The water taxi in Toronto seems to be shrouded in a modest degree of mystery. How much does one cost? Are they licensed like regular taxis? And, of course, how late do they operate? Fortunately, given the size of the fleet, most questions related to this ferry-alternative are answered easily enough.
Here's what you need to know about the water taxi in Toronto.
Contrary to what Wikipedia might say, water taxis in Toronto are licensed by the city - this puts a cap on the number of legal operators in the harbour. There are seven locations on the Islands approved for water taxi pick-ups and drop-offs. Departures from the mainland aren't as regulated, but the main departure point is the slip at Queens Quay and Spadina.
The main operators are Toronto Harbour Water Taxi, Five Star Water Taxi, Water Taxi Now, Harbourlink Watertaxi, and the Tiki Taxi.
On account of city regulations, water taxis charge $10 per person for a one-way trip to the Island (and vice versa when it comes to a return to the mainland). Once on the Island, you can travel back via ferry at no cost as there are no ticket booths on this side, but note well the latest ferry runs at 11:45 p.m. from Centre Island.
It's important to note that over and above the base fee, some water taxis charge for items like bikes and strollers. This can significantly add to the cost of your trip, so make sure to check the operator's rates/policies before making the trip.
WATER TAXI HOURS
You'd be wrong to think that all water taxis operate later than city ferries. The Tiki Taxi, for instance, runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and until 10 p.m. on the weekend. What you're paying for is the convenience of shorter lines and the fun of a bamboo-clad boat, not longer hours.
The Toronto Harbour Water Taxi, on the other hand, does offer late service from the Islands. Its operating hours are 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is the latest licensed operator that I'm aware of.
Know of any tips or tricks related to Toronto water taxis? Share them in the comments.
Photo via the Tiki Taxi's Facebook page.
by Derek Flack via blogTO
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