Tuesday, July 24, 2012

8 TIPS: Toronto Islands with teenagers (also good for girlfriends)

Toronto Islands with teenagers 

Here's the outing I'd recommend if you're visiting Toronto Islands with kids.

My TIPS for a great visit with TEENAGERS
1) Check the Centre Island ferry schedule and arrive at the ferry docks (at the foot of Bay Street) 45 minutes prior to departure, with snacks and water. Note the schedule for your ride back at WARD's DOCK!!!
2) Walk straight to the south shore of the Islands (Centre Island Beach), past the bridge and the fountains to get to the Bike Rental outlet. And treat your teens with the rental of a quadracycle (2-seat or 4-seat) for an hour. (Don't hop on with them, rent yourself a normal bike.) Meet in an hour at the outlet. It was totally worth the $17/hour cost, according to my 15-year old companions. BRING CASH for the rental ($30 deposit).
3) They won't be too keen on the 20-min walk along the boardwalk towards Ward's Island (east of the rental outlet) but they'll appreciate what comes next (and so will you).
4) Have lunch at the Rectory Café just off the boardwalk. Their patio is a real treat. Their $15 burgers are scrumptious. (Their cocktail list is impressive, I had a natural Ginger Ale and vodka cocktail.)
5) Have a swim at Ward's Beach. I prefer Gibraltar Beach, west of Centre Island Beach, but Ward's Beach is the youth's hub.
6) Head north towards Ward's dock and check one of the carless street east of the park. What a feeling!
7) Have an ice-cream at the very funky Island Café (you can see it from Ward's dock).
8) Catch a ride back to Toronto on the Ward's ferry, seriously less busy than Centre Island's.

If your teens are not starving by the time you reach the Rectory Café, go straight to the beach for a swim and eat later at the Island Café, offering less expensive and still yummy options.

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