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Sunday, June 26, 2016

12 fun things to do on the Toronto Islands this summer

Toronto IslandsFun things to do on the Toronto Islands this summer include everything from sports to eating, drinking and dancing. This is one of the most special places in the city, and even if you feel like you pay regular visits, there's so much to see and do that you could spend every weekend here.

Here are 12 fun things to do on the Toronto Islands this summer.

Go dancing at the Electric Island Festival
This dance music festival happens all summer long over the course of multiple weekends. There is lots of cozy grass, snacks, drinks, trees, and very, very good sound and lighting. Electric Island is a special thing where people from types of crowds come together and and hang out and dance. Check out the full lineup and plan your next visit.

Take a lagoon tour
Take one of these electric boats and tour the lagoons in and around the Islands. Meet at the fountain on Centre Island and then climb aboard. This is a peaceful, eco-friendly way to see parts of the Islands you didn't even know existed.

Get lost in a maze
After landing on Toronto Island, there's already this Lost or I've-fallen-down-the-rabbit-hole vibe, so the Centre Island Maze only adds to this fun. This will make you feel like a kid all over again.

Check the views of west Toronto from the beach... naked
Hanlan's Point is truly a beautiful thing. It's the clothing optional beach, so don't be intimidated if you don't want to let it all hang out. No one will look twice at you if you're fully clothed or bouncing your stuff everywhere. It's a judgement free zone. Word of warning, it's now officially crazy on weekends (people, music, boats, party vibe), so head over during the week for a more chill experience.

Have a drink at the Toronto Island Marina
You don't have to own a boat to be cool, or to hang out at this marina. There's a patio on the water! Weekly entertainment! Food! It's a great spot to grab a cocktail and take a break from Island life. It's less of a private yacht club vibe and more like if everyone actually got back from the three-hour tour around Gilligan's Island.

Frisbee Golf
No money or reservations are needed for this super relaxing Island activity. Just bring a frisbee, some friends and a flick of the wrist for a relaxing game of frisbee golf. Find the metal posts that kind of look like mini-carousels on poles and throw your way through the 18-hole course!

Actually eat at the Island Cafe
To be really blunt about it, there's a reason most people bring their own food to the Island. Restaurants off-land have a pretty bad rep... but allow me to correct this. The Island Cafe is bomb. They run an experimental Kale garden with the city, they often have live music, and the food is actually good. They use local products and Sanagan's meats.

India Festival
One of the city's most colourful cultural festivals might start on the mainland, but it most certainly ends up on the Island afterwards. Festival of India runs on July 16 and 17 at Centre Island. A highlight is the Yoga Meltdown on Sunday from 12 - 5 p.m.

Rent a crazy, four-person bike and see the whole island
Bring your cash for this activity (it's cash only), and rent a four-person quadricycle. I put my niece and nephew in the front basket area as well, so technically six people can fit onto this as you drive around the island, spy on locals, and try not to crash into tourists.

Play around with some giant art
The Figment Festival is a free, outdoor art thing, allowing visitors to play around with large scale, interactive pieces of artwork. There will be a lot of giant letters, people - so clear your Instagram schedule. It runs from July 23 - 24 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Olympic Island.

Go to a musical festival and then sleepover
There is nothing like Camp Wavelength. It's a music and culture fest on the Island that really puts a spotlight on local talent. This year's theme is Head in the Clouds (which, for the record is my life theme) and musical guests include Young Galaxy and Bruce Peninsula. After the music is done, camp over! It's BYO tent.

Check out the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
I would tell you to visit the Gibraltar Point Artscape buliding like every other list out there, but there's not that much to see this summer. Instead, why don't you walk around the nearby Gibraltar Point Lighthouse? It's one of the oldest buildings in Toronto, and the site of one of the city's best know ghost stories.

What is your favourite fun, summer thing to do on the Toronto Islands? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of Electric Island Festival by Hector Vasquez.

by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO

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