Ward’s Island Summer Getaways

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 38 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share linkup #88. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

With Autumn officially arrived on September 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, I want to wrap up my summer 2022 with a post about a few getaways that I made to the Toronto Islands. The Toronto Islands have been my go-to destination for quick getaways and vitamin N (Nature) for many years.

I wrote about Ward’s Island and some of its historic landmarks here. This summer I explored Ward’s Island on foot, by bike and kayak on different trips. Here are some of the highlights of my getaways in pictures.

Getting there

By ferry or water taxi. From Toronto mainland to Centre Island or Ward’s Island, the ferry ride takes about 12 minutes.

Getting around

By bike or on foot. Only authorized vehicles are allowed on Toronto Islands. You can bring your own bike or rent a bike in the summer. Without traffic noise and nature all around, the islands are tranquil and beautiful to experience.

Ward’s Island has a long boardwalk with panoramic views of Lake Ontario. Sandy pathways at the east end of the island lead to Ward’s Island Beach. Ward’s Island Beach has earned blue flag certification. Its calm water makes it ideal for swimming.

Exploring by kayak

The calm waters in the lagoons of the islands offer adventure around every corner, great views of the city and wildlife abound. Paddling around Toronto Islands has a seductive power that I enjoy.

There’s a calming effect revealed while I’m isolated and floating on the water, and it’s only broken by splashing cormorants, gulls calling from above, turtles getting on and off tree logs, dragonflies dancing across my kayak, and herons or egrets taking off.

From Centre Island to Ward’s Island, I kayak by a few floating homes and under three bridges. The first bridge connects Ward’s Island with Snug Harbour, the second bridge connects Ward’s Island with Snake Island and the third bridge connects Ward’s Island with Algonquin Island.

The sights of blue sky, white fluffy clouds, green trees, brown soil, clear water that expose aquatic plants, reflections on water, and the smell of summer air make me feel like Mother Nature is pampering me with the best natural spa experience.

Every time I go to the Toronto Islands, I come home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. I will be back.

Shared with Denyse’s WW&Pics, Jo’s Monday Walk.

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87 thoughts on “Ward’s Island Summer Getaways

  1. leannelc September 23, 2022 / 8:26 am

    What a beautiful outing Natalie – close to the mainland, but so peaceful and I love how you can kayak between islands. It reminds me a bit of Rottnest Island off our coast, but with the added appeal of other islands to visit nearby. Thanks for another weekend party – always lovely to link up.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 6:33 am

      Hi Leanne, The close proximity of the Toronto Islands to the mainland and yet they feel world’s away is a big draw to me. Thank you for linking up.

      Like

  2. Jill Weatherholt September 23, 2022 / 8:41 am

    Wow! Stunning shots today, Natalie. I love to see the herons and egrets. We have a pair of white egrets in our lake. They are gorgeous.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 6:38 am

      Hi Jill, I love to see herons and egrets, too. How wonderful that you have a pair of white egrets in your lake. They are easier to spot than the grey herons.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 6:39 am

      Alice, I agreed. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Janet Alcorn September 23, 2022 / 9:11 am

    Wow, such a beautiful place! I’d love to spend a week in a cabin or floating home there–take walks, paddle, and decompress.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 6:40 am

      Janet, Ward’s island would be a lovely place to relax, enjoy nature and write your books.

      Like

  4. Ally Bean September 23, 2022 / 10:41 am

    I’d like to visit this island. The ferry ride, the biking, the serene views, it looks delightful. Lucky you

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 6:42 am

      Ally, I feel fortunate every time I go to Toronto Islands.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nemorino September 23, 2022 / 12:57 pm

    Beautiful photos! I always enjoy going to car-free islands.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:48 am

      Thank you Nemorino for your visit and comment. Car-free islands are indeed special and relaxing places to visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tessa September 23, 2022 / 1:29 pm

    The photos are beautiful. I would love to live there.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 6:45 am

      Tessa, Thank you for your compliment of my photos. The island community is a close knit community.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:26 am

      Janice, the Toronto Islands are truly special. I feel fortunate to go there for quick getaways and beautiful nature.

      Like

  7. Gary A Wilson September 23, 2022 / 2:20 pm

    I think I recall your first post about Ward’s island and how gorgeous it (still) is.
    I’d love to explore it also by boat.
    Thanks Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:27 am

      Gary, Exploring the Toronto Islands by boat is wonderful, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ThingsHelenLoves September 23, 2022 / 3:01 pm

    Mother Nature as a spa experience- I love that!

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:29 am

      Thank you Helen. I feel like I’m in a nice cocoon gently wrapped by Mother Nature when I’m in my kayak in a lagoon over on Toronto islands.

      Like

  9. Thistles and Kiwis September 23, 2022 / 3:22 pm

    What a gorgeous place to visit! So lovely to see blue skies on this grey spring morning down here.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:30 am

      I’m happy to share some sunshine and blue skies with you.

      Like

  10. Joanne September 23, 2022 / 4:07 pm

    That sounds and looks so lovely!

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:33 am

      Toronto Islands are beautiful.

      Like

  11. Dan Antion September 23, 2022 / 7:12 pm

    It looks like a wonderful place to spend the day, Natalie. I love your photos, especially the ones with the reflections of the birds.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:39 am

      Dan, I love going to the Toronto islands. I’m glad you love my photos. The herons and egrets are beautiful to see and the calm waters in the lagoons reflect them well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion September 24, 2022 / 3:39 pm

        I hope to visit Toronto again at some point. I’ve been there for business a couple times, but…

        Like

        • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 7:51 pm

          I hope you visit Toronto for leisure. When you do, feel free to contact me.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Jennifer Jones September 23, 2022 / 9:25 pm

    How beautiful Natalie and it sounds idyllic. Amazing to think this is so close to a bustling city. I love that there is no traffic noise. I can imagine it would be a lovely place for cycling

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:41 am

      Jennifer, Yes, it’s wonderful to go cycling on Toronto islands.

      Like

  13. Yinglan September 23, 2022 / 10:00 pm

    I went to Ward’s Island on Thursday. Absolutely a wonderful place to soak up nature. So serene and so green.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:44 am

      Yinglan, I’m glad you visited Ward’s island and enjoyed it. I hope you have a great time visiting other places in Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yinglan September 24, 2022 / 10:05 am

        I’m heading to Ottawa today and I’m looking forward to seeing the Capital of Canada.

        Like

  14. Retirement Reflections September 24, 2022 / 12:09 am

    These are wonderful shots, Natalie. They really show Toronto Islands to be a remarkable treasure. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:45 am

      Hi Donna, Toronto Islands are true treasures. I hope you and Richard have recovered and are both well.

      Like

  15. Suzanne@PictureRetirement September 24, 2022 / 8:09 am

    Natalie, you have described the most perfect day. It is a nice juxtaposition to the beauty of your city.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:50 am

      Thank you Suzanne. I love going to Toronto islands and feel fortunate that they’re close to the mainland but feel so far away once I’m there.

      Like

  16. trentpmcd September 24, 2022 / 8:27 am

    Sounds like a perfect get-away. I’m sure you know I am a huge kayaker, so that looks great. And it looks like a great place for an easy ride.I’m sure if I lived in the Toronto area I’d be over there as much as possible…
    I hope you are having a good weekend and have a wonderful week ahead!

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 9:53 am

      Trent, Yes, with your kayaking experience, you can kayak from the mainland to Toronto islands then in the lagoons and out to Lake Ontario. It’s a really wonderful place for kayakers.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Writing Sparkle September 24, 2022 / 10:30 am

    The weather looks beautiful in your pictures.
    Have a nice weekend, Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 3:13 pm

      Thanks, Shari. It was a beautiful summer with plenty of sunshine in Toronto. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Deborah Drucker September 24, 2022 / 3:22 pm

    Nature is so restorative. Pretty photos of the lagoons and birds. What you call floating homes we call houseboats.

    Like

    • Natalie September 24, 2022 / 7:49 pm

      Nature is amazing. I’m glad you like my photos of the lagoons and birds. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. csuhpat1 September 24, 2022 / 9:00 pm

    What a beautiful and wonderful place. So very beautiful. Love it. I do want to visit. Thanks for sharing this amazing place.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2022 / 8:30 pm

      Glad you like this place. Thank you for your comment.

      Like

  20. Antoinette Truglio Martin September 24, 2022 / 9:26 pm

    Lovely spot to explore. The pictures are gorgeous.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2022 / 8:31 pm

      Thank you Antoinette. Toronto Islands are beautiful and make it easy for me to get gorgeous pictures.

      Like

  21. Maria September 25, 2022 / 8:49 am

    I love islands where no cars are allowed. We have plenty of them in the archipelago of Gothenburg and Stockholm. The calm and tranquility is unmatched. It’s like going back in time. Thank you for taking us to the Toronto islands this weekend.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2022 / 8:33 pm

      Maria, Yes, the tranquility attracts me to Toronto islands aside from their natural beauty. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Like

  22. Astrid September 25, 2022 / 8:50 am

    It sounds like you had some amazing getaways. I am particularly happy to hear unauthorized vehicles aren’t allowed on the islands. It’s the same here on two of the Dutch Wadden Islands. I have fond memories of vacationing at Vlieland, one of them.

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2022 / 8:35 pm

      Astrid, I’m glad you have some fond memories of island vacation. I’ll read about Wadden islands soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Nancy September 25, 2022 / 9:41 am

    Looks like a wonderful trip and I agree, there is something so relaxing about floating on the water. I remember kayaking once in upstate Pennsylvania and having two dragonflies hitch a ride across the lake!

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2022 / 8:36 pm

      Nancy, the dragonflies are lovely. I’m glad you had fun kayaking too. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Kirstin September 25, 2022 / 3:31 pm

    How beautiful Natalie! That would be so nice to visit those islands. I think I’d love biking and kayaking for sure. Just got my link up. Phew I wasn’t sure I”d make it. Haha!

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2022 / 8:38 pm

      Kirstin, I’m glad you linked up. How wonderful that you met Terri and Marsha. Have a great week!

      Like

  25. Lydia C. Lee September 25, 2022 / 5:10 pm

    How gorgeous. Because I’m geographically challenged, I hope you were okay in those storms. Sounded terrible!

    Like

    • Natalie September 25, 2022 / 8:40 pm

      Lydia, Thank you for thinking of me. I wasn’t in the path of hurricane Fiona and was safe when she landed.

      Like

  26. Bernie September 25, 2022 / 9:39 pm

    I’ve never spent any real time in Toronto and your post makes me want to. I LOVE the Vitamin N concept!! Your photos and words are inspiring and paint a picture of a big city embracing and leaving some native intact. Thanks for sharing. Bernie

    Like

    • Natalie September 26, 2022 / 9:33 am

      Bernie, I’m glad you found my photos and words inspiring. Toronto has maintained many natural and native features that make it a great city. I hope you consider a visit to Toronto in the future.

      Like

  27. tidalscribe.com September 27, 2022 / 4:34 am

    Sounds like the perfect island, with no traffic and walking and swimming – and so close to the city.

    Like

    • Natalie September 27, 2022 / 8:33 am

      Yes, Ward’s Island is a treasure; it’s close to the city and is tranquil and very green once you are there.

      Like

  28. Min Write of the Middle September 27, 2022 / 5:24 pm

    Hi Natalie, it amazes me how many new and different places you take us on virtual tours of! Wards Island looks gorgeous! You’ve certainly captured some gorgeous photographs to show it off, and it’s amazing to think how close to the city it is! xo

    Like

    • Natalie September 27, 2022 / 5:57 pm

      Thank you, Min, for your compliment. Toronto is a big and vibrant city. I doubt that I’d ever run out of places to explore and share. Toronto islands are true treasures as they’re close to the city and feel so far away once I’m there.

      Like

  29. Debbie September 28, 2022 / 6:16 am

    How lovely Natalie, I like the idea of bikes being available and kayaking looks like a fun way to see the area too. Very active but in a peaceful way.

    Like

    • Natalie September 28, 2022 / 8:23 am

      Hi Debbie, You’re right about active and peaceful. Kayaking lets me see aquatic and bird life up close and the island scenery from the water level. Cycling and walking give different perspectives and have their advantages, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. restlessjo September 28, 2022 / 2:32 pm

    So close to the city and to nature, Natalie. It looks a delightful escape and the best of all possible worlds. Cheers for sharing.

    Like

    • Natalie September 28, 2022 / 5:56 pm

      Jo, Toronto Islands are delightful. I look forward to going there as often as possible.

      Like

  31. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 September 28, 2022 / 9:22 pm

    Another beautiful area to explore with you, Natalie. Thanks for sharing. I’m enjoying finding lovely green areas despite being back in the city and suburbia. I remember visiting Bainbridge Island off Seattle when we visited 3 years ago and it was lovely. Your Wards Island get-away looks nice and relaxing.

    Like

    • Natalie September 29, 2022 / 8:51 am

      Hi Sue, It’s great that you found lovely green areas close to your new home. They’re necessary for our well-being.

      Like

  32. Denyse Whelan Blogs September 29, 2022 / 4:51 am

    Now that we are planning to leave the place of more natural environments, in early 2023, I am using Vitamin N….for nature, because i know I will miss it and need it!! Thanks so much for linking up this week for Wednesday’s Words and Pics Link Up.

    Looking forward to connecting with you more again soon.

    Next week, I am back with my story about following my heart!

    Warmest wishes,

    Denyse.

    Like

    • Natalie September 29, 2022 / 8:54 am

      Hi Denyse, I hope your new home is close to some nature elements (e.g. a park, river, etc.). Enjoy your current vitamin N and have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Eunice October 3, 2022 / 4:09 am

    I love this, it all looks so very calm and serene. I live close to a busy main road so with no traffic noise and just the sights and sounds of nature I would really enjoy this place 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie October 3, 2022 / 9:00 am

      Eunice, Thank you for your visit and comment. I think you’d enjoy this place. I love the serenity and nature on Toronto Islands. When I walk on one of the trails or kayak in a lagoon, it’s all nature and me 🙂

      Like

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