Guests will once again be able to visit the Toronto Islands as public ferry service resumes this weekend.
At a news conference at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal on Wednesday morning, Mayor John Tory confirmed that service for non-residents will resume on June 27. While Toronto Island Park has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, ferry service to the islands has been limited to residents only.
Mayor Tory said the ferries will operate at 50% maximum capacity and there will also be a number of additional COVID-19 guidelines and procedures in place to protect passengers and staff, developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health.
In order to allow for physical distancing on the ferries and in the terminal, ferry tickets will be limited to 5,000 per day and must be purchased online and visitors are encouraged to purchase their tickets ahead of time. Tickets are only valid for the date selected at the time of purchase.
Passengers will also be required to wear non-medical masks or coverings and there will be additional staff on-site to assist customers and sell tickets.
Anyone visiting the popular summer attraction is encouraged to refrain from taking the ferry during peak hours to reduce crowding, which is generally considered to be 9:30 am to 12:30 am for departures and 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm for return trips.
“I am pleased to be able to reopen public ferry services to the Toronto Island Park so that residents and visitors can once again enjoy this beloved part of our city,” said Mayor Tory.
“This journey is an important Toronto tradition, with the ferries annually providing trips to over a million people a year. I encourage people to head to the island, and enjoy the ferry experience safely and patiently as demand will be high and the ferry capacity is much lower due to COVID-19 precautions.”
There will also be enhanced cleaning and disinfecting undertaken on the vessels after every trip and hand sanitizer dispensers will be available. The washrooms on the ferries will be closed, however, washrooms will be open at the terminal and at Toronto Island Park.
As of this Saturday, the City says splash pads, a first aid station, Franklin Gardens, William Meany Maze, some food and beverage outlets, and disc golf will also open.
Other Toronto Island Park public and commercial amenities on the Island including Centreville and park playgrounds and boat rentals will remain closed as required by the current Province of Ontario emergency orders.