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  • Writer's pictureNicole

Super Cool Toronto Neighbourhoods: The Harbourfront

Toronto's distinct and iconic skyline

[Photo above courtesy of @visual6ix - Instagram]

I left Toronto many years ago and this transplanted Calgarian is very happy in her adopted city. I do enjoy returning back to my home city to hang out with friends and family. The thing that I do now that I didn't really bother with before I left was checking out Toronto's many amazing and vibrant neighbourhoods. There are so many interesting little communities and districts that has their own identity and feel.

O​ne of my top neighbourhoods to visit is the Harbourfront. Toronto is famous for its distinctive and iconic skyline thanks to the CN Tower. Formerly the town of York, the harbourfront is now part of the City of Toronto. Starting by the base of the Westin Hotel, you can stroll leisurely along the boardwalk, stopping to look at sculpture art, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants that offer a great view of the water or even jump on a water taxi for a cruise around the harbour or one of the nearby islands. More about the Toronto Islands later!

Lake Ontario views

O​n hot summer days, be sure to check out the HTO - The urban beach along the harbourfront boasting a clever play on letters (instead of H2O for water, it's HTO for Toronto [on the water]) So cute, right? Hang out on the adirondack chairs under sunny yellow umbrellas. And for those who love pictures beside signs, there is a sweet HTO sign at the entrance to the beach.

[Photo above courtesy of @ameliegouin - Instagram]

A​nother must see in this area is the Toronto WaveDecks. They are exactly what they sound like. Wavy wooden walk ways that run parallel to the water. As you can imagine, it is a huge tourist draw. Children and adults alike enjoy clambering along the deck. There are railiings to steady yourself. Having said that, I still wouldn't recommend the wavier of the paths it if you're super unsteady on your feet - or drunk. Or it could be an adventure. Take your pick.

Toronto Harbourfront WaveDecks

[Photo above courtesy of @cr_issa - Instagram]

When you get peckish after all of the walking around, stop in for a bite at Boxcar Social. ​I​t is in an absolutely beautiful location with views of the harbour and food that is not heavily re-imagined, but well prepared, presented and tasty.

Snacking at Boxcar Social's Harbourfront location

The ferry terminal is located near the base of the Westin Hotel and for well under $10 per adult return, you can find yourself on Centre Island, Ward Island or Hanlon's Point. The Toronto Islands are connected by pathways and bridges. It's dog friendly, great for families, couples, picnics or to just lie on one of the beaches with a book and relax all afternoon. Ferry prices and schedules can be found on the Toronto Island wesbsite:

Once on the island, y​ou can wander the gardens, get lost in and find your way out of the traditional English Maze on Centre Island, rent a bike or a kayak, take gorgeous photos of the city from across the water, bring the little ones to Centreville amusement park. (I have such great memories of being under the age of ten and having the time of my life at the amusement park with my brother and cousin.)

It goes without saying that the Harbourfront and the Island is best enjoyed during the summer months as the island is mostly seasonal and just about everything closes down in September. I can't imagine the beach being much fun in the winter months, either.

Views of Lake Ontario from Toronto's Harbourfont Boardwalk

A​s always, I welcome any of your comments and questions. Email me!

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