The Beaches Toronto is a charming neighborhood located in east Toronto. Whenever I visit The Beaches neighborhood, I forget that I am in Toronto. It feels like I’m on a holiday in a beachside town that’s typical of a Hallmark movie. I love shopping at the local boutiques, eating at the culturally diverse restaurants that open up their patio for summer, and hiking the parks and ravines of the area. Come explore this neighborhood and check out the top 10 things to do in The Beaches Toronto with me.
Before I tell you all the wonderful things to do in the Beaches Toronto, let me tell you how to get to the Beaches Toronto.
How to get to the beaches toronto?
You can either drive, or take the subway and bus, or streetcar to get to the beaches. Here are the directions for each.
By Car to the Beaches Toronto
From downtown Toronto, get on to Eastern Ave or Lake Shore Boulevard East and drive to Woodbine Avenue. Park near Woodbine beach or use street parking. There are two parking lots close to Woodbine beach, one at the Ashbridges Bay boat launch and another right next to Lake Shore Boulevard East at Ashbridges Bay. Zoom into the map to see the parking lots.
By Subway to the Beaches Toronto
Take Line 2 towards Kennedy. Get down at Woodbine station and catch the bus 92 to Woodbine Beach Loop at Lake Shore Blvd East. You can get down at the Queen Street East stop if you want to go to shops and restaurants first or get down at the last stop for Woodbine beach.
By Streetcar to the Beaches Toronto
Take 501 Queen to Neville Park. Get down at Woodbine Avenue and walk to Woodbine beach if you want to get to the beach, or get down at Bellefair Ave for Kew Gardens. If you want to go to Silver Birch Beach or RC Harris Water Treatment plant, get down at the last stop at Neville Park and walk down to the beach/ RC Harris Water Treatment plant.
Top 10 things to do in The Beaches Toronto
Visit the Beaches
Get an ice cream at Beaches N’ Cream
Let your dog enjoy the beach without a leash.
Shop your beachy outfit on Queen Street East
Watch a movie at the Fox Theatre
Explore the Glen Stewart Ravine
Rent a kayak or canoe at Paddle Pirates
Visit Kew Gardens at the Beaches Toronto
Enjoy Patio Cafe at the Beaches Toronto
Visit the historic RC Harris Water Treatment Plant
The Beaches neighborhood has 3 beaches – Woodbine Beach, Kew-Balmy Beach, Silver Birch beach. You can easily walk through the first three beaches in a stretch starting from Ashbridges Bay. A boardwalk lines the Woodbine beach and the Kew-Balmy beach which makes for a comfortable walk.
The Martin-Goodman trail runs in parallel to the boardwalk from AshBridges Bay to the end of the Kew-Balmy beach, and is ideal for biking, skating, using your hoverboard, or even running. You couldn’t ask for a better scenic spot for these activities.
Among the beaches, Woodbine beach is the most popular among visitors. It has a wider sandy area. There are a number of beach volleyball courts, and food and ice-cream trucks are usually in close proximity. The Kew-Balmy beach has a more residential feel and hence is quieter in comparison. The Silver-Birch beach is less developed than the other beaches and the least busy of the three making it one of my personal favorites.
Get a cone of ice cream to go or enjoy it on the scenic patio area that overlooks the boardwalk in the Kew beach neighborhood. If ice cream is not your thing, they have onion rings, french fries, hotdogs, and other savory snacks to satisfy your cravings.
Take your fur baby for a walk at the dog-friendly beach. Kew Gardens Dog Park located on Kew-Balmy Beach has everything your dog needs to have fun: dogs are allowed to run free in the fenced area, and they can even go for a swim!
Silver Birch Beach is another dog-friendly beach. This sandy beach is a dog’s dream come true! In addition to the sweltering heat and sand, there’s nothing better than running free on a beach while your furry friend chases after sticks or catches bubbles in her mouth.
If you’re looking for a summer dress, beach hats, and accessories look no further than Queen Street East near the Beaches. Charming Parrot is a boutique with an amazing collection of beachy clothes and accessories. Boa boutique and Set Me Free Clothing are other great options. If you need a new pair of running shoes or just want to treat yourself, Running Room is the place to go! Their collection of Hoka shoes is perfect for running or walking on the beach. Their staff is very knowledgable and helpful too.
Watch a movie at Canada’s longest continuously running theatre. The Fox Theatre, which opened in 1914, is one of the oldest movie houses in Canada and is a great place to watch classic movies, independent and foreign films, and the latest hits. This intimate theatre features a single screen with seating for around 248 people. It’s a great idea for a date night as well!
Explore this hidden gem in the city which gives off a secret forest vibe. The ravine has a naturalized landscape and a mix of boardwalks and natural pathways that are great for hiking and exercising. You can find the entrance to the ravine from the Ivan Forrest Gardens at Queen Street East. This is a great picnic spot and a reprieve from the busy city when you are craving some greenery.
Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle around Kew-Balmy Beach. Paddle Pirates is located on Kew-Balmy Beach, right next to the boardwalk with easy access to the beach. They have a large selection of rental boats, including stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes. They are open year-round. In winter, you can also rent a sanitized dry suit along with your rental for safety.
Just steps away from the beach, you’ll find the beautiful Kew Gardens. Pick a picnic basket and head to the many picnic spots in the park overlooking the beach. The park also has a play area for kids, a splash pad, a baseball diamond, and an artificial ice rink during winter. There are tennis courts and a lawn bowling club in the park as well but you have to be a member to play here. The historic Beaches branch of the Toronto Public Library and the park’s caretaker cottage that once was the home of Kew Williams, the son of the original owner of the park are noteworthy buildings inside the park.
Come summer, it’s patio season at the Beaches Toronto. Parts of Queen Street East and the sidewalk in front of the restaurants are fenced off to make room for tables and chairs. Enjoy your favorite beer or wine with friends at the Gull and Firkin British Pub or enjoy a good meal in the company of their family and friends at the Riptide Beach pub. Taste the mouth-watering middle eastern food such as falafel, and shawarma at Limon. Enjoy Indian street food favorites such as pav bhaji, samosa chaat, pani puri at Chowpatty Culture. Georgian cuisine at Tifsi offers an array of traditional Georgian dishes such as khachapuri (cheese bread), khinkali (meat dumplings) and khachapuri datsanjeli (cheese bread stuffed with meat). No matter which restaurant you pick, you are assured to have a good time.
At the end of Queen Street East at Neville Park, you’ll find the historic RC Harris Water Treatment Plant. Fashioned in the Art Deco style, this building is a sight to behold. The facility grounds are open to the public, so feel free to stroll around the building. The interior of the building is open to the public only on Doors Open Toronto. There’s a gentle slope of green grass at the back of the building which provides for a fantastic vista of the Lake. You can climb down to Silver Birch Beach if you want to get to the water.
I hope you enjoy the Beaches neighborhood as much as I do. If you want more information about the neighborhood or would like to ask specific questions, leave a comment or follow me on Instagram and DM me.