Don't count on that annual summer day on the island this year. An island getaway doesn't seem to be on the cards for Toronto residents, even to local ones. Mayor John Tory said on May 20 that the Toronto Islands aren't going to be open for "a while yet" due to the difficulties in allowing access again.

Although some things are starting to reopen across the 6ix already, the islands could pose a risk due to the popularity of the beaches and parks and the crowded nature of transport.

In an interview with CP24 on Wednesday, May 20, Tory insisted that the islands will reopen again at some stage, but it's not likely to happen as quickly as people would have hoped.

“We are very conscious of the fact that people want to use the islands and the businesses over there want to have the people over there and we are looking at it all the time but I expect it will be a while yet before that is open,” said Tory.

Although he says the city has already been talking about the potential reopening and how they'd go about it, another issue that arises is the current Transport Canada regulations. 

Those regulations say that each ferry must currently carry only half of its capacity in order to ensure social and physical distancing. Ferries have only generally been used for island residents since mid-March.

“Obviously if we had a really nice day and we had the ferry docks open but the ferries could only be half full you would have massive lineups, so you have to sort of figure all that out,” said Tory.

It does sound like a logistical headache.

Particularly because, as we get a wave of summer heat to end May, opening the islands would essentially mean opening its beaches and park areas too.


The islands have been shut before, of course, as COVID-19 isn't the only thing that poses a risk.

Back in February, the islands were expected to reach record-breaking flood levels this month and barriers were already being built in anticipation.

Of course, if you're not able to head to Toronto Islands this year for your usual adventure, you could always buy one instead? There's a bunch of Ontario private islands available for purchase starting at a pretty modest $260,000.

But the headline is that if you're a regular islands visitor, you might have to scrap your plans for a summer 2020 visit. Or, at least, put them on hold for the time being.

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