hired the bike for two hours and found that plenty of time to cover most of the island. However, you can’t really take the quadricycle down the smaller tracks – so I would like to go back and visit again by foot – to discover the slightly more ‘off-the-beaten-track’ spots.
Once we had finished our tour of the island, we enjoyed a beer on the beach before nosing around the island’s farm and maze.
Towards mid-afternoon, the clouds were starting to look threatening. We thought we best make a quick exit back across the water before getting caught out in a storm.