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Beaches East York

Ward 19

Woodbine Park & Woodbine Beach Park
1695 Queen Street East (Woodbine Park), 1574 Lake Shore Boulevard East (Woodbine Beach Park)
For 150 years, Woodbine Park was the site of a popular horse-racing track before becoming the park and residential neighbourhood it is today. Woodbine Park is an active community space with playgrounds, a splash pad, climbing wall and a soccer field. Woodbine Park also has a boardwalk along a large pond that is home to wetland plants and pond life. To the south is Woodbine Beach Park: A broad and beautiful curve of sand at the foot of Woodbine Avenue, this popular 15.2 hectare park is one of the city’s many beaches and the gateway to three kilometres of sandy waterfront stretching eastward along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The Ashbridges Bay and Martin Goodman trails run through this park, which also includes a playground, outdoor fitness equipment, beach volleyball courts, picnic shelters, snack bar, full-service restaurant and parking at Ashbridges Bay Park. Beach Community Edible Garden is also located inside Woodbine Park. This community garden is tended by over 20 volunteers and sends most of its produce to the Glen Rhodes Food Bank. *Please note: No visitors are permitted to community or allotment gardens as per Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 guidance for community & allotment gardens. Please enjoy the garden from the nearest public sidewalk or path.

Fire Hall 227
1904 Queen Street East
This beautiful fire station is still fully operational, despite being built a century ago. Originally Toronto Fire Department 17, this fire station was built in 1905 and is known to locals as Kew Beach Fire Hall. The three-storey structure and 80-foot clock tower were built in the Queen Anne style popular at the time, but it is also influenced by the Dutch Colonial Revival architectural style seen in Fire Station 226, nearby on Main Street – you can see this influence in the stepped-gable roof, a signature of this style. Clock towers were common for fire stations at the time because the height made ideal spot for hanging fire hoses.

John Kuna Mural
2040 Queen Street East
This mural by artist John Kuna design was painted with a realistic scenic approach. It makes a nod to the Beaches International Jazz Festival by depicting a couple dancing in front of the Kew Gardens Gazebo, and highlights the active lifestyle of residents and visitors who enjoy the many amenities in this neighbourhood – from volleyball to dog walks, to picnics and ice cream breaks. Other landmarks highlighted include the Leuty Lifeguard Station and the boardwalk with a view of the Toronto skyline. It also depicts a scene of the Victoria Day fireworks, which occur each year in the area over Ashbridges Bay.

Peggy Delaney Way
2171 Queen Street East
This laneway and mural that celebrate local community philanthropist Peggy Delany. The mural was created by local youth in partnership with Community Centre 55 and was unveiled in the naming of the Peggy Delaney Laneway.

Kew Gardens
2075 Queen Street East
This remarkable park has been central to the community as a popular site for recreation and entertainment for over 125 years. In 1879, Kew Gardens, named after the royal botanical garden in England, began as a privately-owned park and resort on former farmland belonging to Joseph Williams. He transformed his property into a tourist destination for the many visitors who craved escape from the city, creating beautiful summer cottages, a resort near the lake, recreational facilities and campgrounds. Williams’ resort operated privately for over 25 years with a wide variety of activities, including camping, cottaging, picnicking, hiking, baseball, swimming, boating, and other sports such as tennis and lawn bowling. In 1907, Kew Gardens was purchased by the City of Toronto and converted into a public park. Today, it is a popular site with a gazebo for concerts, spectacular castle-themed playground for families, various sports facilities and shaded paths for leisurely strolls. One of Williams’ original cottages can be seen on the west side of Lee Avenue. Nicknamed, the “Gardener’s Cottage”, this quaint house was reserved as a living quarters for the Head Gardener.

Leuty Lifeguard Station & Scarboro’ Beach Amusement Park
Boardwalk, Toronto, ON M4L 1B8
The Leuty Lifeguard Station is a simple structure that has become a symbol of the Beach area and is much loved by the local community. Built in the 1920s, the clapboard cottage with green trim and red cedar shingled-roof was designed by Chapman and Oxley Architects who, ironically, are known most for their grand, iconic structures such as the Princes’ Gates at the CNE and Palais Royale on Toronto’s western lakeshore. In 1993, it was designated a historical site and restored with community-raised funds. While it was operational, around 6,000 lives were saved at this lifeguard station.

The wooden boardwalk passes through Scarborough Beach, which until 1925 housed Scarboro’ Beach Amusement Park. A historical plaque can be found along the boardwalk where it meets Scarboro Beach Blvd. Hubbard Blvd (just north) runs parallel to this boardwalk and was named after Frederick Hubbard, the general manager of the amusement park. After the park closed, Hubbard went on to work for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and was the TTC’s first Black Chair, Vice-Chair and Commissioner. He was also the son of William Peyton Hubbard, Toronto’s first elected Black politician.

The Fox Theatre
2236 Queen Street East
The Fox Theatre is the second-oldest movie cinema still operating in Toronto (the oldest is the Revue). This single-screen cinema opened over a century ago, in 1914, as a neighbourhood theatre playing silent films; it was converted for sound in 1929. When it opened, the theatre was simply called “The Theatre Without a Name” until a contest was held to name it with a prize of $25 in gold for the winner. The winning name was the Pastime, but it was short-lived; another contest was held the following year, renaming it the Prince Edward. When King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, the theatre became the Fox, in reference to the Fox Theatre chain in the United States. Today, it is a popular site for cinephiles who want that old-fashioned cinema experience, showing second-run movies, classics, independent and foreign films.

RC Harris Water Treatment Plant
2701 Queen Street East
R.C. Harris is not only an important piece of infrastructure – purifying over a third of Toronto’s tap water – it is a beautiful example of an art deco structure. The plant was designed by architect Thomas Canfield Pomphrey, who also designed the Victoria Park filtration plant, the pump house at the St. Clair Reservoir and the Parkdale Pumping Station. The exterior design uses buff brick and limestone with tall arching windows and a copper-banded roof, giving it a clean and dignified appearance. The interior of the building is just as grandly designed, with marble entryways and vast halls. Situated on the former site of Victoria Park, a waterfront amusement park that closed in 1906, the Water Treatment Plant was constructed in the 1930s, but was not operational until 1941 due to political and financial complications. The building is named for the long-time Commissioner of Toronto’s Public Works, R.C. Harris. It’s also nicknamed “The Palace of Purification,” from Michael Ondaatje’s famous novel In the Skin of a Lion, which centers around the lives of the immigrant labourers who built Toronto. Lastly, the plant is a popular film location and is usually portrayed as a prison (including TV series Flashpoint and the movie Robocop).

Glen Stewart Ravine & Ivan Forrest Gardens
351 Glen Manor Drive
Walk north through this residential street to reach the beautiful 11-hectare Glen Stewart Ravine and its remarkable raised boardwalks. Designated as an Environmentally Significant Area, the ravine’s raised trails take you through the heavily wooded park, which has a wide diversity of native plant and bird life, including many species rare in Toronto. The trail follows Ames Creek, which is one of the few remaining natural streams in the city. The magnificent red oaks and red maples dominate the forest and are some of the largest and oldest trees in the city. Today, the City of Toronto is restoring the native plants and removing invasive species in the area. Sections of the park are on an elevated wooden boardwalk that bridges over the delicate wetlands, giving visitors access to the park while protecting newly planted areas.
The Beaches neighbourhood is unique from the rest of Toronto for its steep ravines and curving streets. This is because the neighbourhood’s landscape rests on 11.5 million-year-old sandbar that was once part of ancient Lake Iroquois. The sandy soil allowed rivers, ponds and creeks to seep through and form the distinct topography we know today.
Continue south through the ravine and you’ll reach Ivan Forrest Gardens, a small park at the corner of Glen Manor Drive and Queen Street East. It features a mature tree canopy and beautiful rock gardens with water fountains.

Glenn Gould’s Family Home
32 Southwood Drive
*Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. Celebrated pianist Glenn Gould was born in Toronto and lived in this house throughout his childhood. He was one of the best-known and celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century, most notably for his J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, recorded in 1955. He played concerts around the world until 1964, spending the latter part of his career as a writer, broadcaster, conductor and composer. Glenn Gould passed away in 1982 and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

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Explore Beaches East York

Now is the time for residents to experience all that tourists have been raving about for years. Discover shops, stops, places and spaces on city main streets. Stay curious, Toronto.

DON’T MISS
BigArtTO
October 21 – 24
7pm – 10pm
Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pool

Neighbourhood Stroll: The Beaches

Explore the nature, art and lakeside views that make up The Beaches neighbourhood! Included are community staples like Fox Theatre, Kew Gardens and RC Harris Water Treatment Plant plus hidden gems like Glen Stewart Ravine and Glen Gould’s family home. The Beach Village BIA also features many local restaurants, bars and shops to discover.

Main Streets: Queen Street East and Kingston Road.

Note: Some neighbourhood strolls may cross over into more than one ward.

  1. Woodbine Park & Woodbine Beach Park
    1695 Queen Street East (Woodbine Park), 1574 Lake Shore Boulevard East (Woodbine Beach Park)
    For 150 years, Woodbine Park was the site of a popular horse-racing track before becoming the park and residential neighbourhood it is today. Woodbine Park is an active community space with playgrounds, a splash pad, climbing wall and a soccer field. Woodbine Park also has a boardwalk along a large pond that is home to wetland plants and pond life. To the south is Woodbine Beach Park: A broad and beautiful curve of sand at the foot of Woodbine Avenue, this popular 15.2 hectare park is one of the city’s many beaches and the gateway to three kilometres of sandy waterfront stretching eastward along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The Ashbridges Bay and Martin Goodman trails run through this park, which also includes a playground, outdoor fitness equipment, beach volleyball courts, picnic shelters, snack bar, full-service restaurant and parking at Ashbridges Bay Park. Beach Community Edible Garden is also located inside Woodbine Park. This community garden is tended by over 20 volunteers and sends most of its produce to the Glen Rhodes Food Bank. *Please note: No visitors are permitted to community or allotment gardens as per Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 guidance for community & allotment gardens. Please enjoy the garden from the nearest public sidewalk or path.

  2. Fire Hall 227
    1904 Queen Street East
    This beautiful fire station is still fully operational, despite being built a century ago. Originally Toronto Fire Department 17, this fire station was built in 1905 and is known to locals as Kew Beach Fire Hall. The three-storey structure and 80-foot clock tower were built in the Queen Anne style popular at the time, but it is also influenced by the Dutch Colonial Revival architectural style seen in Fire Station 226, nearby on Main Street – you can see this influence in the stepped-gable roof, a signature of this style. Clock towers were common for fire stations at the time because the height made ideal spot for hanging fire hoses.

  3. John Kuna Mural
    2040 Queen Street East
    This mural by artist John Kuna design was painted with a realistic scenic approach. It makes a nod to the Beaches International Jazz Festival by depicting a couple dancing in front of the Kew Gardens Gazebo, and highlights the active lifestyle of residents and visitors who enjoy the many amenities in this neighbourhood – from volleyball to dog walks, to picnics and ice cream breaks. Other landmarks highlighted include the Leuty Lifeguard Station and the boardwalk with a view of the Toronto skyline. It also depicts a scene of the Victoria Day fireworks, which occur each year in the area over Ashbridges Bay.

  4. Peggy Delaney Way
    2171 Queen Street East
    This laneway and mural that celebrate local community philanthropist Peggy Delany. The mural was created by local youth in partnership with Community Centre 55 and was unveiled in the naming of the Peggy Delaney Laneway.

  5. Kew Gardens
    2075 Queen Street East
    This remarkable park has been central to the community as a popular site for recreation and entertainment for over 125 years. In 1879, Kew Gardens, named after the royal botanical garden in England, began as a privately-owned park and resort on former farmland belonging to Joseph Williams. He transformed his property into a tourist destination for the many visitors who craved escape from the city, creating beautiful summer cottages, a resort near the lake, recreational facilities and campgrounds. Williams’ resort operated privately for over 25 years with a wide variety of activities, including camping, cottaging, picnicking, hiking, baseball, swimming, boating, and other sports such as tennis and lawn bowling. In 1907, Kew Gardens was purchased by the City of Toronto and converted into a public park. Today, it is a popular site with a gazebo for concerts, spectacular castle-themed playground for families, various sports facilities and shaded paths for leisurely strolls. One of Williams’ original cottages can be seen on the west side of Lee Avenue. Nicknamed, the “Gardener’s Cottage”, this quaint house was reserved as a living quarters for the Head Gardener.

  6. Leuty Lifeguard Station & Scarboro’ Beach Amusement Park
    Boardwalk, Toronto, ON M4L 1B8
    The Leuty Lifeguard Station is a simple structure that has become a symbol of the Beach area and is much loved by the local community. Built in the 1920s, the clapboard cottage with green trim and red cedar shingled-roof was designed by Chapman and Oxley Architects who, ironically, are known most for their grand, iconic structures such as the Princes’ Gates at the CNE and Palais Royale on Toronto’s western lakeshore. In 1993, it was designated a historical site and restored with community-raised funds. While it was operational, around 6,000 lives were saved at this lifeguard station.

    The wooden boardwalk passes through Scarborough Beach, which until 1925 housed Scarboro’ Beach Amusement Park. A historical plaque can be found along the boardwalk where it meets Scarboro Beach Blvd. Hubbard Blvd (just north) runs parallel to this boardwalk and was named after Frederick Hubbard, the general manager of the amusement park. After the park closed, Hubbard went on to work for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and was the TTC’s first Black Chair, Vice-Chair and Commissioner. He was also the son of William Peyton Hubbard, Toronto’s first elected Black politician.

  7. The Fox Theatre
    2236 Queen Street East
    The Fox Theatre is the second-oldest movie cinema still operating in Toronto (the oldest is the Revue). This single-screen cinema opened over a century ago, in 1914, as a neighbourhood theatre playing silent films; it was converted for sound in 1929. When it opened, the theatre was simply called “The Theatre Without a Name” until a contest was held to name it with a prize of $25 in gold for the winner. The winning name was the Pastime, but it was short-lived; another contest was held the following year, renaming it the Prince Edward. When King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936, the theatre became the Fox, in reference to the Fox Theatre chain in the United States. Today, it is a popular site for cinephiles who want that old-fashioned cinema experience, showing second-run movies, classics, independent and foreign films.

  8. RC Harris Water Treatment Plant
    2701 Queen Street East
    R.C. Harris is not only an important piece of infrastructure – purifying over a third of Toronto’s tap water – it is a beautiful example of an art deco structure. The plant was designed by architect Thomas Canfield Pomphrey, who also designed the Victoria Park filtration plant, the pump house at the St. Clair Reservoir and the Parkdale Pumping Station. The exterior design uses buff brick and limestone with tall arching windows and a copper-banded roof, giving it a clean and dignified appearance. The interior of the building is just as grandly designed, with marble entryways and vast halls. Situated on the former site of Victoria Park, a waterfront amusement park that closed in 1906, the Water Treatment Plant was constructed in the 1930s, but was not operational until 1941 due to political and financial complications. The building is named for the long-time Commissioner of Toronto’s Public Works, R.C. Harris. It’s also nicknamed “The Palace of Purification,” from Michael Ondaatje’s famous novel In the Skin of a Lion, which centers around the lives of the immigrant labourers who built Toronto. Lastly, the plant is a popular film location and is usually portrayed as a prison (including TV series Flashpoint and the movie Robocop).

  9. Glen Stewart Ravine & Ivan Forrest Gardens
    351 Glen Manor Drive
    Walk north through this residential street to reach the beautiful 11-hectare Glen Stewart Ravine and its remarkable raised boardwalks. Designated as an Environmentally Significant Area, the ravine’s raised trails take you through the heavily wooded park, which has a wide diversity of native plant and bird life, including many species rare in Toronto. The trail follows Ames Creek, which is one of the few remaining natural streams in the city. The magnificent red oaks and red maples dominate the forest and are some of the largest and oldest trees in the city. Today, the City of Toronto is restoring the native plants and removing invasive species in the area. Sections of the park are on an elevated wooden boardwalk that bridges over the delicate wetlands, giving visitors access to the park while protecting newly planted areas.
    The Beaches neighbourhood is unique from the rest of Toronto for its steep ravines and curving streets. This is because the neighbourhood’s landscape rests on 11.5 million-year-old sandbar that was once part of ancient Lake Iroquois. The sandy soil allowed rivers, ponds and creeks to seep through and form the distinct topography we know today.
    Continue south through the ravine and you’ll reach Ivan Forrest Gardens, a small park at the corner of Glen Manor Drive and Queen Street East. It features a mature tree canopy and beautiful rock gardens with water fountains.

  10. Glenn Gould’s Family Home
    32 Southwood Drive
    *Note: Private property. Please observe the house from the street only. Celebrated pianist Glenn Gould was born in Toronto and lived in this house throughout his childhood. He was one of the best-known and celebrated classical pianists of the 20th century, most notably for his J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, recorded in 1955. He played concerts around the world until 1964, spending the latter part of his career as a writer, broadcaster, conductor and composer. Glenn Gould passed away in 1982 and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Accessibility information: The Fox Theatre, John Kuna mural, Peggy Delaney Way, and Glen Gould’s home are all viewable from the street. Ivan Forrest Gardens, Woodbine Park, and Kew Gardens have paved pathways available. Please note that the remaining points of interest in this stroll include steep hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. This includes the Glen Stewart Ravine, Ivan Forrest Gardens and Woodbine Beach.