toronto ferry

Photos and videos show ferries to Toronto Islands overcrowded with people

The ferry to the Toronto Islands has been open to the public since June 27 with several safety measures in place, but photos and videos of crowding on the boats indicate that the protocols may not be working as effectively as intended. 

On Monday morning, a reader-submitted photos to blogTO of a ferry returning from the Toronto Islands on Sunday.

And while many of the passengers do appear to be wearing masks, the photos show a large number of people crowded together with little to no physical distancing. 

toronto ferry

A photo shows a crowded ferry returning from Toronto Islands on Sunday, July 26

"The ferry service is operating at half capacity and with a reduced summer schedule. Expect line-ups," reads a City of Toronto webpage on COVID-19 guidelines and procedures for the ferry. 

The page also notes that masks are mandatory on the ferry, and that visitors must buy tickets ahead of time. 

Unfortunately, footage posted to social media tells a different story. 

"toronto island ferry makes me uncomfortable just looking at it lmao," wrote Al Donato, the podcast producer for Huffpost Canada, on Twitter earlier this month along with a photo of a packed ferry. 

And a professor from the University of Toronto, Chirag Variawa, also posted a video of the ferry overflowing with people on July 13. 

One Toronto resident, who rode the ferry recently, tweeted that she actually witnessed some people remove their masks as soon as they moved past the entrance and onto the boat.

A couple of weeks ago, footage of the American and Canadian boats at Niagara Falls went viral after many pointed out the stark differences between the Maid of the Mist, which was filled to the brim with tourists, and Hornblower, which has a limited capacity of just six passengers and four crew members. 

Many said videos and photos of the two boats accurately represented the difference between Canada's response to the pandemic versus the U.S.', but one Twitter user aptly pointed out that the Toronto Island ferry is, unfortunately, looking a lot like the Maid of the Mist these days.

Here's hoping our COVID-19 case numbers don't also follow suit.

Photos by

Reader submission


Latest Videos



Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

It's going to be very wet and windy in Toronto this week as humidex set to spike

Sikh security guards dismissed from jobs at City of Toronto sites over facial hair policy

Toronto ranked one of the best cities in the world for students

Dangerous motorcycle stunt driving incident filmed on Toronto highway

Toronto store puts up coat hanger window display to advocate for abortion rights

Only one airport on earth had more delays than Toronto Pearson this weekend

The ferry terminal in Toronto is almost as out of control as Pearson Airport right now

Selfie-crazed tourists trample farmer's field near Toronto and destroy canola crops