Consider your ideal neighbourhood. Is it glamourous and urban, or cozy and community-minded? In the big city, or tucked away on a lakeside beach? With The Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto, you can have both.
Officially known as “The Beaches“, this area is enclosed by Victoria Park Avenue to the east, Kingston Road to the north, Woodbine Avenue to the west, and Lake Ontario to the south. With the feel of a lakeside resort town and all the amenities of the largest city in Canada, The Beaches is one of Toronto’s top neighbourhoods for discerning luxury buyers who prefer a close-knit community.
A Small Town Feeling in the Big City
One of the top things to see in The Beaches is of course, the beaches. Stroll along the 3-kilometre boardwalk to appreciate fine views of Lake Ontario. At the south end of the boardwalk you’ll find Kew Gardens, a 6.5-hectare public park and flower garden. Children will enjoy the wading pool, playground, and baseball diamond. This is a park for every season: in the summer, take advantage of the tennis courts; in the winter, enjoy the popular Christmas tree lighting and carolling, or go skating at the seasonal ice rink and then warm up by the fire pit.
To get a feel for the area, take a walk along Queen Street East. This is the main hub for cafés, restaurants, and shopping.
Places to Shop
Romantic-style furnishings, décor, and accessories can be found at Nesters on Queen Street East. The hand-selected pieces include both refurbished vintage and high-quality reproductions. The furniture suits styles from French countryside to modern reclaimed, and the wide range of candles, fragrances, and triple-milled soaps make excellent gifts. For fine tea, stop by Pippins down the street.
For modern, elegant Canadian fare in a rustic setting, make a reservation at Skin+Bones. Run by a husband and wife, the inviting bistro is housed in a century-old former printing factory. Dishes like Bavette steak with truffle soubise are made from scratch, and ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers.
If you’re feeling more like Italian cuisine, try the house-made pasta at La Sala. Built in a historic home near Kew Gardens, La Sala offers top quality dishes in a casual dining atmosphere.
Top Schools in the Area
Schools in The Beaches neighbourhood are excellent, with a minimum ranking of 7/10 from the Fraser Institute. Montessori options like Kew Park Montessori School and Avalon Children’s Montessori offer top quality education for young children.
Balmy Beach Community School is a good public option for children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6. Students benefit from ORFF music education, band and strings for older students, and French education beginning in Grade 4.
Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School is a publicly-funded Catholic boys’ school that was founded in 1958. Notable offerings include the technology centre, one of the largest visual arts studios in the school district, and a mentorship program with the University of Toronto.
Low-rise buildings and plenty of community events may give The Beaches the feel of a small town, but downtown Toronto is just a streetcar ride away down Queen Street. A full two-thirds of residents own their homes, and the majority have children—making these beaches not just a place to stop for a weekend, but also an excellent location for raising a family.