Jun 282012

Who doesn’t enjoy a boat ride on Toronto Harbour a glorious sunny day?

Toronto Harbour from Harbour Star

Toronto Skyline from Harbour Star

How About a Tour Boat on Toronto Harbour?

Tourists on Harbour Star Tour Boat

My Fellow Tourists on the Harbour Star

As I was exploring Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, I noticed tour boats docked at the pier. Sometimes, boat tours and even those hop-on hop-off bus tours can be the right thing to do. I just don’t like to wait in line or spend a lot of time on them. When I learned that the Harbour Star was just about to leave for a 45-minute tour through some of the lagoons and canals of the 14 Toronto Islands, I bought a ticket and climbed aboard.

Along the Way

Condominium Developments on Toronto Waterfront

Condominium Developments on Toronto Waterfront

Location, location, location! There isn’t a shortage of condominium developments in Toronto and these along the waterfront seem to have met that classic real estate requirement of having a great location. King’s Landing is the building with the staggered level pyramid shape on Queens Quay.

Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline

Plane landing at Billy Bishop Airport

Plane Landing at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

This might look a little scary, but it’s just a plane coming in for a landing over Hanlan’s Point to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

Toronto has an island airport that has flights to over 15 cities in Canada and the United States. It’s named after Billy Bishop, a Canadian fighter pilot hero of World War One. To get to the airport from the mainland, you take a 90-second ferry ride. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, that is the shortest scheduled ferry ride in the world. There are now plans to build a tunnel to the airport as well.

Hanlan's Point Ferry Dock

Hanlan’s Point Ferry Dock

Hanlan’s Point is named for the the Hanlan family that settled on the Toronto Islands in 1862. Our tour guide told us a couple of interesting things about the area as we passed Hanlan’s Point Ferry Dock. There are plaques at the dock to commemorate Babe Ruth’s first home run as a professional player. It happened nearby at what was Hanlan’s Point Stadium on September 5, 1914. She also noted that there is a popular clothing optional beach located on the point. However, willow trees blocked that view as we sailed along.

Island Yacht Club

Geese and Boats at Island Yacht Club

Island Yacht Club

Island Yacht Club

Kayaks along the Allan A. Lamport Regatta Course

Kayaks Along the Allan A. Lamport Regatta Course

Bridge connecting Ward's Island and Centre Island

Bridge Between Ward’s Island and Centre Island

Red  at Toronto Island Marina

“Red” at Toronto Island Marina

Heading Back

Toronto Skyline from Harbour Star

Toronto Skyline from Harbour Star

Queens Quay Terminal

The Boardwalk at Queens Quay Terminal

Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre

This tour gives just a glimpse of the islands as seen from the Harbour Star and was just right for me that day. There are other boat tour options and ferries from the mainland docks to Centre Island. There you can disembark to enjoy an amusement park, concession stands, and all kinds of recreational activities, like biking and boat rentals. Sounds like a good way to spend a summer day!

For more information:

City Sightseeing Toronto

Toronto Islands




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  45 Responses to “Toronto Ahoy!”

  1. Toronto has such a different feel to it when seen from the water – especially on a sunny, summer day. What a fantastic selection of shots Cathy.That’s quite a mess of condos! I hadn’t appreciated how filled in it actually is.

    • Thanks, Leigh. Lots of condos along the waterfront there. Some of those locations would be pretty cool.

  2. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Toronto. Very beautiful city. Completely different perspective from the water. Reminds me a little of the Seattle skyline.

  3. I always enjoyed Toronto when I went there for business, but never wanted to live there. Your shots are great, and the city does look fantastic from the water. (BTW…I was able to get you added to Mr. Linky after a bit of tinkering!)

  4. Beautiful shots, Cathy. I love that skyline picture. I’ve always loved boat tours since it gives one such a different perspective of a city. This looks like a wonderful tour I’d gladly do if I visit Toronto. I didn’t know too much about the city but it I’m adding it to my Canada places to go.

  5. The boat looked a bit crowded but, you got some cool photos !

    • Those boat rides are quite popular. I was glad that I could just jump on one ready to leave port. I’m not much for waiting in lines.

  6. Looks like fun, seeing Toronto from a totally different angle. And I love boat rides.

  7. If I had a chance to go there, I would certainly go on a boat tour too. Everything looks so different when you’re on the water. Look at those ducks!

  8. Great photos of the skyline! I have been enjoying your Toronto posts – it’s interesting to see one’s city from the perspective of a visitor!

    • You’ve got a great city there! Hope I get back again soon. I’m sure there’s lots outside of the city I should see, too.

  9. Gorgeous photos – it looks so sunny & summery there! The skyline is beautiful too.

    Thanks for posting & linking up with us this week!

  10. “Red” looks like a cool boat! Nothing beats getting out on the water. What a wonderful day!

    • “Red” just kind of grabbed my attention. There were actually a lot of boats I would have liked a ride on that day.

  11. I also love boat tours! Especially when I get out in the water and look back at the city, the view of the buildings together is amazing =)

  12. Toronto is a place I’ve heard so many great things about, but haven’t seen for myself yet. Thanks for the photos and inspiration!

  13. I loved this, and am sorry we didn’t take to the water when we were in Toronto. Your pictures make me feel cooler on this hot Arizona day.

  14. I was just looking at booking a trip to Toronto and the surrounded areas this morning, so this post is perfect timing! On another note, did you meet up with Ayngelina while you were there?

    • Be sure to check out my other Toronto posts, too. You’ll love the city. Ayngelina and I tried to get together, but timing didn’t work out. 🙁

  15. We’ve been in Toronto last year. Its only 4-5 hours by car from Michigan we’re we stayed at. I agree with you location is always important. Toronto is expensive place to stay but your photos are inviting to visit the place. I never been in this place wish to visit and explore Toronto in our next adventure.

    • Nice that you live in the great state of Michigan! Lots to do there and I’ve got fond memories of camping at lakes there when I was a kid. 🙂

  16. Great photos, Cathy! A boat tour is the perfect way to see Toronto.
    It turned downright chilly since I arrived, no boat rides for me!

  17. I am with you on the boat tours and the hop on, hop off. Sometimes they are the best way to save precious travel hours, pick out what you want to see and then head off on your own. These photos are great; I love the blue sky. . .we haven’t seen a lot of that in the Seattle area lately.

    • Thanks, Jackie. We even take boat tours in our own city when visitors come. We enjoy them as much as they do!

  18. If only I wasn’t so seasick…

  19. I’ve been thinking of visiting Toronto. You pictures certainly make it look like its worth a visit.

  20. What a great way to explore the city! Looks like it was the perfect day too.

  21. You know I have never done this, and didn`t even know it existed in the city. I may have to try it this summer.

  22. Makes me happy that I can provide a tip for a local! 🙂

  23. Great set of pictures! Reminded me instantly of my friend’s series that he did on the Toronto Dragon Boat Race over there some time ago and it’s been published! You should consider offering those pics to some Toronto tourist office because it sure did make me wanna go there soon after seeing them!

  24. Oh lucky you that you just happened to be passing as the boat was ready to leave. I’m with you, I don’t like queueing for things like this but if the opportunity arises… 🙂 Look like it was worth it, too. Great photos.

  25. You know, I think Toronto is going to have to happen for me soon! It’s not too far from New York, and I have read so many posts lately about how interesting a city it is!

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