toronto boat rental

Here are all the ways you can boat on the waterfront in Toronto this summer

You can practically feel it: summer is almost here, and in a cold city like Toronto we know we have to capitalize on every second of the warm weather by getting out to our waterfront and doing activities like boating.

There are lots of different ways to boat on the waterfront, whether you're more laid back or an adventurer.

You can rent canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, paddleboards, sailboats, powerboats and what are referred to as "bareboats" (boats with no crew or provisions included).

If you're not into paddling yourself around, you can check out marinas, yacht clubs, sailing clubs, cruises of the waterfront and islands, or take a water taxi or ferry to the island.

Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and pedal boats are good for getting up close and personal with the water and checking out nature, by paddling around the inner harbour or exploring the channels, beaches and lagoons around the island.

At Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Centre (283 Queens Quay West) you can rent canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards; at The Boat House (9 Avenue of the Island on Centre Island) you can rent canoes, kayaks and pedal boats; and at Toronto Island SUP (on Wards Island) you can rent kayaks and paddleboards and also take lessons and do SUP yoga.

If you want to learn to sail or just get driven around, you might be more into renting a sailboat or powerboat.

Gone Sailing Adventures (415 Queens Quay West) offers daily shared and private yacht charters for up to 18 people, plus sailing lessons and cruises. Harbourfront Centre Sailing and Powerboating (283 Queens Quay West) rents sailboats, powerboats and yachts to people with boating credentials, and even rents smaller powerboats to those without boaters' licenses.

There are at least 15 great cruises you can take around Toronto's waterfront, and you can get in touch with companies in advance to book. The sky's the limit here: you can experience everything from brunch on a boat to booking your own private yacht wedding.

Dining cruises are offered by City CruisesEmpire SandyGreat Lakes Schooner CompanyIsland PrincessJubilee Queen Cruises and Yankee Lady Yacht Charters. Great Lakes also does tall ship cruises.

There are several ferries and water taxis to get you to the islands, including pirate- and tiki-themed options. 

There are also about a dozen reputable marinas, sailing clubs and yacht clubs scattered around Toronto's waterfront, where boats (including visiting ones) can be docked and serviced. There are even special clubs like the Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario which provides sailing opportunities Ontarians living with disabilities.

Lead photo by

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