8 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Toronto Harbourfront This Summer

Toronto houses one of the longest urban lakefronts in the world!  The Harbourfront area is now a bustling hub within the downtown core. There is so much to do and see we’ve compiled a list of the top eight reasons to visit the Toronto Harbourfront this summer.

1. Toronto Skyline

Toronto boasts one of the most iconic skylines in the world and the best way to experience it is from the water aboard one of our cruise ships!  Whether you cruise during the day or night, the Toronto skyline never looks the same way on any given day and won’t fail to impress!  Mariposa Cruises offers a variety of public cruise programs, including brunch, lunch and dinner cruises as well as a Sip and Sail and special event cruises. Our Scenic Toronto Harbour Tours offer guided narrations in six different languages–English, French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Japanese– and showcase many sites including the island park lands and waterways, Queens Quay Terminal, Toronto Island Airport, Harbourfront Centre, CN Tower, Rogers Centre, HTO Park, Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre and the fabled Gibraltar Point Lighthouse to name a few.

The view of the Toronto skyline from our Harbour Tour cruise.

2. Toronto Islands

The Toronto Islands are collectively made up of 17 separate islands, totaling over 600 acres. There are several swimming beaches on the islands, including Centre Island Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach and Hanlan’s Point Beach. , Toronto’s clothing optional beach. In 2002, the location was made permanent, making it only the second official clothing-optional beach in Canada. The many beaches make the islands make a great spot for canoeing, kayaking, cycling and picnicking. Cottage country is right in our backyard!

3. Waterfront Trail

The Waterfront Trail stretches for 740km and passes through the Toronto Waterfront where all of our boats are located!  The trail includes 41 communities, 182 parks and natural areas, 152 arts and culture heritage attractions, 37 major annual waterfront festivals and 170 marinas and yacht clubs.  Perfect for both cyclists and pedestrians for a scenic stroll along the water!

The Waterfront Trail boasts the perfect view for a walk or bike ride.

4. Harbourfront Centre

The Harbourfront Centre is a year-round event facility that features live concerts, competitions, films and markets. Throughout the summer, the Harbourfront Centre comes to life with art exhibitions, cafes, events and a pond with canoe and water activities! The concert stage was designed to provide the best sound quality to visitors, both on land and in the water.

The Harbourfront Centre hosts several events throughout the summer.

5. Go to a Game!

Whether you attend a game at the Air Canada Centre, BMO Field or the Rogers Centre, Toronto boasts many amazing sports teams within the city.  All of these sites are visible from the water and just a short walk away from the Toronto Harbour.  Spend your day on the waterfront or aboard one of our public cruises and top off the day with a game to cheer on any of our amazing teams!

The Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays.

6. Harbourfront Patios

At any time of day, you’re guaranteed a great view when you visit any of Toronto’s picturesque Harbourfront patios! You will be able to soak in the views of the water and skyline while enjoying delicious food and beverages.

Patios along the Harbourfront provide the perfect scenery for enjoying food and drinks.

7. Toronto Music Garden

The Toronto Music Garden is an enchanted location located within the city! The park design is inspired by Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello with each dance movement within the suite corresponding to a different section of the garden .The garden encompasses the spirit of music, dance and art. Drop by the Toronto Music Garden to enjoy free and outstanding classical performances from around the world. 

Left image via the Harbourfront Centre. The Toronto Music Garden is the perfect backdrop for any photos.

8. Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

Completed in 1808, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes! It was built at an original height of 52 feet and extended to 82 feet in 1832. The lighthouse was a functioning lookout tower for American ships that came across from New York State during the War of 1812. Finally decommissioned in 1958, Metro Parks took over operations and is currently unused, shut and a great spot to experience the ghostly past of Toronto. Make sure to go on our Harbour Tour to get a chance to see it for yourself!

The view of the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse from our scenic Harbour Tour.

We hope you are able to check off some of these Harbourfront attractions from your summer to-do list!

Rediscovering Toronto’s Waterfront

From industrial port to metropolis, Toronto’s harbour has come a long way.

If you haven’t visited Toronto’s Harbourfront in over a year, you’re in for a surprise.  An extensive three year revitalization project (completed in June 2015) has  transformed Toronto’s waterfront.  Queen’s Quay West is now completely accessible by car, public transit, on foot or by bicycle, with lots of great public places to frequent and enjoy. Tourism is also up this year:  Big events, a low Canadian dollar and really great weather have all contributed to an increase in visitors.

20160726_135047_resized_1

If you spend a day on Toronto’s waterfront, you’ll notice a multitude of activity on the lake. (more…)