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Neighbourhoods at a Glance: The Beaches
Neighbourhoods at a Glance: The Beaches

History:
The first settlers were the Ashbridge family who migrated to Canada from Philadelphia in 1793. The Ashbridges’s Bay Park was named after them. They and a handful of other families farmed this area until the late 1800’s when The Beaches properties were subdivided, and large chunks of land were set aside for local parks.

When the 1920’s came around, the City of Toronto expanded eastward and The Beaches were subdivided again for year round living. Over the years it has become one of Toronto’s most famous neighbourhoods.

Today:
The vibe in The Beaches is different from the one of a big city, it is more the one of a lakeside resort town, especially in the summertime when thousands of Torontonians and tourists gather to The Beaches to walk on the Boardwalk, exercise on the Martin Goodman trail, relax by the lake, or even shop and dine along colourful Queen Street.

Kew Gardens has become the social center of The Beaches, hosting many annual events suc as the Christmas Tree and Menorah lighting festival, a Jazz festival and an arts and crafts show.

Shopping:
Queen Street has the most happening when it comes to The Beaches shopping district. Many of the restaurants and stores are decorated with beach flavours and cater to the many tourists.

You will also find a flavour of the beach to the shops on Kingston Road, but they attract a more local clientele.

Fun:
The Boardwalk, connecting with the Martin Goodman trail and and stretching to the city’s waterfront from Humber River to The Beaches, is definitely the most famous landmark in this neighbourhood.

Bay Park is the place to do so. For nature trails and picturesque ravine views look for the Glen Stewart Park right off of Queen Street. For a quick swim on that warm summer afternoon, the Donald Summerville Pool at the bottom of Woodbine Avenue offers a great view of the lake along with an Olympic size pool, a diving pool and a children’s pool.

If you are a tennis player, Kew Gardens has one of the most active programs in Toronto with 10 lit up courts. The park also offers a baseball diamond, artificial ice rink, a children’s playground, wading pool and a band stand for concerts.

For the intellectual reader, The Beaches Branch Public Library is next to Kew Gardens, off Queens Street.

Getting Around:

The buses and streetcars run along Queen Street, Kingston Road, Gerrard Street, Victoria Park Avenue, Main Street and Woodbine Avenue. They all connect to rapid transit lines and subway stations.

Schools:
Adam Beck Jr., 400 Scarborough Rd., (416) 393-1682
(Public School)

Balmy Beach Jr., 14 Pine Ave., (416) 393-1565
(Public School)

Beaches Alternative, JK-Gr.4, 50 Swanwick Ave., (416) 393-1451
(Public School)

Glen Ames Sr., 18 Williamson Rd., (416) 393-1800
(Public School)

Kew Beach Jr., 101 Kippendavie Ave., (416) 393-1810
(Public School)

Kimberley Jr., 50 Swanwick Ave., (416) 393-1450
(Public School)

Norway Jr., 55 Corley Ave., (416) 393-1700
(Public School)

Williamson Road Jr., 24 Williamson Road., (416) 393-1740
(Public School)

Malvern Collegiate Institute, 55 Malvern Ave., (416) 393-1480
(Public High School)

St.Dennis, 67 Balsam Ave., (416) 393-5310
(Separate School)

St. John, 780 Kingston Rd., (416) 393-5220
(Separate School)

Notre Dame, 12 Malvern Ave., (416) 393-5501
(Separate High School)