Toronto's Waterfront - The Island

Welcome to the historic Toronto Islands: North America's largest urban car-free community. This interconnected string of islands offers unique views of Toronto skylines, a throwback to an older era of recreation and resort life, and plenty of green space to take in. 

Before colonization, the islands were used by aboriginal tribes (Ojibwa and Mississauga) as sacred grounds, and places to bring the sick to convalesce. As York (then Toronto) expanded, the islands became known as recreational, resort stops with hotels, stadiums, beaches, and amusement parks. While the hotels are now gone, a few neighborhoods remain, and ferry access allows visitors to wander the boardwalks, gardens, and beaches at their leisure.

An amusement park still remains, as well as the Great Lakes oldest lighthouse, and if you're careful enough you'll find small hints to an older era not quite forgotten. 

For some excellent reading on Toronto's waterfront, try Along the Shore by Jane Fairburn, which provides wonderful stories, photos, and almost-forgotten history. For some important reading on the Mississauga Ojibwe people, we suggest Mississauga Portraits: Ojibwe Voices From Nineteenth Century Canada by Donald B. Smith. 

Other Tours to Consider: 
Toronto's Waterfront - The Bluffs

Toronto's Waterfront - The Beaches


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