water taxi line toronto

Toronto water taxi lines were chaotic and stretched for blocks this weekend

Toronto's overburdened ferries are often in the news for outrageous wait times and crush crowds, pushing many to opt for water taxis as a less-stressful way to get to and from the Island.

However, even the combination of ferries and water taxis proved insufficient to serve the throngs of hopeful island-goers who descended on the waterfront this Saturday.

The City had warned of higher-than-normal crowd volumes expected for Toronto's ferries over the weekend, an issue that has been present all summer.

It was a particularly busy weekend on the islands as the summer draws to a close, with multiple events hosted across the harbour.

Many showed up on Saturday, August 19, to attend the Hanlan's Homecoming event, which appears to have been a contributing factor in the long lines witnessed at ferry docks and water taxi pickup points.

Dan Trivett tells blogTO that he was planning to visit Ward's Island with his husband. Not wanting to opt for the ferry, the pair tried their luck walking west from Bay to Spadina to catch a water taxi. However, they would still have to endure excruciating wait times to reach their destination.

"We were going to go to Wards, and we were told the wait was over an hour and a half," says Trivett, who shared a photo of a long snaking line for Pirate Taxi captured at approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday

"There was a celebration at Hanlans which my husband and I considered attending, but then we saw the crowds."

water taxi line toronto

It is becoming painfully evident that demand for island access far outpaces the capacity of our City's ferry system, even with such a large share of spillover flowing into private water taxi operators.

Crowds seem to grow larger every summer, and a plan to redevelop the ferry terminal with a modern replacement has stagnated since a winning design was announced all the way back in 2015.

Other improvements, including brand-new electric ferries, are on the way, though even this plan was recently delayed until 2026 — promising another few years of the status quo.

Photos by

Dan Trivett


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