Toronto: an island walk

Our week in Toronto started in sub-zero temperatures and ended around 15°C! However, apart from some snow on the second day, we didn’t get wet and the first day was so bright and clear we thought it was ideal for a walk on the Toronto Islands. We started at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, named after a former city councillor and federal Member of Parliament whose memorial was just outside with the slogan “Jack’s got your back”.

After a short ferry ride, we got off on Ward’s Island. It and the other 13 islands which make up this small archipelago are joined by a series of bridges and make a very pleasant walk with the Toronto skyline on one side and Lake Ontario on the other. We started by watching the ferry make its way back.

Then we walked over Ward’s Island Beach and took the boardwalk along the Lake to Centre Island.

The islands are probably heaving in the summer – there are amusement parks for children and other attractions – but we saw more birds than people.

From the pier on Centre Island, we crossed over to the Toronto side with good views of the ubiquitous CN Tower.

On our way back to Ward’s Island, we came across the small church of St Andrews on the Lake (the islands are inhabited, so it’s a functioning church).

We then had a decision to make – it was lunchtime and our stomachs were rumbling. Get the ferry back and choose somewhere in the city, or take our chances with the only island café which was open? The delicious smells emanating from the Rectory Café made this a no-brainer – in fact, I would say that it would be worth getting the ferry over just to visit it, so good was our lunch.

Rectory Café, Ward's island
Rectory Café, Ward’s island
After lunch, we caught the ferry back and continued our walk along the Lakeshore. Now, I had looked at the price of going up the CN Tower before we left home and thought it was ridiculous – I’m not mean, but I felt it was too much to pay just to ride in an elevator. However, as the Tower got closer it looked so enticing and the skies were so clear that we knew we’d get great views – so in we went.

Once there, it seemed churlish not to pay the extra $12 to travel as far as we could to the SkyPod which, all in all, meant we left about $100 lighter than when we went in. Was it worth it?

Well, the views were good (bearing in mind that these were mostly taken through rather dirty glass) so I’m glad we did it – but I still think it’s a rip-off!

I’m linking this post to Jo’s Monday Walks – pop on over to see where she, and her other cyber-walkers, have been this week.


  1. Hi Anabel. Will I ever be able to catch up after the AtoZ Challenge? I’m despairing. But here I am, anyway 🙂

    Loved this photos. I like the one with the swans so much.
    And the CN Tower… well… I suppose I would have done the same. I mean, if you hadn’t, you might have come back thinking, why the hell didn’t I go in, it’s just once in a lifetime. But it IS a rip-off.


    • Hi, I can see your catch-up with all the flags popping up on my WordPress app! Yes, I don’t really regret it – it’s a rip-off but we did get great views and now I never need to do it again.

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