Toronto Islands The unattainable island community just outside downtown Toronto

The Toronto Islands neighbourhood normally isn't available to renters. The homes on the islands are occupied by their owners and the land under the homes is owned by the provincial government. Residents of the islands lease the land from the government for a certain period of time. There's a waiting list of something like 300 people to live here. No cars are allowed, so people get around by bike or canoe – so very Canadian.

Who Lives Here

Mainly seniors and empty nesters, with a few families with children mixed in. Young couples essentially don't exist here, except when they stop by on the weekend to enjoy the outdoor recreation options that the islands provide.

Perfect for…

Older couples without children and who don't need to commute to downtown Toronto on a daily basis – and want to live in the city without really living in the city.

Not-so-perfect for…

Renters. There's virtually nothing available, ever. For buyers, young singles will find themselves surrounded by a small population of older people.

Life and Style

The only access on or off the Toronto Islands is via the ferry, which takes about 10 minutes to arrive into the city. For commuters, it's not a bad deal. But being separated from the "mainland" does give a sense of isolation, hence Islanders spending a little less time downtown than others might, unless they work there. However, the natural areas of the Islands provide great areas for outdoor recreation like walks and cycling, boating, tennis, lawn bowling or hanging out on the beaches during the summer. In wintertime, residents go skating or cross-country skiing. In general, life on the Islands is quiet and runs at a much slower pace than other Toronto neighbourhoods.

Housing Market

In brief, the housing market on the Toronto Islands is virtually impossible to attain. Long waiting lists with strict criteria make it hard to find a place to live among the 300 or so homes on the islands. Renting is virtually unheard-of.

Avg. rent by housing type and size

Not available

Typical housing type

Charming wooden homes on big lots


There are no businesses on the Toronto Islands, but there is a school and a church, as well as an art gallery called Artscape Gibraltar Point, plus two daycares. There's a kids amusement park here with a splash pad and even one of just a few frisbee golf areas in the city. The Islands are a tourist destination as much as they're a Toronto neighbourhood.