The Beach or the Beaches neighbourhood is considered one of the most desirable areas of Toronto. Both names have been used interchangeably since the early 1900s, when the community had four distinct beach areas, stretching from the R.C Harris Treatment Plant to Ashbridges Bay, known as Balmy Beach, Scarboro Beach, Kew Beach and Woodbine Beach. These beach areas are still referenced today by residents to identify neighbourhood pockets and school districts.
The Beach boundaries are from Coxwell Avenue to the west, Victoria Park Avenue to the east, Kingston Road to the north and Lake Ontario to the south. The area bounded by Queen Street East, Woodbine Avenue and Kingston Road is nicknamed the 'Beach Triangle'. The area above Kingston Road is known as the Upper Beach.
Home styles are predominately Victorian and Edwardian detached and semi-detached homes. Many homes were also originally built as cottages or summer homes and their charm and character add to the ambiance of the neighbourhood. Stately manor homes line the Glen Stewart Ravine and these homes are the most prestigious and sought after in the area. There is ongoing development, renovation and restoration happening all over the neighbourhood which has increased the value of homes beyond many budgets. However, in recent years, new condominium options, both low-rise and townhome style, have made the area a little more affordable for first time buyers.
The Beaches - In 2005, Toronto became the first Canadian community to certify its beaches under the international Blue Flag program. Woodbine Beach and Kew-Balmy have earned this designation. Woodbine Beach is located east and west of the foot of Woodbine Avenue. It is Toronto’s busiest beach with picnic areas, a full service restaurant, a beach volleyball concession and ample parking at Ashbridge’s Bay Park. Kew-Balmy Beach is located between Silver Birch Avenue and Leuty Avenue in Beaches Park. This narrow beach abuts the boardwalk and the Martin Goodman Trail. The Leuty Lifesaving Station, an icon of the Eastern Beaches, is located at the west end of the beach.
Donald D. Sutherland Olympic Pool has been a popular beach landmark for many years. There is an olympic size lap swimming pool, a family pool and a diving pool with high diving boards for the daring. Just outside the complex there is a playground and you are just steps from Woodbine Beach.
Martin Goodman Trail - runs along the edge of the boardwalk and is popular for runners, cyclists and rollerbalders.
Kew Gardens is a very popular park in the neighbourhood as it contains the Alex Christie Gazeebo, a baseball diamond, a children's playground, an outdoor hockey rink, a lawn bowling club, a private tennis club and of course the boardwalk and many other things to explore and enjoy. The Gardener's Cottage is also a popular site to visit in the south west corner of the park.
The Glen Stewart Ravine and Glen Manor Park is a beautiful park beginning just east of Glen Manor Road north of Queen Street East. It features a waterfall, a hiking path and nature trail that winds through the ravine up to Kingston Road. In winter, local residents volunteer to build and maintain an ice rink in the valley of the park.
Woodbine Park is located at the western edge of the Beach community just east of Coxwell Avenue and north of Lakeshore Blvd East. It stretches east over to Northern Dancer Blvd and north to Queen Street East. The park was established on the site of the former Greenwood Racetrack, alongside the new residential Beach community which was also developed on the site. The park not only has sport playing fields and a playground, it also houses a bandshell for summer concerts and events. The park is quite large and there are walking paths for casual strolls.
Balmy Beach Club - founded in 1903, it is a non-profit organization serving the Beach community and its amateur athlete members. For more information on the club and its offerings, click here.
Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club - is a private sailing club located in Ashbridge's Bay on Lake Ontario, at the foot of Coxwell Avenue. They have racing and cruising programs as well as an excellent sailing school for children and adults. For more information on the club, click here.
SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES
Toronto Public Library - Beaches Branch located at Queen Street East ( southwest corner of Queen Street East and Lee Avenue ). This beautiful historic library was originally constructed back in 1916, renovated in 1980 and again in 2005.
Malvern Colligiate Institute- Local pulic high school from grades 9-12. Located on Malvern Ave one block north of Kingston road.
Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School - An all boys high school, located on Victoria Park Avenue, just south of Kingston Road
Notre Dame Catholic High School is an all girls high school located on Malvern Avenue, just north of Kingston Road.
Glen Ames Senior Public School is located on Williamson Road adjacent to Williamson Road Public School. It serves as the local Senior middle school ( GR 7-8 ).
Bowmore Road Public School is located on Bowmore Road ( west of Woodbine Avenue and south of Gerard Street East ). It serves the Beaches western neighbourhood as both a junior (grades 1-6) and senior (grades 7-8) public school
Balmy Beach Community School is located at corner of Pine Avenue and Beech Avenue. The school dates from 1906 and the current building was erected in 1975.
Beaches Alternative School is located entirely within Kimberley Junior Public School.
Kew Beach Junior Public School is located on Queen Street East at Kippendavie Avenue, one block east of Woodbine Avenue.
Williamson Road Junior Public School is located on Williamson Road and is adjacent to Glen Ames Senior Public School.
St. Denis Catholic School is located on Balsam Avenue, just north of Queen Street East.
St. John's Catholic School is located on Kingston Road, just west of Malvern Avenue.
The Beach is serviced by the Queen St.E and the Kingston road street cars...the streetcars turn around at the Neville Park Loop, just west of Victoria Park Ave and Queen Street and also at Bingham Loop at Kingston Road just west of Victoria Park Ave.