Toronto Islands: City Escape

The view from the Toronto Islands ferry

One of the many things I love about this gigantic sprawl called Toronto is that on any given day you can end up very far from where you thought you’d be.

And I don’t mean that literally. In an always evolving metropolis full of endless options – a side street, friendly suggestion or long wander can lead you to a handful of hours that are delightfully unexpected and instrumental in furthering your love for the Big Smoke. I feel like this happens to me most weekends.

Yesterday afternoon was no different. After a week of wonderful birthday celebrations for both Meghan and Kaylee – which included champagne at Tuesday night softball, lovely gifts, a heartwarming surprise visit from the Ottawa nuts and many, many laughing fits – I decided Kaylee and I needed to top off the festivities with a new Sunday activity that took us away from downtown crowds. And so, after some brainstorming, Kaylee, myself and our two friends ventured over to Hanlan’s Point – a portion of the beautiful Toronto Islands – to have an extravagant champagne and cake-filled lunch and afternoon of beach lounging. This adorable outing was the definition of proof that you don’t have to venture far to feel like you’ve accomplished a total city getaway.

If you’ve yet to explore either Hanlan’s Point, Centre Island or Ward’s Island, the waterfront picnic parks that make up the Toronto Islands, you have to do so immediately. When one thinks about trekking to an island, you might think it calls for planning, hassle and hours of your time. Wrong. I was amazed at the ease and convenience of this beautiful jaunt across the pond, considering the bliss we were treated to upon arriving. We effortlessly strolled onto a harbourfront ferry (at Queen’s Quay between Yonge and Bay) after a five-minute wait, instantly found a picnic table in the acres of green grass and weeping willows, had a stretch of soft beach all to ourselves and readily hopped right back on a ferry at the end of our relaxing day. The entire endeavour was almost all too simple considering our only fare paid was for baguette, spreads, cake and champagne – and our only moments of waiting were between turning on to our backs and fronts as we sprawled on beach towels.

Whether as part of a group outing, date or a leisurely solo excursion (one of my personal favourite things) – anything that includes a refreshing boat ride and sandy beach perch is one of the most beautiful ways to spend an afternoon, in my mind.

PS Our dear friend Cass, who joined us yesterday, was able to (cutely) tick a Toronto Island visit off her city “bucket list.” Do you have a bucket list for your city? I think it’s a great idea and we’d love to hear yours – comment below!

Full bellies, happy girls

Beautiful birthday girl and cake!

My first non-vegan cake in 10 months! (Insert major stomach ache here)

Heaven.

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This entry was posted in Lifestyle, Travel and tagged , , , , , , by Jess Huddleston. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jess Huddleston

Jess (@JessHuddles) is the music mama and song savvy nut of in a nutshell. Since she was young, Jess has noticed new acts, harassed people to find out what tune is playing and asked everyone to repeat themselves because she's plugged in. After completing a journalism degree at Carleton University, Jess stepped into the world of communications, music publicity and magazine writing, while still making time each day to share sounds. Although this funny gal also has a strong passion for fashion and all things pop culture, you're most likely to hear her rave that a particular song or album will "change your life." * Bad Habit: Smart Food. * Favourite Food: Avocado everything. * Favourite Restaurant: La Carnita. * Wine of Choice: Merlot. * Favourite Band/Artist(s): The Boss, Ryan Adams, The Walkmen, Band of Horses. * Favourite Song: All Springsteen songs, "Sweet Thing" by Van Morrison, “Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John, "I Go To The Barn" by Band of Horses and "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding. * Fashion Icon: Emily Weiss. * Favourite Movie: Only You, Forrest Gump, The Departed. * TV series: Breaking Bad or Friends. * Sport: Basketball and Soccer. * Team: Duke... but, realistically, Florida. * Blackberry or Iphone: iPhone. * Favourite Books: The Great Gatsby, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and all Kerouac.

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