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Toronto Communities Profile: The Beaches E02
The Beaches (also known as “The Beach“) is a neighbourhood and popular tourist destination located on the east side of the “Old” City of Toronto. The original boundaries of the neighbourhood are from Fallingbrook Avenue on the east to Kingston Road on the north, to Woodbine Avenue on the west, south to Lake Ontario. The Beaches is part of the east-central district of Toronto.
The commercial district of Queen Street East lies at the heart of The Beaches community. It is characterized by a large number of independent specialty stores. The stores along Queen are known to change tenants quite often causing the streetscape to change from year to year, sometimes drastically. The side streets are mostly lined with semi-detached and large-scale Victorian, Edwardian and new-style houses. There are also low-rise apartment buildings and a few row-houses. Controversy has risen in recent years over new development in the neighbourhood that is changing the traditional aesthetic, with denser housing causing some residents to protect the traditional cottage-like appearance of the homes with heritage designations for some streets. There are several parks just a few steps south as well as a ravine that bisects the neighbourhood from North to South. Kingston Road is a four-lane road along the northern section of the neighbourhood. Woodbine Avenue is a five-lane road originating from Lake Shore Boulevard at the Lake Ontario shoreline, running north. It is primarily residential.
The Beach itself is a single uninterrupted stretch of sandy shoreline bounded by the R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant (locally known as the water works) to the east and Woodbine Park (a small peninsula in Lake Ontario) to the west. A long boardwalk runs along most of its length with a portion of the Martin Goodman Trail bike path running parallel. Although it is continuous, there are four names which correspond each to approximately one quarter of the length of the Beach (from east to west): Balmy Beach, Scarboro Beach, Kew Beach and Woodbine Beach.
The Beaches is known as being a great place to raise a family with very little crime as well as many parks and schools.
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