It’s a summer staple. Across the harbour from downtown Toronto tucked behind trees in the middle of 600 acres of parkland on Centre Island is Centreville Amusement Park.

With 30-plus rides and attractions, it’s a far cry from Canada’s Wonderland or The Ex, but that’s part of its charm. Whether you stop for a couple of rides or make it a ride-all-day excursion, a trip to Centreville is an adventure from start to finish. Nothing beats sailing off on ferry to one of the city’s prettiest spots. And this view:

Centreville is pretty perfect for littles in TOw. There are eight rides that kids 4’ and under can ride alone. Make that 13 with an accompanying adult. With the likes of the log ride, bumper cars and the scrambler, big kids (I’d say up to 10 years-old) will be entertained. (Here’s a list of the rides.)

And once you hit your max, you have a whole island left to explore.

Some views of our fun day at Centreville:



Getting there: Toronto Islands are accessible by ferry (or private taxi) year-round from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal. (Don’t get held up in the line up – buy your ferry tickets online.) More instructions here. It is a less than 10 minute walk from the Centre Island ferry dock (here’s a map of the island) and the amusement park itself is very walkable for the littlest legs. Stroller-friendly. Wagons for rent on Centre Island.

Low-down: Centreville Amusement Park is open May to Labour Day, plus weekends through September. Our advice is if you pop in for a rider or two, get tickets, if you want the full experience, go with the all-day pass. We were there on a busy but not too-busy weekend and there were next to no line-ups. We’re talking lots of riding with that day pass. List of Rides and ticketsTRIP TIP: tickets don’t expire, so if you need to bail you can use them again for the next visit.

In the hood: There is so much to do on the Island from the beaches, bbq spots, playgrounds, beaches and disc golf. More ideas here. For adults in TOw (and kids who are up for it), there is Stand Up Paddleboard rentals from Ward’s Island. TRIP TIP: Bring your bike over – no extra cost.