With the Gardiner Expressway dividing most of the city from the Waterfront it can be easy to forget that Toronto is a lakefront metropolis. Here is a list of waterfront activities that will help you get the most out of our often-overlooked waterfront, from the harbour and beyond.
Harbourfront Sail Boat Rentals & Lessons
If you are an experienced sailor sans boat, Harbourfront will hook you up with a rental for between $99 – $325 depending on the boat and the time you want to be out on the water. If you are still getting your sea legs, consider a few lessons first. Harbourfront offers these too for an additional $40-$60 an hour.
Harbourfront Power Boat Rentals
If you’re a speed demon, consider renting a power boat from Harbourfront. Rentals will cost between $69 – $250 per two hours. The boats available can take just you and a friend, or you can get a big boy that will go out with groups of up to 12 people.
Harbourfront Yacht & Power Charter Rentals
Want to feel like a yacht cruising celeb? Toronto Harbourfront offers yacht and power charter rentals at middle class prices. Rentals range from $275 per two hours to $800 for three hours. If you’re experienced, it’s possible to rent a boat that sleeps five on your own. If you want to be chauffeured around, consider hiring one of the boats that comes with a captain. That way, you and 29 of your closest friends can cruise around Lake Ontario in serious style.
Harbourfront Canoe, Kayak, Stand-Up Paddle Board Rentals
Traveling by canoe, one of Canada’s oldest methods of transportation, in one of the country’s most modern cities might even feel like a form of time travel. Rent a canoe from Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak to go to the island or take out a kayak to do the same. Paddleboards are available for rent too, but it might be an ambitious trip to take one of these to the island.
The two most popular beach volleyball clubs are located in opposite ends of the city. Ashbridges Bay Beach Volleyball, playing in the east end, is a recreational league open to anyone to register a team or sign up to be a player on an existing one. In the west end, Go West Athletics runs volleyball leagues at Sunnyside. Added bonus to the non-athletes out there – the nets are set up in front of Sunnyside Pavillion so if you don’t want to play, it’s a great spectator sport too.
Toronto Kite Club Kiteboarding Lessons
Maybe you don’t like the preppy clothes that go with sailing or yachting. If extreme sports are your thing, kiteboarding lessons will get you started to achieving your X Game dreams. Lessons in Toronto take place on Toronto Woodbine Beach, Toronto Bluffers Park Beach, and Toronto Island depending on where the wind is. And if you love kiteboarding so much that you don’t want to give it up in the cold months of winter, learn how to snowkite across a frozen Cherry Beach in a blizzard. Brr.
Stroll Through Sherbourne Common
Sherbourne Common is possibly one of the most beautiful parks in Toronto. It is the first park in Canada to integrate a neighbourhood-wide stormwater treatment facility into its design. Modern and almost zen like, the park is in stark contrast to the surrounding industrial neighbourhood. There is a great playground for kids but the most stunning time of day to explore the space is at night when the water sculptures put on a dazzling light show.
Hike The Scarborough Bluffs
The Scarborough Bluffs rise high above Lake Ontario, offering soaring views of crystal blue waters. Lake Ontario changes out east from the green gucky water of the waterfront to crystal blues of a Carribean island. With the white bluffs next to these idyllic water conditions, it’s hard to believe you are still in Toronto. Hike up the bluffs on a warm summer night for a real treat: a beautiful sunset or stargazing on a clear night.
Promise Cherry Beach Soundsystem Parties
Cherry Beach is a great place to swim in Toronto. Unlike the harbourfront, which is busy with boat traffic (and pollution) Cherry Beach is just far enough away to really feel like you are getting away from it all. And on every Sunday in the summer, from 3-11pm, there is a free beach party with music provided by local DJs. Dance the weekend away on the beach – right in the city.