toronto islands

10 fun things to do on the Toronto Islands this summer

The Toronto Islands are filled with fun things to do all summer long. A quick ferry or water taxi ride will transport you to this little piece of  paradise for a day of sports, food, relaxation and live music. 

Here's a round-up of fun things to do on the Toronto Islands this summer.

Visit Artscape Gibraltar Point

Artscape Gibraltar Point is home to 15 artists-in-residence, and it also provides studio space for visiting artists. It's also worth checking out the nearby Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. It's one of the oldest buildings in Toronto, and the site of one of the city's best know ghost stories.

Get lost in a maze

There used to be a maze on Centre Island, until it was destroyed because the city didn't deem maintaining it worthy of funding. In the summer of 2013, business person William Meany pledged $200,000 to have it remade, and now the perfectly confusing and lush green shrub maze is open to all. 

Play frisbee golf

No money or reservations are needed for this super relaxing Island activity. Just bring a frisbee, some friends and a flick of the wrist for a relaxing game. Find the metal posts that kind of look like mini-carousels on poles and throw your way through the 18-hole course.

Skip the ferry and take a canoe

There are plenty of places to rent a canoe in Toronto, and if you feel like having your own little adventure, you can skip the ferry and paddle on over to the Islands. You'll have to pass a simple test to rent from the Harbourfront.

Go lawn bowling

There's something classy and kitschy about lawn bowling, don't you think? It's a sport where you dress up and knock some heavy balls around with a cocktail in hand. The clubhouse on Ward's Island hosts lawn bowling nights weekly, so check the schedule.

Stay at a Bed and Breakfast

There's something so romantic about staying at a cozy bed and breakfast, especially when it's tucked away on the island.  If you want to get away from the heat and noise of the city for a night, check out one of these cozy B&Bs for an easy-weekend getaway.

Learn how to SUP

Stand-up paddle boarding is definitely a thing this summer, but Toronto Island SUP is extra special because of the view you get while balancing around on the lake. It also hosts nighttime SUP adventures and yoga on the boards.

Take off all your clothes at Hanlan's Point

This Island spot is one of the country's only clothing optional beaches. The view (of the city and the people who visit the beach) is unbeatable, and the water is swimmable and refreshing. 

Rent a bike

Toronto Island Bicycle Rentals has a colourful fleet of single and tandem bikes, as well as quadricycles for larger groups. Prices vary but they allow you to roll around the Islands at your own leisure. Just be sure to bring some ID and your leg muscles. 

Catch a concert

While music and art festivals do happen on the Islands, there are other live music options too. The Island Cafe on Ward's Island is open seven days a week and it has a bar, a restaurant, ice cream and a garden.

Lead photo by

David Dang


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