The Toronto Beaches, sitting on the side of Lake Ontario, is one of the most favorite places to live in the Toronto area. Whether you want to have a fantastic weekend resort or buy real estate as an investment or to start a family and raise your children, the Beaches is a second to none place to think of in the Toronto area. But as it expected, more luxury and comfort always means more costs.
The Beaches neighbourhood offers you a vibrant, yet lovely environment. A family friendly, safe and peaceful place, a mix of modern and the old world facilities and all sorts of fun and amusement has made this neighborhood a top candidate to accommodate the needs of everyone.
History of the Toronto Beaches
In the 1900s and early 2000s, before the great Toronto stretches itself to the shoreline, the Beaches was a permanent destination for the residents of Toronto on the weekends to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and relax for a while in nature and by the water. It was mostly a woody land spotted by large cottages. By the time, Toronto became the fastest growing metropolitan of North America and this lakeside area was undertaken by the city developers and turned to a residential area. But, after one and a half century, it has highly preserved its old heritage and nowadays you can see all features of this heritage here and there all around the Beaches.
These historic buildings and architecture grant this neighborhood a unique persona which cannot be found anywhere else in Toronto.
The Beaches comprises four beaches: Woodbine Beach, Cherry Beach, Bluffer’s Beach and Kew-Balmy Beach, with Woodbine Beach is located in the far west and Balmy Beach is located in the far east of the Beaches.
The Beaches neighbourhood is bounded by Coxwell Avenue on the west, Victoria Park Avenue on the east, Kingston Road to the North and the shoreline of Lake Ontario to the south.
Resort and recreation facilities are mainly located beside the lake or in a walking distance from it and the small town shops, restaurants, kids accessories, antique stores and other sorts of things are mostly located along Queen Street East which like an axe cuts the Beaches in two halves.
Demographics of the Beaches Neighbourhood
The Beaches has a population of more than 20,000 mainly consisting of young and middle aged families. Average income of a family in the Beaches community is about $150,000. The north of the area mainly belongs to the middle class and so called white collar people and the south is occupied by the wealthy people who own the luxury houses on the shore front. Majority of the residents in the Beaches neighbourhood are of caucasian descent. Almost two-third of the residents are owners and one-third are tenants.
Local professional jobs and businesses are very scarce and nearly all of the local jobs are in the shops, restaurants, cafés and seasonal service jobs which especially scale up in the summer. So, young and middle-aged professionals have to commute to other parts of the city to make a living.
How to Access the Beaches Neighbourhood
The Beaches is easily accessible from all around the great Toronto. If you want to reach the Beaches your options are streetcar, bus, and car.
The easiest way is taking the 501 streetcar from the Queen Street subway station to the Beaches. You can easily take off at any stop in the area.
- Walk to Union Station (Bay St at Front St West south side) and wait for 72 Pape Station Line. At arrival ride it to Carlaw Ave at Gerrard St East north side. From there walk to Gerrard St East at Carlaw Ave and ride 506 (Main Street Station) to Coxwell Ave at Upper Gerrald St East. From there walk to Coxwell Ave at Fairford Ave and ride line 22 (Eastern Ave at Queen St East south side) to Queen St East at Kingston Rd.
- Walk to Bay St at King St West and ride line 6 (Davenport Rd at Dupont St) to Bay St at College St. Then walk to College St at Bay St and ride 506 (Main Street Station) to Coxwell Ave at Upper Gerrard St East. Then just get line 22 (Eastern Ave at Queen St East South Side) to Queen St East at Kingston Rd.
- Walk to Fleet St at Strachan Ave and ride 511 (Spadina Station) to Bathurst St at College St. Then walk to College St at Bathurst St and ride 506 (Main Street Station).
- Walk to Atlantic Ave at King St West and ride 63 (Oakwood Ave at St Clair Ave West) to Ossington Ave at College St. Then walk to College St at Ossington Ave and take 506 to Coxwell Ave at Fairford Ave and then 22 to Queen St East at Kingston Rd.
Walk to Union Station and ride Finch to Bloor. Then wait for Kennedy subway and ride to Woodbine and from there it is a 30 minutes walk to the Beaches.
At Union Station wait for LE (Oshawa Go) train and ride it to Danforth Go and exit at Danforth Go-Ted Reeves Dr. From there walk to the Beaches in 36 minutes.
Where to Amuse and Relax in the Toronto’s Beaches
The Toronto Beaches is not in a shortage of places to amuse and relax at all. Not only there are plenty of public facilities to serve the people all sorts of fun and resortments, but even the pets will find special places to play and get amused. The Beaches neighbourhood is very famous for the abundance of facilities for the kids.
It roots back to the late 19th century, Kew Gardens (called by locals Castle Park) is one of the historic landmarks of the Beaches. It is located between Queen Street and Kew Beach on Lake Ontario. This Park is the center of all major public events such as Beaches International Jazz Festival, in July. In summertime, it is the host of throngs of tourists from all around the world. Also, it is the first place for local meetings, public shows and concerts.
Woodbine Beach is probably the most harmonious part of the Beaches to actually serve the purpose of a natural beach. Its sandy shore and first class swimming services has made this place the real deal for aquaphiles. Furthermore, providing a lengthy boardwalk, it will not disappoint the people who wish to take a stroll alongside the Beaches. Also, sport fans can find all imaginable sorts of sport facilities on this beach.
The Beaches Library
This branch of Toronto’s Public Library is a lovely, tranquil corner to sit one or two hours relaxing, reading or in the meanwhile enjoying sipping coffee.
The Fox Theatre
An old restored movie theatre which evokes nostalgia of early twenties classic cinemas, The Fox Theatre these days is a top place to watch classic, foreign and independent movies. It also is loved by the kids as a glorious hall to take local birthday parties.
Bizzy Bee Playcentre
Bizzy Bee Play Centre beside the Beaches Park is a perfect indoor play zone for parents to hang out with their kids for hours. Also, it is a dream place to take birthday parties for the kids.
Where to Eat and Drink in the Beaches
The stone Lion Pub in Queen Street East at the north side corner of Kenilworth Ave is a quiet, friendly place for wine and beer lovers. The pub provides craft beers, wines and some special dishes such as fish tacos. The prices are low and the environment is relaxing.
Along Queen Street East, beside Herbert Ave you can drop in Breakwall BBQ for lunch. From well-known “low n slow” smoked meat to home-made sauce, are ready to be served.
Once a bank building and now a popular pub, Murphy’s Law besides its delicious dishes is famous for its epic rooftop patio with a 360° view over Queen St. East and the waterfront. You can spot it where Queen St. East meets Kingston Rd.
Just one block past Beech Ave along Queen St. East you will hit Remarkable Bean Coffee and Tea. No visit to the Beaches will be complete without having a drink in this café shop.
Hogtown Smoke is located at the south corner of Queen St. East, Kenilworth Ave. joint. All sorts of smoked and fried meats and grinds for all tastes are served here; pulled pork, brisket, side ribs and indeed chickens. A full array of drinks and appetizers prepare you for a hearty meal after a long stroll or hard swim.
In Queen St East just at Hambly Ave turn, Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant sits elegant and inviting. Its Japanese meals are second to none.
Where to Shop in the Beaches
Queen St. East is the shopping center of the Beaches. Between Waverley Rd. and Glen Manor Dr is packed with shops and boutique stores. Women can head to Set Me Free for clothing, handbags, jewelry and shoes. Men can find cute gifts here for their ladies. The Embellished Room is full of inexpensive women dresses. Men can find dress and accessories in La Manna Fashion For Men, Boa Boutique and Pony Club The Fashion For Men.
Green Spaces and Nature in the Beaches
Kew Gardens Park, Woodbine Park and Ashbridge’s Bay Park are three popular parks in the neighbourhood. If you want to get away from the crowds, you may head to Glen Stewart Ravine. There you can stroll, hike and do exercise and for a while get a true feel of being in nature.
Where to Cool Off in the Beaches
After soaking the sun in Kew Gardens on a hot summer day you may need to cool off somewhere. You can go for a swim in Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pool or Woodbine Beach. If you choose Woodbine Beach, there are all sorts of swimming and shore sport amenities. You even can rent a paddleboard and explore the bay.
Real Estate in The Beaches
In the Beaches neighbourhood what at the first glance draws your eyes are large detached and semi-detached cottages like houses and luxury lakeside lofts as you go toward the shoreline. Of course, there are some limited low-rise condos but the Toronto Beaches neighbourhood is one of the few districts that still has been kept away from the rush for high-rise and tower condominiums such as Condos in Yorkville. Many of the houses are old and their building dates back to 1960-1980. Currently, detached houses are sold for $1,800,000 and a typical condo price is well over $800,000. These prices are well above the Toronto Average House Price. Rental prices also vary in the range of $1500-$3500.
The Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto is famous for being tranquil, family-friendly, vibrant and rich in lush landscapes. If you have come to Toronto and haven’t visited the Beaches, you probably have lost the best part of your trip.
If you want to invest in a house in the Toronto Beaches or have decided to move there for living, the Beaches will fully meet your needs. Just in a few steps our top Toronto Real Estate Agents are ready to help you to find your best fit house in the Beaches neighbourhood.