CIBOLA PLAYGROUND ON WARDS ISLAND
101 Cibola Ave, Toronto, ON
How to Get Here:
Yep – this one is a tricky one! You can only get to it via ferry.
You either must take public transport or park near the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and take the ferry to WARDS ISLAND.
Make sure to check the ferry schedule before heading out.
I like to park in the RBC Watermark building, 88 Queens Quay, for about $15-$20.
HINT: buy your ferry tickets online first to beat the lines that form in the summer
When you get off the ferry, head on the path to your right. It’s only about a five minute walk (past the cutest fire station) along the path. Or 15 if your kids insist on scooting/riding their bikes.
Why we like it:
It is a trek, but who doesn’t love a day on Toronto Islands? Wards Island is much quieter than Centre Island. And unlike the playground on Centre Island, this one is much quieter. We often have it to ourselves!
There are no swings but there are two slides, lots of picnic tables and benches in the shade, and a giant spider web structure thing that George is currently obsessed with.
My favourite: rubber!
This situation is a little less awesome. I <think> there are public bathrooms a short walk away but they are only open in the high season. So if you head here in the beginning of May like we did, you will get helping your little person pee in the bushes behind the playground.
Island Cafe is the perfect pit stop getting off the ferry, getting on the ferry and everything in-between. They have great coffee, food to go (I swear I once saw them offer picnics that you could order ahead – not on the menu so I will verify!), as well as lots of space to sit down.
The bonus here is that they built a wonderful little sandbox under the trees so you can relax and sip your sangria while your kids play! There is lots of safe space around the cafe under trees and on the grass for them to run around on as well.
Each day offers a drink special, they have musical events throughout the summer and they serve everything from breakfast to dinner. We often make a day of it and my husband is able to join straight from work in the evening.
Full disclosure: I do find the staff a bit on the hippie side. Which means don’t expect 5-star service. Ha! Things move slowly on the Island. But the food is great and they serve pitchers of sangria – so I’m willing to wait to be seated or deal with the slooooow moving line for coffee.
As always, happy adventures and happy playgrounding!