Running from Leslie Street in the west to Victoria Park Avenue in the east, Kingston Road in the north and bordered by the waterfront on the south, the Beaches has been a popular residential area for over a century. Considered east of downtown, it is one of the few neighbourhoods with a long stretch of coast, which is bordered by a wooden boardwalk and sandy beach, frequented by roller bladers, volleyball players and tourists all summer long. The main commercial stretch is Queen Street East, filled with restaurants, pubs with patios, clothing and antique stores — a thriving centre in the summer, during the jazz festival in particular, but with a small-town feel that is enjoyed year-round. The residential area is characterized by Victorian and Edwardian houses, on roads running off the main drag, on tree-lined streets with mature gardens, featuring the obligatory piece of drift wood or hammock. The area is served by streetcars east-west on Queen Street, Kingston Road and Gerrard Street, and three buses run north-south.
Large parks are plentiful in this neighbourhood, both close to the waterfront or further north. A ravine that divides the area north-south provides a more rugged, but equally scenic opportunity for exploration, as do, further east, The Scarborough Bluffs. A popular skate park also gives boarders the chance to run off some energy.
Beach Skatepark, 1420 Lake Shore Blvd. E
The Ceili Cottage is a favourite for its large beer menu, oysters and huge patio out front (which is inhabited by a yurt during winter months). Murphy’s Law offers a rooftop patio and unrivalled views of the area. Or closer to the water places like The Papillon on the Park deliver French food just off the boardwalk.
Ceili Cottage, 1 301 Queen St. East
Murphy’s Law, 1702 Queen St. East
The Papillon on the Park, 1001 Eastern Ave.