Toronto Islands Self-guided Tour, Toronto (Self Guided)

This chain of small islands located in Lake Ontario represents a great recreation destination surrounded by a peaceful and joyful atmosphere. The chain consists of three major islands (Center Island, Algonquin or Sunfish Island and Olympic Island) and several small ones. The Toronto Islands offer a great panoramic view of Toronto. Check out the attractions listed below that these islands offer to tourists.
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Toronto Islands Self-guided Tour Map

Guide Name: Toronto Islands Self-guided Tour
Guide Location: Canada » Toronto (See other walking tours in Toronto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km
Author: ann
1
Ned Hanlan's Monument

1) Ned Hanlan's Monument

Edward Hanlan, born to an Irish hotelier, owner of Hanlan’s Point in 1855 grew up in Toronto and rowed to school. He used his rowing skills to bring freshly caught fish to the market before other fishermen. Since the age of 16, he participated in professional rowing competitions and in 1875 became the rowing champion of Ontario. Hanlan’s professional life as a sculler had just begun.

With his signature blue shirt and red headband, Hanlan went on the win the Canadian Championship in 1877, American in 1878 and the English Championship in 1879. He went on to become the Sculling World Champion in 1880 and made Canada proud. He held on to his World Championship title for another 4 years and frequently accepted challenges from other scullers. After two bouts of typhoid and losing his Championship title, Hanlan retired and set up his hotel while coaching rowers at Toronto University and Columbia University, New York. After conquering the world of sculling and successfully fighting typhoid, Hanlan succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 52.

Emanuel Hahn sculpted 9 foot bronze statue of Hanlan was unveiled in 1926 as remembrance. It was moved to the ferry dock at Hanlan’s Point in 2004 where you can visit it today. Along with naming of streets and inducting his name in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Canadians commemorated their sculling hero by issuing a postage stamp in his honor in 1980.
2
Hanlan's Point Beach

2) Hanlan's Point Beach

If you are eager to sunbathe or to spend some hours relaxing on a beach then Hanlan's Point Beach is definitely the place to go to. Hanlan's Point Beach is a public beach situated on Hanlan's Point in the Toronto Islands near Toronto, Ontario on the shore of Lake Ontario. One kilometre long part of the beach was officially recognized by the city in 2002 as being clothing optional, so Hanlan's Point Beach is also famous for its nudists. Hanlan's Point Beach was a traditional site for nude sunbathing for decades. In 1999, Toronto City Council approved a one year pilot project for a nude beach at Hanlan's Point following a proposal by naturist organization and Councillor Kyle Rae. In 2000, the council extended the project for another two years. Finally in 2002, the clothing-optional beach was made permanent. The Toronto City Council decision was met with strong opposition from conservative councilors such as Giorgio Mammoliti. It was also an infrequent target of police crackdowns for nude sunbathing. Its official status has resulted in a distinct increase in ferry traffic, and it appears to be a profitable component of public- and private-sector advertising campaigns, since it draws visitors to Toronto. Police and park officials now work in partnership with the beach-goers to maintain the friendly atmosphere. The effective beach season starts in late May and ends in late September, while actual swimming off the beach is possible only well within this period.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

3) Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

The Lighthouse at Gibraltar Point is one of the oldest standing structures in Toronto. Built in 1808, the lighthouse was used as water’s edge, however due to constant sedimentation of sand; the structure today stands relatively inland. Measuring as high as 82 feet above the ground, the massive presence of the Lighthouse can be felt from quite a distance. Overpowering with a deep seated secret, that is what makes the Lighthouse at Gibraltar Point the most enthralling monument in Toronto.

The Lighthouse served as a watchful servant of the shore, working tirelessly for over 150 years, till it finally retired in 1958. It was then transferred into the custody of the city’s Park Department after which it has not operated as a lighthouse. Locked ever since 1958, this historical landmark only opens occasionally for tourist visits.

With a hauntingly beautiful surrounding, solitary presence of the massive structure and the age old story associated with the Lighthouse, a visit to the structure culminates as the perfect monument experience. The first keeper J.P. Radan Muller, met his gruesome and tragic end at this lighthouse. Speculated to be a murder, the suspects were never charged and brought to justice and till this day the incident stands as a mystery. Believed to have been buried somewhere near the Lighthouse, the ghost of Muller still roams freely moaning and crying on cold misty nights.
4
Centreville Amusement Park

4) Centreville Amusement Park (must see)

If you need a break from touring museums, strolling by shopping complexes and admiring monuments, the Centerville Amusement Park is the perfect getaway. Not just an average amusement park, the Centerville Amusement Park offers some of the oldest rides in the book. A proud owner of a vintage carousel that dates back to 1907, antique cars and swan boats, the Park manages to transport you to the yesteryears.

Just a hop, skip and jump away from the Union Station, Centerville Park is the most entertaining amusement park in Toronto. Nestled on an island off the shore of the main city, the Centerville Amusement Park is the place that has something for everyone.

Built in 1967, the Centerville Amusement Park has been Toronto’s most popular family holiday spot ever since. Open from June to September, most of the city’s denizens have grown up spending some of their most memorable holidays at the Park.

Although the Park may not offer over the top, adrenaline-pumping thrills, it is the best place to spend the perfect sunny day in Toronto. Spread over 600 acres, the Park boasts over 30 fun filled rides for adults and children, along with an array of food outlets where you can eat your favorite meal.

Tip:
Buy your ferry tickets online, together with ride passes & tickets to save time once at the park (you will still have to go to the ticket booth to get your bracelet, though).
You can buy individual ticket packs or a family pass which is great value if you analyze the cost of the unrestricted rides the older kids can go on.
For little ones, its better to purchase a pack of tickets rather than a day pass because they can only go on a few of the rides.
Bring a lunch, too, as there are great spots to have a picnic before you enter the amusement park.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10:30am-8pm
5
Far Enough Farm

5) Far Enough Farm

Enjoyed by over 100,000 visitors every year, the Far Enough Farm in Toronto is City-Parks-Department-run farm. This rural Ontario hobby farm established in 1959 is located on Centre Island beside Centreville and is a 30 minute walk from the Wards ferry docks. Open year around, this farm has a petting “zoo” with a variety of barnyard animals like retired police horses, pheasants, pigs, chickens, rabbits, emus, peacocks, sheep, goats , etc.

This proves to serve as a great learning resource for children and the outdoor classrooms are enjoyed by many school kids. They can learn about farm animals and agriculture here. Donkey rides and pony rides are available for children in the summer months. The farm also hosts a Fall Fair where demonstrations like goat milking, sheep shearing and wool spinning are held. The admission to the farm is free.

The farm along with Riverdale Farm and High Park Zoo may be closed soon on the proposal of the Toronto’s current City Council. Campaigns have been carried out to save the farm and a page on Facebook called “Save Toronto Island’s Far Enough Farm” has been created to do the same. The attempt to save this farm is a clear indication that this farm is enjoyed and valued by its visitors and the people of Ontario. So visit the farm today and if you enjoy your visit, be a part of the campaign.
6
Center Island Hedge Maze

6) Center Island Hedge Maze

If you want to get lost for a while and then look for the way out, then you might enjoy a walk to Center Island Hedge Maze. The Maze was given as a gift to the city by its Dutch-Canadian community back in 1967. It is open to the public and free of charge all year-round.
7
St. Andrew-by-the-Lake Church

7) St. Andrew-by-the-Lake Church

One of the prettiest churches in Toronto is the St. Andrews Church. It stands picturesquely by the lake with many parishioners coming from far and wide to attend service at the St. Andrew’s. Apart from that, the Church manages to attract many tourists because of its deep rooted traditional Anglican worship. The Church especially comes to life with the grand Christmas celebrations every year which are very popular amongst locals as well as visitors.

St. Andrew by the Lake was built in 1884. In the year 1959, it was sawed into two pieces and moved to Wards Island from its original location near a water filtration plant. There was no serious damage to the treasured stained glass windows of the Church during its successful shifting. Coinciding with the church’s centennial, the church was restored in 1984.

It is now a 25-minute walk from the Ward’s Island Ferry Dock and a 10 minute walk from the Center Island Ferry Dock.

It serves the parishioners living in Toronto and surrounding areas along with the Toronto Island community. This family church celebrates Holy Eucharist every Sunday at 10 am and is open to all. It is also used for events like weddings and concerts throughout summer months. Facilities for meetings, family gatherings, retreats and many more events are available at this Church.
8
Lush Green Garden

8) Lush Green Garden

Stretching along the board of Toronto Islands, Lush Green Garden represents a hidden meditation spot where you can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Lake Ontario.

Walking Tours in Toronto, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Toronto

Create Your Own Walk in Toronto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Toronto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is a major Canadian metropolis on the shore of Lake Ontario renowned for its dynamic pace and a high-rising skyline comprising ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture. The city boasts rich cultural scene and a multitude of green spaces, offering a wealth of entertainment and recreational facilities. To learn more about and enjoy the delights of Toronto,...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Shopping Tour in Toronto

Shopping Tour in Toronto

There are many ways to enjoy shopping in Toronto. You can either walk along the oldest streets of the city, like Yonge street and visit the huge fancy shopping centers, or you can experience the atmosphere of the historic market of St. Lawrence. This tour has it all: from small unusual stores to big "all-mighty" malls. So don't hesitate to enjoy an authentic shopping experience by...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is a major Canadian metropolis on the shore of Lake Ontario renowned for its dynamic pace and a high-rising skyline comprising ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture. The city boasts rich cultural scene and a multitude of green spaces, offering a wealth of entertainment and recreational facilities. To learn more about and enjoy the delights of Toronto,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Religious Heart of Toronto Walking Tour

Religious Heart of Toronto Walking Tour

Because it is an ethnically diverse city, Toronto has different types of churches beginning with imposing Revival style Cathedrals to small postmodernist churches.This tour however aims to introduce you to some of the most famous religious structures in the city. While in Toronto be sure to check the ones listed below.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Toronto's Waterfront Self-guided Tour

Toronto's Waterfront Self-guided Tour

Toronto is located on the shore of Lake Ontario and it is more than obvious that the locals, as well as visitors to the city, cherish and admire the alluring views of the lake. Toronto's waterfront is one of the most picturesque places for walking, but it is also a great destination for those in search of entertainment. This walking tour will reveal all the pearls strewn along the quay....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Cabbagetown Walking Tour

Cabbagetown Walking Tour

This neighborhood, located east of Toronto's downtown, was established in 1840. Once a small community of Irish immigrants and one of the poorest neighborhoods in Toronto, Cabbagetown was declared a historic district in 2004 and claims to be "the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in North America". Check out the highlights of this region, as listed below.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Toronto for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Toronto has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Toronto, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.