Currently, the only way to get to the islands are through a ferry service that operates roughly every 30 minutes in the summer. The line-ups to get tickets for the ferry are notoriously long however our line moved fairly quickly and we ended up arriving just in time to hop on a ferry. The view from the ferry alone is worth more than the $7 return fare!
The Toronto Islands are a chain of islands located in Lake Ontario, just off the coast of Toronto. The islands were a peninsula connected to mainland Toronto until two storms in 1852 and 1858 washed away part of the peninsula, creating a permanent channel between them. In the 1950’s, the City of Toronto initiated the process of taking over the islands and turning the community into parkland. Right now, there are approximately 300 homes still left on the island (although we barely saw any while we were there), an airport, and various community facilities, although the majority of the area has become parks and beaches.
After arriving in Centre Island, we made our way straight for the bike rental on the opposite side of the island. We had intended to get a tandem bike, but we were afraid of the coordination aspect of it so we opted for a quadricycle instead. We spent a few hours on the islands – admiring the view of Toronto, zooming around on our quadricycle, walking on the pier, checking out an old haunted lighthouse, and eating our picnic lunch. It was a fun afternoon and the weather was perfect for it.
The next day was a warm sunny day spent at Canada’s Wonderland, an amusement park just outside of Toronto, with Janet and Aunt Vicki. Since it was a Monday, there were virtually no line-ups, which allowed us to get on 12 rides in the span of 5 hours! It was intense, to say the least. Plus, Aunt Vicki, being the daredevil that she is, encouraged the two of us to join her on a bungee swing where they drop you from a tower and then you swing back and forth. Crazy.
We ended off the afternoon with on a log flume ride and a second go around on our favourite roller coaster, Leviathan.
The AGO is incredibly expansive so as soon as we walked in we knew that we would have to pick and choose what we saw. We started off with their special exhibition comparing Francis Bacon and Henry Moore. Both were 20th century British artists who shared many of the same dark themes, although their mediums were usually different. Their works were also paired with some of Bill Brandt’s photographs of England at the time and we were surprised to see some photos of Bath, Luke’s hometown, during wartime. The exhibit was well done and we’re glad we took the time to see it.
We spent the rest of our time there wandering around the museum and looking at some Canadian artwork. During our wandering we also came across a feature entitled “Arts as Therapy” which had components located around the gallery, exploring different ideas. Each area was curated based on a different theme in everyday life and included a short video by Alain de Botton explaining his thoughts.
We stayed at the gallery until the last minute and then ate a vegetarian lunch with Janet before saying farewell to Toronto! We had an awesome week and although we spent a fair bit of time on the go seeing the city, we tried to balance it as best we could.
In case you missed any of our previous blog posts about our trip to Toronto, here they are:
A Week in Toronto (Part I)
A Week in Toronto (Part II)
Niagara Falls Saturday
And here are some more pictures of our last few days in Toronto: