Visiting Ward’s Island

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #38! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a transition week from summer to autumn, with a mix of sunny days and rainy days. First day of autumn was September 22. I think the plants need the rain since the last two weeks of August was boiling hot and dry and we haven’t had enough rain since.

One place that I wanted to visit this summer is Ward’s Island. The stars aligned and I made the trip with my family on a gorgeous morning. Even though there is regular ferry service from the mainland to Ward’s Island, we took the ferry to Centre Island then walked to Ward’s Island, about 3.2 km (2 miles).

Gorgeous view from Centre Island bridge.
Gorgeous view from Centre Island bridge.

Ward’s Island is on the east side of the islands. This is the residential part of the island where the Toronto Island community is located. For a brief history of Toronto Islands, click here.

We visited two historic sites: The Royal Canadian Yacht Club since 1854 and St. Andrew By-The-Lake Church (or the Island Church) since 1884.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club across the water.
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club history.
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club history.
St. Andrew by-the-lake church entrance.
St. Andrew By-The-Lake Church entrance.
Side view of St. Andrew By-The-Lake Church.
Side view of St. Andrew By-The-Lake Church.
Paved path to the boardwalk.
We walked along the paved path to the boardwalk.
Boardwalk to Ward's Island.
Then along the boardwalk to Ward’s Island with beautiful park and lake views.
Lake view from the boardwalk.
The water was calm, clear and some areas sparkled like diamonds in the sunlight.
Ward's Island fire station.
We stopped by the current Fire Station to see the Fire and Water clock designed by artist Gordon Peteran in 1995.
Ward's island old fire station.
The older Fire Station is further east on the same street.
A cottage.
A cottage on Ward’s Island.
Green house.
I’d love to see the interior of this green house.
White house.
and this white house.
The Island Café.
The Island Café is the perfect spot for coffee, home baked treat, brunch, lunch, or sunset dinner.
Kale garden.
The Island Café is also operating a Kale Garden, a joint initiative with the City of Toronto. People are welcome to participate in maintaining the garden and get free kale.
The Riviera Ward's Island Kitchen.
The Riviera Ward’s Island Kitchen is a casual dining restaurant and bar.
Centre Island beach.
After a walk along Centre Island beach, we walked back to the ferry dock to catch the ferry home.
Toronto skyline.
The ferry ride offers fantastic panoramic views of Toronto skyline.

Clear blue skies, pleasant temperatures, beautiful nature, and happy family time. Life is good.

How was your week? What fun plans do you have for the weekend?

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108 thoughts on “Visiting Ward’s Island

  1. tidalscribe.com September 24, 2021 / 8:08 am

    What a perfect outing, I love visiting islands, what fun to live in the green or White House.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 5:37 pm

      Janet, It was a beautiful day for this outing. I also love visiting islands and would love to rent the green or white house for a week.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Denyse Whelan Blogs September 24, 2021 / 8:09 am

    What a splendid day you had for this Natalie, and how lovely to know you were with family doing this too. Our countries have quite a bit in common thanks to the “British” heritage and more. We have Royal in front of Yacht Squadron in Sydney and many more. The hospital next to where I had my cancer surgeries is called Royal Prince Alfred (after one of Queen Victoria’s sons)…and I was christened in a St Andrew’s church in Wollongong NSW and my parents were married in a St Andrew’s Church too. The quiet of the water is such a beautiful place to view the city too. I have no big plans for the weekend…ending of 13 weeks in lockdown but I can still drive to a beach to walk, grocery shop for a few items, and come home to some art…thank you for your link up. Denyse.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 5:39 pm

      Denyse, You sure have several connections to St. Andrew’s church. I’m glad to hear your lockdown is ending. I hope there won’t be any setback. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denyse Whelan Blogs September 29, 2021 / 4:44 am

        Thank you for sharing your post for this week’s link up in Life This Week on Denyse Whelan Blogs. It’s a lovely sharing place you’ve visited and added your post. I wish you well and next Monday, the link up is Share Your Snaps…but of course, any post, old or new, on/off prompts is most welcome. Denyse.

        PS some aspects of lockdown are changing on Mon 11 October and it appears I may be able to visit my Dad.

        Like

        • Natalie September 29, 2021 / 7:34 am

          Thank you, Denyse. I hope you get to visit your Dad soon. Have a great week!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. dawnkinster September 24, 2021 / 8:09 am

    This looks like a really fun spot to visit, I can see why you’ve always wanted to go. Thank you for taking us along with you!

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 5:44 pm

      Dawn, I love going to the Toronto Islands for their natural beauty and wildlife. No private vehicles and no stores allowed on the islands so it’s very relaxing to be there. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  4. Jill Weatherholt September 24, 2021 / 8:14 am

    What a gorgeous area and the weather looks picture perfect! Thanks for taking us along, Natalie. Your photos are beautiful. Enjoy your weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 5:49 pm

      Jill, It was a beautiful day to go to Ward’s island. I was happy we made it. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  5. leannelc September 24, 2021 / 8:17 am

    What a lovely spot – imagine living there all year round….I think I could get into that – especially with that little cafe to keep me happy 🙂 Great place for a day trip too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 5:55 pm

      Leanne, Many people in Toronto want to live on Ward’s Island but there are only 262 homes and they rarely go on sale. Even to rent a cottage there is not easy so I just make day trips. The Island Cafe is a lovely place. It has a big patio facing the lake.

      Like

  6. rawsonjl September 24, 2021 / 8:35 am

    That looks like such a perfect day! Those blue skies are phenomenal.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 5:57 pm

      It was a perfect day for walking, not too hot, not too cold and calm winds. Fortunately, we do get many sunny days with clear blue skies here, even in the winter.

      Like

  7. Toonsarah September 24, 2021 / 8:44 am

    What a lovely summer day outing! The waterfront houses look great and I like the cafe too 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 5:59 pm

      Sarah, The Island Cafe is a lovely place with a big patio facing the lake. I’d love to see the interiors of those floating houses.

      Like

  8. Betty September 24, 2021 / 9:05 am

    What a beautiful spot! I am glad to know about it. Sounds like you had a really fun day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you, Betty. It was a perfect outing. We all enjoyed it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Alison September 24, 2021 / 9:37 am

    A wonderful day out, the skyline is fantastic

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 6:01 pm

      Yes, the islands provide great views of the city skyline. It was a beautiful day.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 6:03 pm

      Janis, I was so happy that our outing worked out perfectly.

      Like

  10. Liesbet @ Roaming About September 24, 2021 / 4:03 pm

    What a beautiful day – you know how I love blue skies – and such happy times. I’m glad you managed to go on this lovely excursion with your family, Natalie. It seems like it was the perfect day for an island “getaway,” 🙂 And that view of the Toronto skyline is priceless! Have a wonderful weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 6:10 pm

      Liesbet, I was happy we made it to Ward’s Island before the cold weather arrives and everyone had a good time. The ferry rides and a few lookouts on the islands give the best views of Toronto’s skyline. Thank you for joining me. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. restlessjo September 24, 2021 / 4:20 pm

    All the kale you can eat, and fresh air and exercise too, Natalie. Looks good! I’m aiming for a quiet weekend as we’ve had company all week and I’m not long home from a charity croquet event. Putting my feet up as we speak.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 6:12 pm

      Jo, Quiet weekends are great and necessary after a busy week. I look forward to your new blog whenever you launch it. Have a relaxing weekend!

      Like

        • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 9:25 am

          Thank you, Jo, for the link. I started reading back to the beginning of your new blog.

          Like

          • restlessjo September 25, 2021 / 9:31 am

            Thanks, Natalie! I’m taking it slowly because there’s a lot going on in my life right now 🤗💕

            Like

            • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 9:45 am

              Blog at your own pace, Jo. You’re the CEO of your schedule 🙂

              Like

  12. Lydia C. Lee September 24, 2021 / 5:05 pm

    That looks a really lovely spot. It’s so weird. I never thought of Canada has an ‘island’ place and then friends got a holidaty house on one in Ottowa and now this. It’s funny how you have completely arbitary ideas about places in your head #WeekendCoffeeShare

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 6:17 pm

      We have thousands of lakes in Ontario and where there are lakes, there are usually islands. Toronto is fortunate to have the islands so close to the city, about 12 minutes by ferry. I kayaked from the mainland to the islands in the summer.

      Like

  13. Debbie September 24, 2021 / 7:35 pm

    Hi Natalie, thanks for your interesting post. I had no idea about the islands near Toronto and love the look of Ward island, what a laid back cruisy feel it exudes from your photos. Just lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 8:28 pm

      Hi Debbie, Yes, there is a group of 15 islands in Lake Ontario, south of mainland Toronto. Ward’s Island is lovely. There are no private vehicles or stores on the islands and nature is highly valued. The main mode of transportation on the islands is walking or cycling. I love going to the islands and have many fond memories there. There is regular ferry service from the mainland to three ferry docks on the islands.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Debbie September 26, 2021 / 12:23 am

        It really sounds like a lovely place Natalie, I can’t wait to visit one day!

        Like

        • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 8:17 am

          I hope you visit Toronto and have time for a cuppa with me 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  14. Thistles and Kiwis September 24, 2021 / 8:55 pm

    What a lovely trip and such gorgeous weather too. Another really interesting post!

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2021 / 10:00 pm

      Thank you, Barbara. We lucked out with such a perfect day for our visit to Ward’s Island. We’re hoping to visit another island on the west side of the islands next month.

      Like

  15. Susanne September 25, 2021 / 6:18 am

    What a lovely spot, looks like it must have been some pleasant walks. And the cottage is wonderful!

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 9:11 am

      Hi Susanne, Toronto Islands are beautiful and quieter in September after the summer break. It’s one of the reasons I waited until September to go.

      Like

  16. trentpmcd September 25, 2021 / 8:47 am

    Looks like a great place to visit. Sounds like you had a great time. Hope your weekend is goign well and that you have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 9:12 am

      It was a beautiful and fun outing. Thank you, Trent, for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ju-Lyn September 25, 2021 / 8:58 am

    What a lovely outing with your family. Looks very quiet & peaceful – did you have the place pretty much to yourselves?

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 9:22 am

      Yes, we had Ward’s island pretty much to ourselves by visiting off-season. I waited until September to go and we chose to go early in the morning when less people were out and about. I saw a few cyclists and a few people at the café and that’s about it.

      Like

      • Ju-Lyn September 28, 2021 / 2:52 am

        Great planning Natalie! Best to enjoy these places when one’s pace is not pushed by crowds!

        Like

        • Natalie September 28, 2021 / 8:21 am

          Thank you, Ju-Lyn. Everything came together nicely and we had a lovely time.

          Like

  18. Gary A Wilson September 25, 2021 / 9:42 am

    Great tour Natalie. I went straight to google maps to make sure I knew where everything was. Living there must be a dream come true for those who do.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 1:16 pm

      Thank you, Gary. There are 262 homes on the islands and it’s next to impossible to rent or buy a place there. Toronto is fortunate to have these islands so close to the mainland.

      Like

  19. Astrid September 25, 2021 / 9:47 am

    I’m so happy you had such a good time visiting Ward’s Island. I am also glad your weather was good overall and indeed, the plants do need the rain.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 1:18 pm

      Thank you, Astrid. It was a wonderful outing on a beautiful day. I hope to visit another island on the west side in October.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Writing Sparkle September 25, 2021 / 9:52 am

    It looks like a beautiful day to explore and take pictures! Thanks for sharing Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you, Shari. I couldn’t ask for a nicer day. Everything came together and we had an enjoyable outing.

      Like

  21. Maria September 25, 2021 / 10:26 am

    That looks like an absolutely lovely outing! How fun! And very beautiful landscapes, plants, and views. Thank you for taking us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 1:22 pm

      Thank you, Maria. The Toronto Islands are beautiful. I love going there. My family and I had a fantastic outing on a gorgeous day.

      Like

  22. Jackie September 25, 2021 / 11:16 am

    I need to get a visit in this fall!

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 1:24 pm

      Yes, Fall is a great time to visit the islands.

      Like

  23. Kirstin September 25, 2021 / 4:25 pm

    That looks like a really fun island to visit! Great post. I always love your photos and adventures.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2021 / 6:33 pm

      Thank you, Kirstin. I like Ward’s Island and try to visit it at least once a year.

      Like

  24. csuhpat1 September 25, 2021 / 10:00 pm

    Oh wow, what a beautiful place. I would love to visit and explore there. Thanks for sharing this place.

    Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 7:53 am

      I highly recommend Toronto Islands to visitors.

      Like

  25. Sanch @ Sanch Writes September 26, 2021 / 1:04 am

    I visited Toronto Island but not sure if we visited this section. Lovely photos as always. Can confirm the ferry ride is a great way to view the skyline!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 7:56 am

      Most visitors go to Centre island where it’s more commercial. Ward’s Island is quieter. I love all the Toronto Islands.

      Like

  26. Antoinette Truglio Martin September 26, 2021 / 7:05 am

    Once again, a great tour around Toronto. I am especially drawn to the water. Beautiful city.

    Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 7:57 am

      Thank you, Antoinette. Toronto is right by Lake Ontario and we’re fortunate to have a group of islands close to the mainland.

      Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 7:58 am

      Thank you for your kind comment that made my day.

      Like

  27. Terri Webster Schrandt September 26, 2021 / 10:37 am

    What a beautiful area, Natalie! A perfect end of summer outing it seems. The climate reminds me so much of Northern California this time of year, with everything still green (ish) and warm temps to enjoy the water and outdoor venues. I love that boardwalk and the shot of the kayaks all lined up!

    Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 10:58 am

      Thank you, Terri. September weather has been great overall with sunny days, cooler mornings and evenings. Toronto is fortunate to have a group of islands close to the mainland. I love going to the islands for their natural beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Julie September 26, 2021 / 11:47 am

    Sounds like a wonderful outing. I hear there are many islands in Lake Ontario — even a Thousand Islands? My coworker went to Canada and he was visiting a few islands. I thought he was making it up :-p.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 1:29 pm

      It’s true that there are many islands and lakes in Ontario. Thousand Islands are near Kingston, about 3 hours drive east of Toronto. There is a group of 15 islands south of mainland Toronto and easily reached by ferry. Ward’s Island is one of them.

      Like

  29. Retirement Reflections September 26, 2021 / 12:20 pm

    I’m continually envious of all of the great exploring that you do in the Toronto area. I can’t wait to return to check some of the out. Ward’s Island is now high on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 1:30 pm

      Hi Donna, I’d love to see you in Toronto and highly recommend a visit to Ward’s Island.

      Like

  30. Liz September 26, 2021 / 2:09 pm

    What a beautiful excursion and post. Thanks so much for sharing 🤗 and for the weekendcoffeeshare too 😊

    Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 3:12 pm

      Thank you, Liz. It was a fun outing on a beautiful day.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 3:13 pm

      Yes, that boardwalk is very nice with park and lake views.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Diana September 26, 2021 / 7:33 pm

    Hi Natalie!
    Ward island is beautiful! I’m so happy you were able to make it over for a visit which is wonderful so we can visit thru your photos! Thanks for the tour and the coffee this weekend! Have a wonderful week ahead! ❤️🥰🤠❤️

    Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 8:26 pm

      Hi Diana, I was happy everything came together for our visit to Ward’s island. Beautiful weather and the date and time worked for everyone. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Min Write of the Middle September 26, 2021 / 7:49 pm

    Another great spot you have over there Natalie! Fabulous photo’s. I love the little church. What a wonderful outing. Totally the kind of day i would very much enjoy, and what beautiful weather you had for it too! Hope you have a fantastic week ahead. xo

    Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2021 / 8:29 pm

      Hi Min, It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful visit to Ward’s Island. I hope to make another visit to the west side of the islands in October. Thank you for participating in my Weekend Coffee Share link-up. Have a great week!

      Like

  33. Deborah September 26, 2021 / 9:00 pm

    Oh I like that white house. Is it a houseboat or just right on the edge of the water?

    Such beautiful weather and scenery but also interesting architecture. It feels different to what we’re used to here in Australia. Even the new fire station.

    Like

    • Natalie September 27, 2021 / 8:38 am

      The white house is on a floating dock right on the edge of the water. I like how it has so many windows and its reflection in the water on a sunny day. The architecture of the Toronto Island fire station blends well with the existing island architecture, and is not representative of other fire stations on the mainland.

      Like

  34. Jo September 26, 2021 / 10:03 pm

    Another lovely spot. I love that little church and, like you, would love to see inside those waters-edge houses and that cottage…swoon.. Not mad about kale, but what a great idea!

    Like

    • Natalie September 27, 2021 / 8:40 am

      Homes on Ward’s Island are in extreme high demand and next to impossible to rent or buy so yeah, I make day trips and swoon. I like the community garden idea and a garden that allows more variety than just kale.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Rowena September 28, 2021 / 9:04 am

    Hi Natalie,
    Thanks for another dose of coffee, beautiful photos and a walk. I actually went for a basic walk along our local beach today just to stretch my muscles and gaze beyond my screen for a bit. As much as I love our beach, I usually prefer to mix it up a bit but the weather wasn’t the best and this was more of a functional walk. Setting up this new blog of mine has proven rather ambitious She’s such a prolific writer, that I have a lot of reading ahead.
    Hope you have a great week.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Like

    • Natalie September 28, 2021 / 9:20 am

      Hi Rowena, Your new blog sounds like a good mind-stimulating and interesting project. Take your time and enjoy the process. It’s good to take breaks and go for walks, too, especially when you have a local beach nearby. Have a great week!

      Like

  36. Dan Antion September 28, 2021 / 8:22 pm

    I was glad you invited us to come along, Natalie. I love the photos.

    Like

    • Natalie September 28, 2021 / 8:53 pm

      Thank you, Dan, for your kind comment. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful outing.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Sue Slaght September 29, 2021 / 5:27 pm

    This looks like a fabulous day trip! Hard to believe it is so close to a major city. I’ll remember this for a future Toronto trip.

    Like

    • Natalie September 29, 2021 / 9:28 pm

      Thank you, Sue, for your comment. It was a fab outing. I highly recommend Ward’s Island when you visit Toronto.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Janet Alcorn October 1, 2021 / 10:24 am

    Sorry to be so late in stopping by! Your pictures are gorgeous! And you’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing a piece of it with us.

    Like

    • Natalie October 1, 2021 / 7:02 pm

      Thank you for stopping by, Janet. I’m glad you liked my photos. I made a good decision to live in Toronto and appreciate the city every day.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie October 15, 2021 / 9:05 am

      Thank you, Thattamma, for your visit and comment. I greatly appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

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