toronto ferry

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

It may be true that Toronto is jokingly known as a city full of people that love to line up for all sorts of things, but waits have been far worse than usual for a handful of pretty crucial services lately, among them, passport renewals and every aspect of air travel.

This long weekend showed that another thing can be added to that list now that beautiful summer weather is fully upon us: getting to the Toronto Islands.

Anyone hoping to adventure around Centre Island, have a beach day at Hanlan's Point, or otherwise enjoy the popular attraction for a day was left frustrated waiting in huge lineups to catch the ferry across from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

It appeared reminiscent of last summer's chaos when ferries were operating at limited capacity due to the pandemic, making for hours-long lineups that snaked around the harbourfront as people flocked to catch said city-operated ferries or private water taxis.

This summer, though, those COVID restrictions are no longer in place — people are just eager to get out and enjoy themselves after years of lockdown.

"The wait times and overcrowding was awful," one resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told blogTO. "The city should be investing in more ferry service."

They added that as bad as the throngs were to get to the islands, coming back was actually worse, though the far pricier option of a water taxi was a saving grace.

"The line had to be over 1 km long. I ended up having to pay for a water taxi — the line for that wasn't nearly as long and moving steadily."

Some reported having to wait up to a whopping five hours — the majority of their planned day out — to catch a ride to or from the islands as complaints abounded on social media.

A few even tried to catch the attention of Mayor John Tory, demanding that the issue be addressed ASAP to prevent futher snags this summer as everything becomes progressively busier.

Under the current summer schedule for ferries, there are 22 trips a day in each direction to and from Centre Island (first ferry leaves the city at 8 a.m., last one returns home at 11:40 p.m.), 28 to and from Hanlan's (first leaves at 6:45 a.m., last returns 11 p.m.), and 25 to and from Ward's (first departs at 6:30 a.m., last returns at 11:45 p.m.).

The times between trips varies from half an hour at best to one hour and 20 minutes at most.

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