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You Are Here: The Beach

Offering more than three kilometres of sandy summer fun along the shore of Lake Ontario, Toronto’s eastern beaches are a destination for locals and visitors seeking a pleasant stroll, a quick dip, or even a volleyball match. Beyond the boardwalk, The Beach neighbourhood is brimming with quaint boutiques, restaurants and much more.

Click on any map marker for more information on Where’s neighbourhood favourites.
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Pippins Tea Company

RELAXED RESTO Situated just west of bucolic Kew Gardens, Amuse is an ideal endpoint after a day spent enjoying the local sights. In the open kitchen at this cozy, casually chic restaurant, chef Pat Riley cooks up a menu of market-fresh fare divided into either “familiar” plates or those from “the road less travelled.”

ENGLISH TRADITION A delightfully diverse potpourri of all things tea is to be found at the charming Pippins Tea Company. This Anglophilic emporium stocks more than 130 bagged and loose-leaf teas—including its own Pippins-branded varieties—plus delicious sweets like shortbread biscuits, toffee and preserves. Lovely classic and modern teapots, cup and saucer sets, and accessories fill up the remaining shelf space.

Arts on Queen

WELCOME BITE Decidedly understated and non-trendy, Wild Earth Café & Bakery focuses instead on what’s important: serving delicious little treats in an exceedingly inclusive setting. The newish neighbourhood nook specializes in organic, vegan, gluten- and nut-free products—all precisely labeled—such as double-chocolate cookies and even a sugarless teething bar for toddlers. Fair-trade coffees and a selection of teas comprise the whistle-whetting options.

ARTISANS IN STORE Denizens of The Beach are an eclectic bunch, and Arts on Queen (2198 Queen St. E., 416-699-6127) caters to their varied tastes. The longstanding gallery-boutique features folk- and fine-art pieces by Canadian artists and craftspeople, as well as a generous selection of unique jewellery, gifts and home decor items like handmade clocks, ceramic vases and more.

R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant

SUMMER’S SWEET A day of sun and sand isn’t complete without an ice cream cone. Satisfy a cool craving at Ed’s Real Scoop, where owner Ed Francis churns out more than 80 flavours of house-made ice cream, sorbet and gelato. Fill up a waffle cone with two scoops of blueberry pie, or try a cup of green apple gelato—a tangy treat that’s guaranteed to help you beat the heat.

BUILT HERITAGE At the eastern edge of The Beach sits the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, a monolithic public works site operating since 1941. Renowned for its cathedral-like architecture, the structure presents a prime photo opportunity for shutterbugs seeking out of the ordinary views of Toronto. CanLit fans will note that the plant’s construction plays a major part in Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion.

Weekend roundup, May 28 to 30

It’s getting hot, hot, hot! Cool down this weekend with Bajan cuisine along the waterfront before checking out what Toronto has in store for you.

Friday: Pick up yarn, fabric and more at the Textile Museum (photo by Mr. T in DC)

Friday, May 28
Warm weather knocks at your door in true island fashion with Barbados on the Water. Head over to the Harbourfront Centre today and tomorrow for Bajan cuisine, fashion, theatre and live music by Barbadian artists.

Slide on up to Hemingways to celebrate the Yorkville institution’s 30th anniversary. Steak frites are on the menu tonight, or arrive at 2:30 p.m. in order to fill up on corn on the cob, barbecue fare, bar snacks and beer. The festivities culminate with an evening of live entertainment and prizes.

Get your bargaining skills ready because the Textile Museum of Canada’s More Than Just a Yardage Sale is an opportunity too good to pass up. Today and tomorrow, dig up goodies like patterns, yarns, quilt fabrics and other useful craft materials while doing your part to support the museum.

Grab a cold pint at C’est What?. Tonight’s special: sample from a selection of more than 14 cask beers and 30 draughts as part of the brew pub’s annual Spring Festival of Craft Breweries.

Saturday: Browse Old City Hall and many other buildings as part of Doors Open.

Saturday, May 29
Admire architecture and satisfy your curiosity as Doors Open Toronto enables visitors to explore 150 historic and cultural buildings, including Canada’s National Ballet School, Toronto’s Old City Hall, Black Creek Pioneer Village, and the Casa Loma stables and plotting shed.

Striving to eat well? Those with a taste for fresh, local home cookin’ are invited to stop by a farmer’s market and bring their fixin’s to Beach United Church, where Amuse chef Pat Riley offers a lesson on the fine side of cooking. Leftovers will go toward a Sunday lunch for lower-income Torontonians.

Unravel a mystery at Indigo’s Yorkdale location with Peter Lerangis and Gordon Korman, bestselling authors of the popular 39 Clues books. They let you in on some secrets and follow up the afternoon with a book signing.

Experience the unique combination of steel pan and voice in And Still We Sing…Steel Singin’, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s final performance in its 2010 Glenn Gould Studio series.

Sunday: See miniature diorama-like models at AWOL Gallery.

Sunday, May 30
Engage in cosplay events and game shows—or while away some hours perusing the manga library—on the final day of weekend-long festival Anime North.

Beware of side stitches at the World Cup of Comedy, a humorous tribute to the “beautiful game” and its upcoming World Cup tournament. Comedians Ahmed Ahmed, Angelo Tsarouchas, Frank Spadone and special guest Trevor Boris (“Video on Trial”) gather at the Panasonic Theatre for humorous banter, including topics such as—you guessed it—soccer.

In line with this weekend’s architectural goings on, visitors can explore the relationship between people and buildings at AWOL Gallery, where Rose Bianchini and Jason van Horne’s exhibition, titled Neighbourhood Watch, employs creative miniatures to demonstrate how space plays a powerful role in the formation of identity.

Settle into a seat at historic Massey Hall and let comedic actor Eddie Izzard entertain you with his sharp wit and inimitable sense of the absurd.