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Where in Toronto?
Boundaries of the 'hood

TTC: Union Station, then streetcar southbound; transfer to Island Ferries

Belongs to, falls in, or is a part of...
• Former municipality Old Toronto
• Municipal Ward
• School Ward
• Community Council
• Federal Riding
• Provincial Riding
• Residents' Association
• Missed something, put it here!
Best known for
• Maybe it's got a cool event
• or even another event
• or a secret or whatever!

One Sentence Description

We're the neighbourhood with the coolest tagline!

About this neighbourhood

Toronto’s own island community offers a quaint summer amusement park, paddleboats and bikes for rent, in-line skating paths, and plenty of grass and beach area for picnics. Best of all, there are no cars! Summer cottages from the 1920's are home to some 250 families, and feature charming English-style gardens. The Islands are a 10-minute ferry ride from the docks located at the foot of Bay St.

What's Fun ?

Some 1.2 million people visit the Islands each year, via a 10-minute ferry ride which departs from the foot of Bay Street. Ferries run year-round and are part of the city’s public transit system. The Islands provide the most spectacular view of Toronto’s impressive skyline, and are user friendly; signs instruct visitors to “Please walk on the grass”! There are no cars allowed, which make the area a favourite for cyclists, walkers and rollerblade enthusiasts. The many lagoons and waterways are populated by ducks and swans, and some areas are off-limits to people, designated instead as “wilderness zones” for migratory birds.

The three major islands - there are eight islands with names and several without - are connected by a tram system. And each has its own atmosphere. The most popular is Centre Island, which features huge picnic areas, greenspace, a maze, a beach, a chapel, and award-winning gardens. It also features an amusement park geared towards younger children. 'Centreville' has some 30 rides, a petting zoo featuring farm animals and pony rides, and picturesque swan boats circling a small lagoon.

Hanlan’s Point provides a quieter escape, with an excellent clothing optional beach and is home to Toronto’s famous haunted lighthouse.

Wards Island, the easternmost, is home to quaint cottages, wildflower gardens, and a boardwalk along its southern, lakeside edge.


Cheap eats and not so cheap eats, oops, make that ambiance!


The network of islands, collectively referred to as “The Island”, were originally a peninsula which offered the area a naturally-protected harbour. However, the peninsula was broken up into six islands during a raging storm in 1858, and were cut off from the mainland by a channel which was subsequently dredged and deepened artificially.

While Native Canadians had long resided in the area, the first Europeans to settle on the peninsula did so in the 1830s, using it as a fishing base. By the 1920s, the islands had become a summer retreat for the city’s wealthier citizens, with dozens of permanent cottages and a large tenting ground. On weekends, an amusement park and baseball stadium attracted thousands of visitors from the mainland. An outing to The Island became a relaxing, affordable getaway of choice for Toronto residents.

The Islands were transferred to the newly-created regional Toronto government in the mid-1950s, with the intent of turning the entire area into one large park by removing all the cottages and other structures. However, residents on Wards Island and Algonquin Island refused to leave, and remain to this day on 99-year leases. While the residential use of the Islands is relatively limited, it is still somewhat controversial, and the Island residents have formed a closely-knit community in order to make their interests heard by the municipal government.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force trained at the Toronto City Centre Airport during World War II.

Before breaking into the major leagues, Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a professional baseball player during a game played at Hanlan’s Point Stadium on Sept. 15, 1914. Although a downtown Toronto bar displays what they claim to be the actual baseball he hit that day, other sources suggest that the ball remains somewhere at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

The oldest structure still in its original location on the Toronto Islands is the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. Built in 1808, the lighthouse guided ships into Toronto Harbour for almost 150 years, until it was replaced by an automated lighthouse in 1958.

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

Neighbourhood personalities, for example...

  • the nice librarian

  • the cool busker

  • the friendly crossing guard

and where to meet them.

Housing and Accommodations

What's the housing scene like? How much for how much? Architecture Styles. Price Ranges. How new or old are most of the housing here? Condominiums, Townhouses... Major complexes, best apartment buildings, golden cockroach award? If applicable: Hotels / Motels / Hostels / Bed and Breakfasts for out-of-towners, here's the scoop.


For those who miss the last ferry back from the Islands to the mainland (around 11:30 p.m.), a water taxi service is always on call.

Transportation overview, transit options, bike lanes, official routes, highways, Bus. Streetcar. Subway. TTC routes which pass through or cover this neighbourhood. TTC stations / Go Transit / Greyhound Stops

Major Streets and Intersections

Major thoroughfares through this neighbourhood, if any. Existing ones or those planned for the future. Major North-South streets. Major East-West streets.

Parks and Recreation

Indoor outdoor pools, wading pools, waterslides, splashpads, arenas, rinks, golf courses, etc Off leash dog walking areas. Nice places to walk and talk.


Also see Neighbourhoods for info on other areas of Toronto