For those of you that have been following me on social media the last couple months, you’ll know that I made the transition to #eastsidelady this past summer. While I’ve been a west end gal for 13 years, I’ve embraced this new change a lot more than I ever imagined. Much like some of the best neighbourhoods in this city, there’s a sense of community, culture and convenience in the east end, that immediately wins you over. If you’re currently on the house hunt, what’s an east end ‘hood you need to check out? Set your sights on The Beaches, the city’s beachy oasis.
Welcome To The Beaches
This pocket of the city is without a doubt one of the most coveted neighbourhoods in Toronto. It’s starts at Coxwell Avenue in the west and runs until Victoria Park to the east, then goes as far north as Kingston Road and finishes up at Lake Shore Boulevard to the south. While it’s only about a 20 minute drive from the downtown core, The Beaches has a small town energy that transports you away from the city’s epicentre, making it an appealing place for potential homebuyers.
While some young professionals do make their way out to this end of the city, The Beaches primarily attracts couples looking to start families or growing ones looking to set strong roots in Canada’s biggest city. It features a nice mix of homes including semi-detached and detached Victorian and Edwardian houses, as well as some new builds and row homes. More coveted areas of the neighbourhood feature cottage-like houses, which conveniently border the water and feature picturesque views of Lake Ontario.
Things To Do
The Beaches features a robust commercial district, especially along Queen Street East. It easily goes from day to night, which attracts locals and city folk from all over Toronto. There are many independent boutiques, cafes, vintage and specialty shops, as well as a growing number of local breweries popping onto the scene and neighbouring areas. We also can’t forget it’s incredible food scene here, featuring some of the city’s favourites including the Hogtown Smoke, Sauvignon Bistro, and Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant.
Aside from these local amenities, this ‘hood wouldn’t get it’s name if it weren’t for it’s beachfront, which is always busy during the hotter months of the year. From shady parks for weekend family-fun, to sandy beaches for a fun round of volleyball, to a 3 km boardwalk that’s perfect for strolling during golden hour — the Beaches is one of the best summertime destinations in the city. It’s home to a lot of local parks as well, featuring notable ones like Kew Gardens and the famous Woodbine Beach, the largest of four in the area.
Much like other parts of the city, the Beaches comes alive in the spring and summer months as it plays host to a number of local events and festivals. Things certainly kick off during the Victoria Day long weekend where Ashbridges Bay hosts a spectacular annual fireworks show, followed by another for Canada Day. It’s also home to the famous Beaches Jazz Festival hosted every summer which attracts jazz performers from all over the world to hit up their stages along the various parks and beaches on the area.
Additional Neighbourhood Perks
One of the biggest perks of living in The Beaches is that it’s also very close to other family-friendly neighbourhoods including Leslieville and Riverdale (my new home!), all of which feature its own array of parks, entertainment, and endless shopping districts.
Besides that, the Beaches is easily accessible to other areas of the city. For those travelling by the TTC, there are multiple streetcars that run from east to west and vice versa, including the 501 streetcar, which runs along Queen Street East, the 502 and 503 which runs along Kingston Road, and the 506 which runs along Gerrard Street East. In addition to that, there are multiple bus routes that run from north to south, from subway stations along the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
If you don’t consider yourself much of a commuter, there are routes that also cater to drivers that will get you in and around the city in no time, such as the quick access to the Don Valley Parkway and Kingston Road which will get you on the 401 highway in no time.
Who Should Buy Here
This upscale neighbourhood definitely comes with a price, with freehold homes averaging at $1.5 million. Because of it’s small town energy in the big city, The Beaches tends to attract young or established families. And it all makes sense — the crime rate is very low here and it features many schooling options such as Balmy Beach Community School, Beaches Alternative Junior Schooland or Montessori options such as Kew Park Montessori School and Avalon Children’s Montessori.
All in all, while there’s obviously a little bit of something here for everyone, it’s a neighbourhood that’s better equipped for raising little ones in Toronto. There’s a community feel everywhere you turn, and everyone feels like your neighbour, even if they’re not. Could having the Lakeshore at your front steps be any better?
If you’re interested in learning more about this neighbourhood or looking at the real estate options currently available here — contact me today and let’s start the househunt together.