A dynamic urban metropolis teeming with skyscrapers it may be, but Toronto is also a city that appreciates the joys of waterside living. Nestled along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore, there is a rich sailing heritage here, while its scenic natural harbour is a perpetual hive of activity.
In this article, we’ve selected three of the best boat tours from Toronto, based on cost and previous customer reviews. We hope that it helps inspire you to visit and to experience one of them for yourselves.
FROM $25 PER PERSON
This highly original and fun-packed tour invites guests to climb aboard a 45-foot pirate ship and head out to sea in pursuit of excitement, adventure and sunken treasure. Designed with children in mind, the fully interactive excursion transports you to Centre Island, part of the idyllic Toronto Islands chain, where you’ll receive a crash course in how to be a pirate before hunting for booty, accompanied by the ship’s crew who are well versed in the nefarious habits of these legendary seafarers. First, though, you’ll need to get dressed up, with costuming, face-paint tattoos and the assigning of pirate names all on the agenda before you set sail. Taking place over 1.5 hours, the tour is recommended for children from 3-12, but all ages are welcome, and parents are encouraged to tag along too.
FROM $20 PER PERSON
This two-hour day or sunset sail around Center Island is one of the very best boat tours on offer from Toronto. Available through GetMyBoat, a global boat rental marketplace featuring 64,000 boats across 171 countries, the tour takes place aboard the stunning Kajama, a traditional 165-foot three-masted Schooner that harks back to a time when seafaring was not just a leisure pursuit, but a way of life. For two blissful hours, you’ll sail out on the open waters of Lake Ontario soaking up the magical views as the wind propels you across the ocean. You can sit back and relax, or if you’re feeling confident enough, help assist the ship’s crew with their onboard duties. But while the ship may be old-school, GetMyBoat’s booking services are at the cutting edge of modern technology – thanks to their easy-to-use Android and iPhone App, you can rent a boat right from your pocket.
FROM $72.79 PER PERSON
There are few things more romantic than a candlelit dinner cruise. On this 3-hour trip you and that special someone will be whisked off into the atmospheric surroundings of Lake Ontario where you’ll get to enjoy the scenic views of Toronto harbour and the city skyline before tucking into a gourmet 4-course meal freshly prepared by the boat’s on-board chefs. After dinner, you’ll have the chance to kick back and enjoy some dulcet tones spun by a live DJ, allowing you to groove the evening away. A fully licensed bar will help things flow late into the night.
FROM $21.50 PER PERSON
Soak up Toronto’s dramatic skyline on this hour-long sightseeing tour on-board a glass-encased boat. Boarding at Queens Quay West, you’ll traverse the city’s scenic inner harbour while listening to a potted history of the region as narrated by an expert tour guide. You’ll pass by Toronto’s vibrant harbour-front, buildings and skyscrapers, as well as natural attractions including parklands, lagoons and wildlife sanctuaries before stopping off at Centre Island, part of a chain of small islands in Lake Ontario. Here you can enjoy a relaxed stroll, or rent a bike if you prefer, and visit some of the island’s main attractions including the Centreville Amusement Park. From here you’ll return to your vessel for the journey back to Queens Quay West, where your tour will come to an end.
FROM £286.05 PER PERSON
Plan your own bespoke adventure on this private half-day tour which begins with a chauffeur-driven journey from Toronto towards the Niagara region, home to the iconic Niagra Falls. Be sure to ask your driver plenty of questions along the way – they are famously good value for a yarn. Once in Niagara, the world is your oyster, but you’d be crazy not to visit the world famous waterfalls that adorn so many postcards. Choose from a huge range of Niagra-based activities including a Hornblower boat cruise into the falls, or climbing up the Skylon Tower for jaw-dropping views of the gushing cascades of water. You can also enjoy a mouth-watering buffet lunch at the top of a luxury hotel, as well as leisurely strolls around the towns of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort George, and wine sampling at a local vineyard, before your return journey to Toronto.