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Spend a day at Centreville


I recently had my first Centreville experience, and it definitely won’t be my last.

My husband, almost-four-year-old daughter and I boarded the ferry to Centre Island on a slightly chilly, cloudy Saturday morning. After a quick trip and several explanations to the kiddo that we were NOT on the ocean, we arrived at the Island, greeted by sunshine and blue sky.

After a three-minute walk, we were at Centreville—which is, as I found out, the perfect amusement park for the preschool-set. My daughter was beyond pumped when she saw her favourite ride: the carousel. She tends to stick to the safer rides, sticking close to my husband or myself. But on this particular day, she turned into a daredevil.

This kid went on the Log Flume ride and the Toronto Island Mine mini roller coaster, plus she enjoyed rides by herself! I actually felt proud (and also sad) as I watched her get in line alone and hop on the Kiddie Boat ride. Then she drove the Touring Cars on her own, too. The scariest ride for her, for some reason, was the Swan Boat ride. But she donned a life jacket and brave face, jumped in the boat and had a great time steering.

Aside from the rides, there was so much more to do. We visited the animals at the Far Enough Farm, danced and sang along with performer James Funnyhat, and had a cool-down at a craft station. (Sidenote: the employees at all these stations and rides are amazing – polite, helpful and very friendly). The best part is that all these activities are included in the price of a play-all-day. We didn’t fork over money at every turn, which is important to families.

I did, however, reach for my wallet at the end of the day as we indulged in a funnel cake with the works (strawberries, apples and ice cream). I hadn’t had one in years and this was my daughter’s first, and I felt it necessary to share this bonding experience together (this is my excuse).

We all had a really great day and the kiddo passed out about three minutes into our drive home. For the next few days, I raved about Centreville to our family and friends, advising them to all take advantage of this hidden gem. And I hope they do – so my family can tag along.

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