Centreville Amusement Park
" The following is an article written after Ainsley Brush and her son's visit to Centreville Amusement Park located on Toronto Centre Island. To truly appreciate Centreville and Toronto Centre Island , you need to visit it in person. Have fun! Visit their website (click HERE) for more information."
by Ainsley Brush
Festival Nomad Correspondent
Riding the Ferry...
I was very excited to get to go on the trip to Toronto's Centre Island and Centreville Amusement Park with my youngest son Dylan. I had been a few years before with my oldest son Tyler and before that had gone as a kid with my Dad, so I knew that it would be a fun time. We arrived in Toronto at around 10:30 and the bus dropped us off a few blocks from the ferry so we had a bit of a walk before the adventure was to begin. When we arrived at the ferry, I gathered with my group of 4 and listened to the teachers instructions so we'd know what time to meet at the end of the day. We then lined up for the ferry and waiting anxiously for it to arrive. When the ferry arrived, the opened the gate and we all were able to board it. My group chose to go to the upper floor and headed right to the front of the ferry to get the best view of our trip across the lake to the island. The trip on the ferry only took about 8 minutes and during that time, my group excitedly chatted about what rides they wanted to go on first. Two of the boys in our group had been to the island before and talked about being our guides. I also took a couple of pictures to capture their excitement before we arrived.
We headed downstairs and then exited the ferry and headed towards where the maps of the island are located. I reviewed the map and found it to be a bit confusing so chose to follow others from the school to where our next meeting point was to be. We got our ride bracelets and then headed to the first chosen ride which was the Log Flume ride. We had a bit of trouble finding this ride and had to ask someone where it was but then we found it. This ride fits up to 4 riders in each boat and takes you for a bit of a journey in water and then takes you up a steep hill and then quickly down the other side. You will get a bit wet on this ride but not uncomfortably wet...just refreshing. Because the Centreville Amusement Park wasn't too busy we were able to stay on the ride and go around 3 more times before we had to get off.
Next we went to another kids of boat ride called the Rockin' Ferry Ride but there was no water involved in this ride. A group sat on one side and another group sat on the other side facing each other and the boat started going back and forth and then it started to spin. First one way and then the other...I didn't enjoy this one as much and I'm not big on spinning rides but my group enjoyed it. Not enough to go on it a second time but they still enjoyed it.
We then headed for a ride called the Leapin' Lily Pad. This is a kids version of drop tower and takes you up a few feet in the air and then drops and bounces. It wasn't too scary, just makes your stomach feel funny. The ride seats 7 people altogether and it can hold one adult per ride. Yes, I did go on it a couple of times and it was FUN!
Our next ride was the ride right beside it called the Monster Coaster. It's a kid friendly version of a roller coaster that has two spirals in it and travels pretty fast. It goes around the track three times before stopping. We were fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to get to stay on this ride for several times around as it wasn't too busy. By the 4th time around, I was ready to exit the ride. My group stayed on though for another couple of times. They LOVED it!!
Riding High and Then Lunch...
After this ride, we decided to take it easier as a couple of the boys in the group were dizzy from the previous ride so we chose to go on the Sky Ride. This ride takes you high above Centreville Amusement Park so that you can get a good view of the park. It's a little scary because it's so high up but it was a great place to take pictures and just relax and enjoy the view. Getting on and off the ride is part of the adventure as well because the ride never stops so you have to stand in a specific place to get on the ride and hop on and you have to hop off at a specific time and run to the right so the ride doesn't bump into you.
After this ride, everyone decided that it would be a good idea to have some lunch. In the middle of the park, they have a couple of restaurants including Pizza Pizza. Everyone decided that they wanted pizza so we each ordered a pizza slice. They were a good size and very tasty and cost was only $4.20 each so I wasn't too disappointed. They had lots of seating areas and we didn't have any trouble finding a good place to sit and enjoy our lunch. We took our time while sitting and looked around and decided what we might like to do next.
After we were done lunch, everyone had decided on trying out the antique cars. Especially after they found out that you actually get to steer and make them move with the gas pedal. The cars are on a track so that they can't go astray but the gas pedals work and the person driving the cars actually have to apply the gas to get them to move. They also get to steer the cars as well although I don't think that they actually have to steer them because they are on the track. Still it was fun for my group of 11 years olds to get a chance to drive and my son thought it was neat that he could drive his mom around for the first time! When we finished with the car driving experience, my group thought they'd like to try out driving another kind of car...BUMPER CARS. These were extremely fun to drive around and bump into each other. You do get a bit wet and they take a bit to figure out how to drive but so much fun!
Lots of Candy and Then...
After the boat ride, we headed to the gift shops to see what we could find to buy. Most of the stores had lots of candy but not much else. We also were able to find a store that sold ice cream and it was delicious...they had our favourite kind of ice cream too...ROLO! After the candy and ice cream, what better way to top it off then riding on the Haunted Barrel Works. This was the first ride that I opted out because I was too busy finishing off my ice cream and scary rides aren't really my thing. My group LOVED the ride though and must have went on it 1/2 a dozen times in a row. They probably would still be on the ride if I didn't suggest that we try something different. We decided to try out the Swan Ride. What makes these different than other swan rides that I've been on, is that you actually get to steer them. They aren't on an underwater line and just going around in a circle until they bring you back to the start. You are steering them and even though they drive really slow, I thought it was really neat that the kids could steer them. This was my son's second time to drive his mother around in one day. What fun!
After this ride, we saw that the Centreville Train was heading to the station so we thought that would be a neat thing to try out. The ride takes you all the way around the park and likely would have a been a good thing to do first as opposed to the end of the day as this is how we discovered the Bumper Cars and Scrambler ride. The train also goes through a tunnel and the boys thought this was pretty neat. After the train ride, we ran to the Bumper Cars as it was getting to the end of the day and my group didn't want to miss out on this. Again, there weren't many on this ride so it was great for the kids because they had lots of room to drive around and bump into each other. They stayed on for a couple rounds and then decided something new was in order. Next to the bumper cars was the Scrambler. This is an indoor ride and I've never been on it. I'm intrigued by the fact that it is indoors though and probably should give it a try sometime but I'm not one for that ride. The boys loved it though and wanted to go on a second time but it was getting close to time to go catch the ferry so we couldn't chance it.
On our way to the ferry, there was time for them to get one last ride on the Log Flume ride (all 4 of them in a boat) as there wasn't any line-ups. Then we had to beeline it for the meeting place for the ferry.
Our trip back on the ferry was awesome. I sat this time as there was a ton of seating and relaxed while my group (who were again up top and at the front of the ferry) enjoyed the view. I took some amazing pics of the Toronto skyline including the CN tower on our way back. When the ferry arrived back at Toronto shore, we exited and met up with the rest of the class and then headed for the bus. Everyone was exhausted and claimed to have had the best day ever and honestly I couldn't agree more.
A Wonderful Day!!!
Everything about the day made it a wonderful one. The weather was amazing...it didn't rain but was overcast most of the day and the temperature was great. Not cold and not hot...just a warm comfortable temperature all day long. There were no line-ups all day long which meant that everyone got to ride each ride as many times as they wanted until they were bored of it and wanted to move on. The rides in the park are close together so there wasn't a ton of walking other than from the ferry drop off to the amusement area which wasn't that far. There were tons of trees for shade and park benches for sitting if you needed to sit. There were some rides that we didn't go on including Antique Carousel, Barrels of Fun, Ferris Wheel, Pony Express, Touring Cars, Twirling Tea Cups, Fire Engine, Kiddie Boat and Bumble Bees. This was only because most of the rides were geared towards younger kids or my group wasn't interested in them not because they weren't great rides.
This is not a park for someone looking for big exciting high tech rides like Wonderland. This is a park for someone looking for a relaxing and fun place for kids and adults of all ages. I enjoyed myself very much at the Centreville Amusement Park and hope to be able to go back with the rest of my kids and grandkids someday.