Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Toronto Islands Tour (Self Guided), Toronto

The Toronto Islands is a chain of islands located in Lake Ontario, comprising three major islands (namely: Center Island, Algonquin or Sunfish Island, and Olympic Island) and several smaller ones, which collectively represent a great recreation destination set in a peaceful and joyful environment. Other than a great panoramic view of Toronto, the islands offer a wealth of attractions. To acquaint yourself with the most notable of them, follow this self-guided walk.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Toronto Islands Tour Map

Guide Name: Toronto Islands Tour
Guide Location: Canada » Toronto (See other walking tours in Toronto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: ann
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Centreville Amusement Park
  • Far Enough Farm
  • William Meany Maze
  • Artscape Gibraltar Point
  • Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
  • Hanlan's Point Beach
1
Centreville Amusement Park

1) 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 a perfect getaway. Not just an average amusement park, the Centerville 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 back to the yesteryears.

Just a hop, skip and jump away from the Union Station, this is the most entertaining amusement park in Toronto, nestled on an island off the shore of the main city – a 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 here.

Although the park may not offer over the top, adrenaline-pumping thrills, it is still a good place to spend a perfect sunny day in Toronto. Spread over 600 acres, the Centerville 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 a great value if you analyze the cost of the unrestricted rides the older kids can go on.
For little ones, it is 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: 10:30 am-8 pm
2
Far Enough Farm

2) Far Enough Farm

Enjoyed by over 100,000 visitors each year, the Far Enough Farm in Toronto is a City-Parks-Department-managed attraction. 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, the 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, with the outdoor classrooms enjoyed by many school kids. Here, they can learn about farm animals and agriculture. 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.

At some point, the farm, along with Riverdale Farm and High Park Zoo, was threatened with closure on the proposal of the Toronto City Council. The ensued campaigns carried out to save the farm, combined with a page on Facebook called “Save Toronto Island’s Far Enough Farm”, clearly indicated that this farm is much loved and valued by visitors and the people of Ontario. Make sure to visit this place to see why.
3
William Meany Maze

3) William Meany Maze

If you want to get lost for a while and then wander, looking for the way out, dizzying yourself with joy which reignites something warm and fuzzy, then you might enjoy a walk through the William Meany Maze on Centre Island.

A storybook icon come to life, this maze was originally a gift to the city from its Dutch-Canadian community, and was created by Peter Vanderwerf, a landscape designer, in 1967. At some point, the maze fell into disrepair and was dismantled. It wasn't until the 2010s that it was brought back to life courtesy of the wealthy businessman, William Meany, originally from the neighboring city of Mississauga, who had a nostalgic affection for the maze that he had known and loved as a young boy, and who donated more than $200,000 towards its recreation after visiting the city in 2012.

Working with the City of Toronto, Meany donated all of the materials necessary to rebuild the maze. The construction started in May 2014 and was completed in September. The precious gift included more than 1,200 black cedars, forming the maze walls, planted approximately 50 meters northwest of the original labyrinth site.

There is something magical about the William Meany Maze that makes you feel like a kid again – and it is quite obvious why it meant so much to Meany. Restored in its original splendor, you can easily spend hours of fun here, totally disoriented, caught in dead ends, going in circles, and ultimately being fooled by optical illusions where what looks like a blank wall turns out to be the right path.

This Toronto Island Park gem is open to the public all year-round, free of charge. Make sure to discover it for yourself, and you won't regret it!
4
Artscape Gibraltar Point

4) Artscape Gibraltar Point

Just across from Gibraltar Point Lighthouse stands an old public school-turned-artists' getaway, known as Artscape Gibraltar Point. Here, thousands of people come to hone their artistic skills in the seclusion of residencies and studio spaces tucked away in the most serene setting.

A crucial Toronto art space, such as Artscape Gibraltar Point, came into being originally as the Island Public School. The oldest part of the building emerged in 1909, as a one-room schoolhouse. In 1998, following the construction of the new Island Public School, some 500 metres away to the east, the demolition of the old school building seemed imminent. However, inspired by the tranquility of the environment, the islanders opted to re-purpose the school as an arts centre. The idea took off when Artscape showed interest and offered their backing, thus enabling the islanders to save the building.

The place is open to the public for public-facing events, but to tour the facility, one has to make an appointment. The adjacent beach is open to the public, too. Among other attractions, Artscape Gibraltar Point boasts its own beautiful vegetable and flower garden.
5
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

5) 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 anymore. 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 it, a visit to the lighthouse culminates as the perfect monument experience. The first keeper of it, J.P. Radan Muller, met a 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 in the area, moaning and crying on cold misty nights. Eery...
6
Hanlan's Point Beach

6) Hanlan's Point Beach

If you are eager to sunbathe or otherwise spend hours relaxing on a beach, then Hanlan's Point Beach is definitely the place to go. This beach is a public property situated on Hanlan's Point in the Toronto Islands near the city, on the shore of Lake Ontario.

A kilometre-long part of the beach was officially recognized by the municipal authorities in 2002 as “clothing optional”, thus instating legal status of what had been a traditional site for nude sunbathing for decades before. 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. Previously an infrequent target of police crackdowns for nude sunbathing, the place, now endowed with the official status, has generated a distinct increase in ferry traffic and 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 within this period.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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.
Toronto Introduction Walk I

Toronto Introduction Walk I

Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is a major Canadian metropolis on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario renowned for its dynamic pace and a high-rising skyline comprising ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture.

People have inhabited the area of present-day Toronto for thousands of years, among them the Iroquois tribe, preceded by the Wyandot (Huron) people who had...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Toronto's Waterfront Walk

Toronto's Waterfront Walk

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: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Historic Buildings Walking Tour

Historic Buildings Walking Tour

Once an Anglo backwater, today's Toronto is the cultural and economic hub of English-speaking Canada. The city's architectural beauty is supplemented by its historical richness, with some of the buildings dating back as far as the late 18th century. This self-guided tour invites you to explore the most prominent of them, such as Gooderham, Daniel Brook Building, Massey Hall and others,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Toronto Introduction Walk II

Toronto Introduction Walk II

The provincial capital of Ontario, Toronto is a major Canadian metropolis renowned for its dynamic pace and a high-rising skyline comprising ultra-modern skyscrapers and historic architecture.

The city boasts rich cultural scene and has a diverse array of public spaces, a multitude of green spaces, offering a wealth of entertainment and recreational facilities. A host of local museums and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Toronto Shopping Tour

Toronto Shopping Tour

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: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Distillery District Walk

Distillery District Walk

The architectural treasure of Toronto's Distillery District dates back to 1859 as the site of the largest distillery in the British Empire. This former industrial complex is now a National Historic Site of Canada and represents a unique pocket of Victorian-era architecture, featuring the continent's best-preserved collection of cobblestone pathways and historic buildings housing...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


The Epic Toronto Pub Crawl

The Epic Toronto Pub Crawl

There is no better way to see Toronto’s many different neighborhoods and get a literal taste of the Distillery District, the Esplanade, downtown, the Entertainment District and Yorkville. Plus you’ll learn a little about the bar and get its highlights at your fingertips so you’ll be in the...
Traveler's Guide to Toronto: 15 Authentic Canadian Products to Bring Home

Traveler's Guide to Toronto: 15 Authentic Canadian Products to Bring Home

Toronto may well not be the whole Canada, but no Canada is whole without Toronto! By far too many things, quintessentially Canadian, associate with this bustling city, from Niagara Falls to Ice Hockey to... to mention but a few. To mention them all, check out the list of some not-to-be-missed...