Toronto Islands

Landscape: Willow Trees, Island, Lake Ontario | City: Toronto, ON | Amenities: piers, farm, amusement park, beaches
Date Visited: 08.31.12
Location: Toronto Islands
Size: 825 acres

North America’s largest car-free urban community can be found in the Toronto Islands off the shore of Lake Ontario. A popular weekend destination, its feature attractions include highlights such as a children’s amusement park, a lighthouse, formal gardens, a farm, and beautiful sandy beaches.

To get there, you’ll need to board the Toronto Island Ferry, which allows passengers to board with their bicycles. Since I went on the start of Labor Day weekend–it was also on the hottest, sunniest day of the week–to escape the downtown heat wave, the islands were packed with vacationing families, cyclists, and tourists.

There’s a dreamlike quality to the islands, with its car-free roads, swans, manicured lawns, and groves of towering, swaying willow trees. But though I had a lot of fun exploring the Toronto Islands, I think the kids enjoy this place the best.

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