Reprieve when it’s hot in the city can come from getting away from land and spreading your arms wide on the starboard bow of a boat.
If your day job doesn’t offer the extra cash for a yacht to park in your apartment, head down to Lake Ontario and take advantage of the next best thing to owning a boat or having a friend who owns a boat – renting a boat. Find your sea legs and consider one of these options:
See the city from the lake
There are countless options to see the city from the water – some involve dinner and some involve fireworks. Cruises can be private adventures for birthday parties or office gatherings, or public outings so you can see the city the way tourists do, alongside those visitors.
Join a cruise that is lined up with special events in Toronto, enjoy a wine and cheese evening or learn to sail so you can take in a weekend regatta. Rentals usually require prior sailing experience so you don’t end up floating out to sea but there are plenty of options to get you out on the water.
• Gone Sailing Adventures
• Sailing Fanatics
• Harbourfront Sailboat rentals and lessons
• Mooredale Toronto Sailing Club
• Westwood Sailing Club
• Toronto Island Sailing Club
• St. James Town Sailing Club
• Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club
Channel Jack Sparrow on a Tall Ship
Tall ships in the waters of Lake Ontario offer a unique experience that is sometimes interactive when passengers are asked to help hoist the sails. The Tall Ship Festival happens in Toronto from July 1 – 3 in 2016, or you can check out a ‘sailing through time’ tour or BBQ on the majestic ships.
Paddle boats…or Pedal boats, if you prefer
If you’re looking for a ride that keeps you close to shore and gives you a serious calf workout, a paddle boat might be just the vessel you need. Bonus – you’ll get to see the sights while having a relaxing float, but also be stealth enough to potentially get you up close and personal for great shots of wildlife.
Practice your J Stroke in a Canoe (or kayak)
Tap into your inner peace while you paddle along the water watching the sun rise or set. Go solo, bring along a friend to tour the waters, join a guided tour or get suggestions of where to go and what to see from one of the following operators when you rent.
Cheers to Booze Cruises
‘Water on the water and beer on the pier’ isn’t as essential a mantra when someone else is driving. Join fellow revelers in dining, dancing and indulging at special events onboard booze cruises throughout the summer. If you’re reading this before June 30th, the Toronto Boat Cruise – when thousands of people on multiple boats dance to the same music – is an option.
Sweat it out in a Dragon Boat
Teams are still recruiting for bodies to get on board dragon boats this season. Dragon boating offers racers the chance to raise awareness or money for charity, be a part of a community or just get feisty on the water.
Satiate your need for speed in a Power Boat
But if money is super tight, there’s always the chance to feel the wind in your hair on the big blue lake via a ride on the Toronto Island Ferry.
(Main photo: Sam Javanrouh)