TORONTO, ONTARIO – Islands you say? In Canada? You betcha! As you stand in downtown T.O. (that’s short for Toronto, Ontario), gaze toward the lake. You may catch a glimpse of a cluster of lovely little islands. You can go to those lovely little islands. A ferry will take you there. One filled with screaming children and serious spandex-clad bicyclists.
Pick up the ferry at the intersection of Queens Quay and Bay Street. A very short ride and seven Canadian dollars later, you’ll find yourself docked at the islands. The massive crowd converges toward land but then quickly disperses. The stroller parade heads towards the Centreville Amusement Park, the spandex mafia quickly coasts away, and you are left staring at the map like an idiot. The good news is that you have only one mission: find the bike rental shop and hop on a rusty two-wheeler.
There are three ferry routes, but the Centre Island Ferry (the one impregnated with the aforementioned kiddies) is the one that takes you closest to the bike rentals. The shop takes cash only, and you need to have a license or a set of keys to leave as collateral. But for less than twenty Canadian dollars, you get to take a leisurely bike ride around an island! In a city! And some bikes have baskets in the front! (Let’s agree to appreciate the little luxuries in life.)
To bike around all of the islands will take only about 60 to 90 minutes. There’s a sweet boardwalk path on the lake side, great photo opps on the city side, and a collection of curious houses and cabins in between. The views of the Toronto skyline can’t be beat. It really is a peaceful park in the middle of a major metropolis.