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Spotlight on Toronto Island

Toronto Island: 15 minutes to pastoral paradise.

Toronto Island: 15 minutes to pastoral paradise.

15 minutes to pastoral paradise

Now flaunting four — count them, four — David Chang dining rooms all stacked up in one glass cube, Toronto may be the very model of a buzzing urbane city. But hop a 15-minute ferry and you slide into a pastoral parallel universe thanks to the Toronto Islands, strung out like a daisy chain in Lake Ontario. Most people head straight to Centre Island (a.k.a. Toronto Island), where everyone shoots by on bikes -- or, in the canals, kayaks -- rather than cars. For a rustic symphony of forest, dunes, and beaches, don’t overlook the clothing-optional Hanlan’s Point Beach. For a slightly dressier option, the neighboring Rectory Café dishes up a mean Ontario bacon cheeseburger on a lakeside patio. Book your whitewashed room at Swan’s End Guest House ( on adjoining Algonquin Island early, especially if you’re coming in June, when the International Dragon Boat Race Festival turns Lake Ontario into a retro vision of Hong Kong Harbour.

Take a video tour of the Rectory Café below:

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