Spend Your “Me” Time Wisely
Discover Wards Island and all its whimsical, quaint beauty.
In this day and age, it can be hard to make time for yourself. The use of cellphones as tracking devices has made it almost impossible to be unreachable. Spending time alone is important and a necessity everyone should make more time for. Ward’s Island is the perfect place to go and spend some time solo.
The Toronto Islands are a gem that many Torontonians don’t take enough advantage of. Ferries generally run every 30 minutes and once on board, it will have you there in less than 15.
Arriving at Wards Island is different to arriving at Centre. Centre Island is often packed with families and tourists escaping the Toronto bustle for the day. Yet, the amount of people on Centre Island can bring a headache in itself. Wards Island however greets you with a quaint community feel, one that you feel apart of instantly upon arrival.
Fresh & Healthy In The Sun
The Island Café is the perfect little outdoor eatery. It offers healthy, fresh items and an good selection of drinks (both alcoholic and non) for a hot day. Their housemade veggie burger is delicious and for those meat-eaters out there that think a burger isn’t a burger without some proper protein, try adding pulled pork and cheese to it for a mouthwatering fix. The island café boasts west coast brewery, Granville Islands Robson Street Hefeweizen –a full-flavored wheat beer with notes of banana and clove. I have yet to find this delicious beer on tap at any other venue in the city (except Beer Fest of course!). The servers are friendly and relaxed, in no rush to get you in and out. This is an outdoor café that welcomes lazy afternoon relaxation in the sun.
The Friendliest Beach In The City
Wards Island public beach is a great place to relax on your own. This beach is rarely busy, except for the hottest Saturdays and Sundays of summer and the obvious holidays. You’ll find an array of people from artsy locals to outdoor-lovers with their dogs. This quiet beach is the perfect setting for a nap or to read a good book. Unlike some of Toronto’s beaches, Wards has a friendly welcoming feel that will leave you planning your next trip back to the beach.
Take A Quaint Walk Back In Time
If you’re in the mood for a little sightseeing, take a stroll through the tiny carless streets that make up the residential area of the island. These houses were once the cottages of wealthy Torontonians. The houses on Algonquin and Wards island were originally summer homes for those that wanted a little more greenery and a lake view. Many of the original cottages are still standing -some even look as though they haven’t been touched in over a century.
Many of the residents live here year-round with a minimum of 260 days required on the island to own a home there. This mandatory minimum has allowed for a lovely community to grow and live amongst one another in harmony. Many of the island residents are older or retired Torontonians with a creative flair. This creativity can be seen in their interesting sometimes quirky lawn décor, lavish overgrown gardens and colourful homes.
Don't forget to cross the footbridge to Algonquin Island for the best view of the city. I recommend capturing this view at dusk on an Autumn evening, when the sky has an orange tinge.