Hands down one of the best views of Toronto.

The Toronto Islands – its beaches, tree maze, Franklin’s Garden, disc golf, Pirate Life and of course Centreville Amusement Park – are always on our summer circuit.

But I had always wanted to explore the Islands this way – Stand Up Paddling.

This summer, two moms in TOw hopped on a ferry for a Cinq à SUP adventure with Toronto Island SUP through the lagoons that carve out the islands. It was midweek, Centre Island was still officially closed, and there was a quiet bustle of Islanders strolling and cycling, boaters and a few kayakers, plus a couple of boat-loads of visitors cruising on tour boats from the harbour.

What a view as we quietly paddled through the lagoons past the parks, houses and sailing clubs that call the Island home. We ended up popping out into the harbour during the paddle and finding ourselves in the centre of sailboats and in full on view of Toronto’s spectacular skyline.

It is one of the easiest and most memorable escapes from the city in the city.

How you and your kids in TOw can get on board:


Getting there: Take the Ward’s Island Ferry and walk five minutes west (turn right off the ferry dock) to Toronto Island SUP. The starting point for our paddle was across from the Rectory Café.

Low-down: While you can drop in for a paddle, it’s best to sign up online in advance. You need to reserve at least one hour before your paddle. Boards, paddles, life jackets included. You can book a lesson, guided tour or go out on your own. There is even SUP yoga. Kids welcome – they have kid-sized boards, paddles and life jackets.

What to bring: Don’t bring a lot of stuff. There are no lockers. You can store your valuables in a waterproof bag ($1 to rent) and bring on board with you. Wear a bathing suit or clothes you don’t mind getting wet. You can bring snacks and water bottles on your board.

In the hood: Docking on your SUP board is not advised. Plan to explore the island by foot or bike afterwards.


5 Third Street (Wards Island)
Toronto, ON