Information about Toronto Island, ferry schedule, map, park, attractions & more.

Hanlan's Point

Hanlan's Point, the most westerly of the three main islands that make up the Toronto Island Park, is the most "green" and probably the least busy, though you'll find it well-serviced. It has a baseball diamond, beach - including a clothing optional beach - bike trail, changeroom, drinking fountain, firepits, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, outdoor tennis courts, outdoor volleyball (more about sports activities), fast-food outlet (more about restaurants on the island), 12 picnic sites, and washrooms.

Hanlan's point

The area near the beach is covered with beautiful but fragile sand dunes, and has a great view of the city. Because the beach is west-facing, it's the best place on the Island to view the sunset. and on Labour Day, to see the Canadian International Airshow.

Hanlan's Point was originally a popular resort community for summer cottagers in the the late 1800s. One of the first to settle there was the Hanlan family, who arrived in 1862. In 1870, they converted their home into a hotel that attracted summer visitors coming to the Island and it became the centre of social activity. A Hanlan son, Ned Hanlan, rowed to the mainland every morning to go to school, and eventually became an internationally famous scull rower. You'll see the large statue of him as you get off the boat at Hanlan's Point.

The Hanlan's Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1909.

In 2002, one kilometer of the Hanlan's beach was officially recognized as Clothing Optional. It's one of only two clothing optional beaches in the country, the other being in Vancouver. The beach has always been "gay friendly," but attracts all kinds of people because of its relaxed, friendly atmosphere. One end of the beach is considered "clothing mandatory", so take your pick.

The Gibraltar Point lighthouse, which now stands inland because of shifting land masses, was built in 1808 to protect ships coming into Toronto harbour from washing ashore during storms. Its first lighthouse keeper JP Rademueller, was murdered by two solider from Fort York, though his body was never found. It is said that the ghost of of JP Rademueller returns every summer, and on hot summer nights, his howls can be heard from one end of the island to the other.