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Toronto Beach

Toronto Beach District

Understanding the origins and evolution of the Beach helps one to understand the architecture.

The Beach & what is called the Upper Beach was originally a farming community. A small group of pioneers farmed this area until the end of the 1880’s. The Ashbridge family came to Canada from Philadelphia in 1793 and settled in the Beaches District, they were a part of this farming group & the most influential family with AshBridges Bay being named after them.

An Evening at the Beach

An Evening At the Beach

In parts of this district you will see a large home with a large chunk of land. Around it are built smaller homes from 5 bedroom detached homes down to homes as small as 1 bedroom semis. The wealthy landowners would build homes for their workers, sized according to their station in the farm pecking order. On some areas as farming came to an end the land was simply divided into parcels for building homes in the early 1900’s which meet with early 1900’s architecture.

In the very early 1900’s many Torontonians built cottages in the beach and they would drive their horse and buggies across town on a Friday afternoon from areas such as Parkdale or north Toronto to spend the weekend in the Beach district. Ultimately they wanted to live here and built full time homes.

In the late 1800’s the beaches were subdivided into large parcels of land setting aside even larger parcels for parks and beaches. Some of these parcels were Woodbine Beach Park, Scarboro Beach Park, Kew Beach Park, Balmy Beach Park ultimately forming what is now the beach. So this explains the beach architecture from farm house style structures to arts and crafts wooden cottages to little worker cottages to ultimately full time homes for the burgeoning new population of Toronto.

The Beach has became known as one of Toronto‘s most popular neighbourhoods. It offers the greatest variety of architectural house styles of any other neighbourhood in Toronto! These homes were mostly built during the 20’s and 30’s, and many of the original frame Beach cottages have been modernized and are still in great shape today. You’re sure to be pleased by the the tree-lined streets that lead you from the house all the way down to the lake. The neighbourhood scenery includes very appealing sights such as: colourful signs, store fronts, beach homes and friendly people.

Flower Garden In The Beach

Flower Garden In The Beach

Toronto is a huge city, but the Beach looks and feels more like a lakeside resort town rather than a large city neighbourhood. This doesn’t mean you’ll be away from everything that Toronto has to offer, Queen Street is the major shopping district, with many of the stores and restaurants at your disposal.

Enjoying a day in the Beach neighbourhood is easy! You can walk along the beach or on the three kilometer long boardwalk, relax by the water on the sand, or jog along the Martin Goodman Trail which spans the waterfront all the way to the Humber River. There is a beautiful park in the Beach neighbourhood with picnic tables, biking and roller-blade trails & a sandy beach.

As you could imagine the beautiful Beach neighbourhood attracts a lot of people to the area. At times it can be a little overwhelming for some, so for a less-crowded experience on the boardwalk, come down during the week and enjoy a pleasant stroll to fine restaurants, ice-cream shops, bars and excellent shopping (including designer shopping).

The Toronto Beach District will be sure to keep you busy and active! If you’re interested in sports, social events, or just enjoying the outdoors here are some places you may want to check out:

  • Kew Gardens is known as the Beach’s social centre. It hosts many events including a two major annual events (the jazz festival and the Christmas Tree and Menorah lighting festival.

  • Ashbridge’s Bay is a natural habitat park where you can enjoy a game of volleyball, or even softball during the warmer seasons.

  • East City YMCA offers the Beach a large community and recreational centre.

  • The public library has a variety of programs for adults and children to take part in.

  • Woodbine Avenue has an olympic size pool that provides swimming lessons as well as a physical challenge.

The Beach during winter:

The Beach during winter:

Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood is one of the most popular areas, and it’s easy to understand why. The evolution of the Beach helps one to understand the architecture. It’s first residence was a group of pioneers that farmed the area. Eventually the beaches were subdivided into large parcels of land setting aside even larger parcels for parks and beaches. In the early 1900’s many Torontonians built cottages in the Beach as their full time homes. It offers the greatest variety of architectural house styles of any other neighbourhood in Toronto that were built in the 20’s and 30’s. Since then the Beach has became known as one of Toronto’s most popular and loved neighbourhoods.

Other East Toronto Neighbourhoods: BeachLeslievilleRiverdale

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