Toronto Beaches contrast with the rhythm of the rest of the city with a casual, family-friendly vibe and a number of pleasant, white-sand beaches. Akin to many sunny destinations around Ontario, The Beaches area in Toronto offers visitors and locals plenty of amenities, scenic walking areas, and beautiful Lake Ontario. Situated south of Kingston Road and between Coxwell and Victoria Park Avenues, this lakeside Toronto community offers a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.
The heart of the Toronto Beaches has flourished around Queen Street East, a popular shopping, dining, and nightlife venue. Queen Street East is a well-known retail destination with a more unique spin than city malls and retail outlets. Shop after shop offers a host of specialty goods along with an old-meets-new blend of Edwardian, Victorian-era, and modern houses. South of Queen there are plenty of parks to choose between. The Toronto Boardwalk is a focal point of The Beaches, winding alongside the lake and playing host to rollerbladers, cyclists, and those out for a walk.
The area puts on numerous Toronto Beaches events, most notably the Toronto International Jazz Festival, an annual event that draws thousands of people into the city of Toronto, flooding Toronto hotels, and streets, for several days. Woodbine Park, Queen Street East, and Kew Gardens in The Beaches area in Toronto each host an assembly of live bands, performances, and special events. Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival in March, Canada Day celebrations, the Annual Taste of Danforth, live opera, free film nights, and holiday parades create a colorful contrast of occasions.
In June, Toronto Beaches events include the free Waterfront Blues Festival entertaining crowds for three solid days. The festival features a crew of national and international performers, a huge array of cuisine, and plenty of family-friendly activities. The Beaches Arts and Crafts Sale at Kew Gardens is another of the popular Toronto Beaches events showcasing the strong talent of more than 150 area artists. Vendors offer handicrafts including pottery, wood, glass, jewelry, clothing, leather and more.
The Beaches area in Toronto brims with dining choices. Coffee houses, bistros, bars, cafes, diners, and delis come together forming a diverse amalgam of Canadian and international food. Caribbean, Thai, Italian, Southwest Spanish, Japanese, and Mediterranean food is all readily available. Hotels come in an equally appealing array of inns, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, and internationally recognized Toronto hotels. The ideal location of hotels in the Beaches area of Toronto means quick access to downtown Toronto via a 30-minute streetcar ride to famous Yonge Street.
The sandy shores in The Beaches is a favorite part of visits, especially during Ontario's sometimes scorching hot summers. Woodbine Beach and Kew-Balmy Beach are two popular bathing areas in The Beaches and are only two of the eleven city beaches. The first North American community to be awarded the Blue Flag—a distinct accolade awarded to beach areas with high standards for waterfront management and water quality—seven of Toronto's eleven beaches now enjoy the award offering a clean and safe environment for beach activities. Even still, the majority of Beaches visitors don't swim in the lake, but instead enjoy boardwalk strolls, cold pints at nearby pubs, beach volleyball, and other lakeside activities.