A Perfect Day At The Beaches

Our guide to experiencing the best of the Beaches neighbourhood in a single day

Whether you want to call it The Beach or The Beaches, this neighbourhood is one of the most unique in Toronto. The boardwalks, cafes, beaches, and swimming can’t be found anywhere else in the GTA. So if it’s a perfect day in The Beach you want, here is how to do it.

Oscar Coffee & Espresso Bar

Oscar is situated on the corner of Queen Street East and Beech Avenue, which leads right down to the water. Grab a seat inside or perch on one of their benches on the sidewalk and watch the neighbourhood go by.

Sanna’s Farmacia Juice Bar

Juice bars are popping up around Toronto this year and The Beach is no exception to the rule. With a neighbourhood that is so conducive to living the outdoor life, it’s probably an obvious spot.

Burger’s Priest

Most Torontonians are familiar with Burger’s Priest now that they have expanded to the west and north of the city, but the O.G. location is in The Beach. There is absolutely no seating here so munch on your double bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between grilled cheeses as you stroll down the street. You’ll need the exercise afterwards anyways.

The Beaches and Parks: Ashbridges Bay, Woodbine, Kew-Balmy, Kew Gardens

Walk along the boardwalk from Ashbridges Bay to Woodbine Bay with an ice cream cone from Ed’s Real Scoop. If you want to take a dip, Woodbine and Kew-Balmy beaches are two of eight blue flag beaches in the city, which means they are two of the cleanest. Kew Gardens hosts the annual Beaches International Blues Fest and in the winter there is an outdoor skating rink.

Trixie’s Kitchen

Dogs are a big deal in The Beach. So it should come as no surprise that Trixie’s Kitchen clients are of the canine variety. Trixie’s makes custom cakes and cookies for pets made out of all natural ingredients.

Beach Studio Tour

The Beach is home to many Toronto artists and crafts(wo)men. The Beaches Studio Tour will take you to local galleries and even to artists’ homes to view and buy original works of art and design.

For The Kids

The Beach is a family-friendly neighbourhood and so it is a great place to bring the kids for a “perfect day” outing. Besides swimming in the lake and biking/walking/rollerblading the boardwalk many small businesses in the neighbourhood cater to the young-uns: 4Cats Art Studio is a crafting kids haven; Beadworks offers jewelry making classes and Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore is one of the best kids bookstores in the city.

Hogtown Smoke

One of Toronto’s yummiest food trucks opened its own location late last year. They are smoking ribs, chicken, and brisket. In warm weather there is a back patio too.

Paralia

Paralia is a newish Greek restaurant situated right on the water. The views are one of a kind, making this spot seem more like Greek island restaurant than a Queen Street East one. Make a reservation or just stop in for a glass on wine on the patio.

The Fox Theatre

Currently the longest-running cinema in Canada, The Fox is a great place to catch a flick with family or friends. The theatre opened back in 1913 and currently plays a mix of indie classics and blockbusters.

Castro’s Lounge

Castro’s is a neighbourhood pub, hosting live music and pouring microbrews. This place is generic in the least. The walls are covered in portraits of history’s heroes and villains (those distinctions to be determined by which side of history you’re on, yes?).