The Beach was first settled by the Ashbridge family who came to Canada from Philadelphia, in 1793. Ashbridge's Bay Park is named after these pioneers. The Ashbridges, and a handful of other families, farmed this district until the latter part of the 1800's, when many of The Beach properties were subdivided. At that time, large parcels of land were set aside for local parks.
Woodbine, Kew Gardens, Scarboro, Balmy Beach and Victoria Park collectively became Toronto's playgrounds by the lake. These amusement parks also attracted many summer cottagers to the area.
By the 1920's, the City of Toronto was expanding eastward and The Beach was subdivided for year round residential development. Over the years The Beach has emerged as one of Toronto's most popular neighbourhoods.
The Beach looks and feels more like a lakeside resort town, than a big city neighbourhood. In the summertime, thousands of Torontonians and tourists flock to The Beach to walk on The Boardwalk, exercise along the Martin Goodman Trail, relax by the water, or shop and dine at the colourful stores and restaurants along Queen Street.
Schools in the Beach
Public high school
Malvern Collegiate, located on Malvern Avenue, one block north of Kingston Road.
Catholic high schools
Neil McNeil Catholic School Secondary School located on Victoria Park Avenue, just south of Kingston Road in Scarborough.
Notre Dame High School, located on Malvern Avenue, just north of Kingston Road.
Senior public schools
Glen Ames Senior Public School is a public middle school (grades 7 and 8) located on Williamson Road at Hambley Ave, north of Queen St.
Note that Bowmore Road PS (listed below) serves the Beaches neighbourhood, as both a junior (grades 1-6) and senior (grades 7-8) public school.
Adam Beck Junior Public School, located on Scarborough Road, one block north of Kingston Road.
Balmy Beach Community School, located at corner of Pine Avenue and Beech Avenue. The school dates from 1906; the current building was erected in 1975.
Beaches Alternative School, located entirely within Kimberley Jr. PS (see below) in the "Upper Beaches".
Kew Beach Junior Public School, located on Queen Street East at Kippendavie, one block east of Woodbine Avenue.
Kimberley Junior Public School, located at Main Street and Swanwick Avenue in the "Upper Beaches".
Norway Junior Public School, located on Kingston Road, one block east of Woodbine in the "Upper Beaches".
Williamson Road Junior Public School, located on Williamson Road at Hambley Ave and Wineva Ave, north of Queen St., attached to Glen Ames Sr PS.
The following public schools are technically outside of The Beaches area, but due to their close proximity to the neighbourhood serve many Beaches residents:
Blantyre PS, located on Blantyre Avenue, near the intersection of Victoria Park Avenue and Gerrard Street East in Scarborough.
Bowmore Road PS, located on Bowmore Road, south of Gerrard Street East between Woodbine and Coxwell.
Courcelette PS, located on Fallingbrook Road, south of Kingston Road in Scarborough.
Catholic public schools
St. Denis CS, located on Balsam Avenue, just north of Queen Street East.
St. John's CS, located on Kingston Road, just west of Malvern Avenue.
The following Catholic school is technically outside of The Beaches area, but serves many Beaches residents:
Georges Etienne Cartier, Catholic French Elementary School, located at 250 Gainsbourough Ave, off Upper Gerrard, East of Coxwell Ave.
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