Escaping the City: Toronto Islands

Toronto rocks. The Eaton Centre, theatre all the time, Massey Hall, that big neon sign right in the middle of Nathan Phillips Square… I just can’t get enough! Except, of course, when small-town girl hits big city overload. All those things that make Toronto awesome are enough to drive a rural ocean-lover back to her hotel room and hide out.

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Or, as I discovered on my last trip to Toronto, just last month, you can skip the hotel food and take off to Toronto Island instead!

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A fifteen-minute ferry ride from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal brings visitors to one of the islands.

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In the summer, the islands’ beaches and amusement park would be draw enough, but in the middle of April, they were deserted, and the drizzle kept the crowds away.

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Ward’s Island has the cutest houses in a complete neighbourhood, with a view of – but isolated from – the city.

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On Centre Island, check out the bright red door on the old lighthouse, and watch the planes take off from the Toronto Island airport.

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Stop in at The Rectory Cafe for delicious soup, espresso, and cake!

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Lunch is served all afternoon, and the table by the fireplace is the perfect place to warm up after a chilly walk around the islands.

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Kids will find lots of green space to run around, playgrounds to entertain, and of course, the amusement park and beaches!

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The best views of downtown Toronto and the CN Tower can be spotted from Ward’s Island, near the ferry terminal.

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Before heading back, rent a bike and take a tour of all the beaches, or go by foot, since on the islands, nothing is ever very far away.

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What’s your favourite escape from the big city? Chat with me in the comments below, or on Facebook!

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