Participate in Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup This Month!

September 2nd, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Events

If you missed the litter sculptures at Ashbridges Bay last week, you’re not too late to participate in the solution to the problem the garbage sculptures were showcasing:  the terrible impact of shoreline litter on ecosystems, wildlife, and people.

In 2002, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup became a national program, providing all Canadians the opportunity to make a difference in local communities, while taking part in a nationwide event.  The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a grassroots direct action conservation program that had over 50,000 participants in 2009.  It aims to promote understanding and education about shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shoreline areas through scheduled cleanups. The program influences Canadians to act not just during cleanup days (which this year are September 18-26, 2010), but year-round, so they become better environmental citizens.

There’s so much you can do to participate in The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – you can become a site coordinator, which is where you organize a cleanup, or simply volunteer to help out an existing location like one in the cluster of sites in the Beach where shoreline cleaning will be carried out this year.  There is great flexibility with the commitment:  cleanups can range from a whole day to just a couple of hours, include friends and family or an entire community, add food and games to make a day of it…the possibilities are endless.  And the rehab it provides our shorelines is essential.

To join a Beaches clean up team, or for more information, click here. Happy cleanup!


Hometown Girls Win Canadian Beach Volleyball Championships

September 2nd, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Events

Ashbridges Bay volleyball courts on Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Canadian Beach Volleyball Championships took place last weekend and it was a privilege to be on the beach at Ashbridges Bay with some great Canadian athletes – even if that only meant enviously comparing ourselves to their tough bodies in those skimpy uniforms while lining up for the washrooms.

In a searingly hot, sunny Sunday on the courts, Liz Maloney and Heather Bansley were hometown winners.  The Toronto duo went undefeated, winning all three round-robin games and four more in the playoffs. They beat Liz Cordonier and Jaime Broder of Vancouver 21-16, 17-21, 15-10 in the women’s final to take the gold medal.  Earlier this season, Maloney and Bansley won a tournament on the NORCECA circuit.

In men’s action, Toronto didn’t fare so well. Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., and Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., defeated Torontonians Richard Van Huizen and Christopher Redmann 21-14, 26-24 in the final.  Both teams played regularly on this year’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

Though swimming was temporarily off the table due to pollution, no one seemed to mind going in the water and cooling off.  Hope those hardworking ladies and gents on the court got to do the same!

Swimmer and sunbathers at Ashbridges Bay, 8/28/10


Things to do in the Beach – Besides the Obvious

August 28th, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Events

If you live in the Beach and are tired of your ‘hood getting taken over by scores of summer tourists, stay off the Boardwalk altogether and check out these neat, random things happening in the ‘hood.  Or if you’re one of those pesky Beach wannabes, hang around after sunbathing, and see what else the ‘hood has to offer.

  • Every Thursday from now till October 7, starting at 9:00 PM, visit red hot party spot CASTRO’S LOUNGE at 2116 QUEEN ST. E. to see Jerry Leger, a Toronto based folk/roots songwriter who has self released 3 acclaimed albums and toured Canada and the U.S.
  • Bikini Bootcamp – With small class sizes and a regimen tailored to women, Bikini Bootcamp is ideal for new recruits. Shaping up for the beach happens in pretty parks like Kew Gardens and others. The 8-week program (“8 weeks to fabulous!”) assists women through fitness goals from an initial one-on-one consultation and fit-test to a post-camp follow-up. Specialty bootcamps for couples, corporate groups, and men will be available at Toronto locations in the future.
  • Stay in and read about the Beach (getting angry is optional).  Recently, downtown Toronto Realtor Richard Silver tackled the Beach neighbourhood in an article where he simultaneously praises the Beach and denigrates it as snob-land.  Read, and comment on, the article here

What do you like to do in the Beach(es) apart from just getting sun, playing volleyball and braving Lake Ontario?  Let us know!


Beaches Youth Awarded for Community Service

August 28th, 2010 by nsalter in Uncategorized

Three exceptional young people from the Beach-Riverdale community have received 55 Division’s Youth Scholarship Awards.

The scholarship awards, which recognize local high school students for their academic achievement and community service, are sponsored by officers from 55 Division in partnership with its Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).  The awards ceremony is in its 7th year, and this time, three $1,000 scholarships were handed out at the Balmy Beach Club.

The first recipient was Maria Aguilar, an 18 year old  Grade 12 student at St. Patrick’s Catholic Secondary School on Felstead Avenue. A newcomer to Canada, Aguilar volunteers her time at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and the Mennonite New Life Centre.

The second recipient is Chavon Douglas, a Grade 12 student at Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, who does volunteer work at St. Stephen’s Community House (which provides a wide array of social services) and assists her school’s boys’ basketball team on game days.  Chavon is also working on a documentary highlighting the issues impacting young people.

The final recipient was Riverdale Collegiate’s Mohammed Texiwala. The Grade 12 student is the president of the Riverdale Against Discrimination program and a peer tutor. He also organized a successful Haiti relief benefit concert, which raised $4,000 for the disaster-stricken island.

A total of 15 students aged 17 to 19 applied for the scholarship. Applicants must have completed 80 hours of community service work.  Over the years, special young people have received $20,000 in scholarships through this initiative.

Do you know a young person in the Beach community who you believe ought to have won this award – or whose spirit of giving back should be honoured in some fashion?  Let us know!


Toronto’s Eastern Beaches, You Have Competition

August 15th, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Reviews

It’s officially on between the Beach and Sugar Beach.  Not the neighbourhood; we get that Sugar Beach is just a beach, not a history-filled enclave of tony homes and sweet boutiques.  Before Sugar Beach even opened, The Star’s Christopher Hume gave it top marks; the man is not easy to please, and we knew then that there was something to this little piece of man-made paradise.

Hundreds gathered last week at the Jarvis Street Slip to celebrate the official opening of Sugar Beach and the adjoining Water’s Edge Promenade.  The new public spaces are poised to bring new life to a once-empty 10-acre industrial site near Lower Jarvis Street and Queen’s Quay Boulevard.

The new beach gets its name from proximity to the nearby Redpath Sugar factory, but also from white sand imported from Ohio, of all places.  It features 36 large pink beach umbrellas, 150 white Muskoka chairs, eight benches, a granite plaza, grassy mounds, a cascading water feature, oversized candy-striped rocks and a tree-lined promenade.

The first phase of the 300-metre long Water’s Edge Promenade continues with a tree-lined walkway that features a two-toned maple leaf mosaic design. The promenade’s second phase will run from the soon-to-open, 3.75-acre Sherbourne Common over to the Parliament Slip.  It’s all part of the emerging 55-acre East Bayfront neighbourhood, which is bounded by lower Jarvis Street to the west, Parliament Street to the east, Lake Shore Boulevard East to the north, and Lake Ontario to the south.

Completed on schedule and on budget, Canada’s Sugar Beach cost $14.3 million to design, build and landscape, while Water’s Edge Promenade (phase one) has a $10 million price tag.  When George Brown builds its waterfront campus to the east, the beach is sure to be full of students once the weather gets warm.

How does it stack up to Toronto’s eastern beaches?  Well, there’s no boardwalk, gardens, BBQ or picnic areas, sports facilities, volleyball or Olympic-sized pool.  You be the judge:  will you go west to suntan on Sugar Beach or stick with Woodbine, Ashbridges and Kew?


Don’t Miss Summer Schmooze Tonight at the Beach

August 15th, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Events

There’s only a ‘chance’ of thundershowers tonight!  Don’t let the threat of a little precipitation keep you away from the  Summer Schmooze 2010: A Musical Interlude at the Beach, August 15, 2o10.

Tonight’s event is being hosted by the Boardwalk Pub at Woodbine Beach, 1681 Lakeshore Blvd East, and it’s being sponsored by Sleeman’s Breweries, so you know the beer will be flowing.  The Schmooze features musical guests The Souls of Steel Orchestra and Jessica David and Friends.  Tickets are $25 and include admission, a Sleeman’s beer product and a hamburger. The event is forecasted to sell out , but you can get tickets in advance by calling Michael Bachan at 416 575 6609 or emailing sosotoronto@gmail.com

The evening runs from about 7pm to 11pm.  Have fun!


Volunteer for Toronto Beaches Marathon Cheering Section

August 10th, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Events

Did you know that the 2010 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has a Beaches clique – and that they’re looking for volunteers?  The Beaches Cycling Club is organizing the volunteers and you can click here if you’d like to volunteer or find out more.

The Beach is just one of 12 distinct neighbourhoods participating in the Neighbourhood Challenge:  twelve ‘Cheering Centres’ that will gather along Toronto’s Waterfront to celebrate Toronto’s different neighbourhoods with music, dancing, performers and food.  Volunteers are needed to shout themselves hoarse cheering on friends and neighbours, the thousands of charity runners, 12,000 participants from 30+ countries around the world, and the international-class athletes running some of the fastest times ever seen on Canadian soil.

What exactly are volunteers needed to do?  Well, 80 people are needed (attention teens trying to complete mandatory high school volunteer requirements!) to cheer, encourage, guide and direct runners along the route from 8:00 a.m. to 2:0o p.m. on race day, September 26th, 2010.  In exchange, you’ll get a t-shirt, food, instructions, and a great time.

As always, proceeds from the race go to community based charities such as the Beaches Lions Club (at Kew Gardens), which is raising money for the Guide Dogs, and Main Street’s Community Centre 55.


Toronto Beach Real Estate Bargains & Bidding Wars

August 10th, 2010 by nsalter in Listing, Real Estate Trends

What’s making the news in the Toronto Beaches area when it comes to real estate?  Some talk of a softening market (of the type Realtors, buyers and sellers are seeing all over the GTA).  But what exactly does a dollar – or half a million of them – get you in the Beach?

Recently Toronto Life ran a story about a family that was determined to find a detached house for less than $475,000, in the Upper Beach.  What made it interesting was that the buyers were actually a real estate agent and a home stager – hardly strangers to the whole real estate game.

The first house that met their needs was listed at $469,900, but sold for $536,600 – even though it backed onto railroad tracks.
The second home, a three bedroom near Kingston Road and Victoria Park, was listed at $499,900, but sold for $525,000 – perhaps an example of underpricing to attract more buyers.  The couple finally found a home originally listed at $519,000,  that had been reduced to $489,000 after sitting on the market for two months.  They quickly bought for $480,000 – just a day before the sellers had intended to take the house off the market and re-list it at a better time.

If you are not picky about a detached home, and are willing to live in higher-density properties, the Beach can be downright affordable.  This blog showcases two Beaches properties for sale, each no more than a couple of blocks from the lake, for under $400K.

Don’t despair; if you have less than $300K you can still buy in the Beach.  We found this prime Beaches property listed at just $200,000.  Of course, you may have to quit your day job to make it work for you!

Have you found an affordable Beaches listing or would you like to promote the sale of your own Beach home?  Post a comment!


Tonight at the Beach: Meet the Design Team for LRV Facility!

August 10th, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Events

Are you curious as to the design of the new TTC Facility at Ashbridges Bay?  Following input from the Beaches community back in the Spring, three leading urban design landscape firms have finally prepared their design concepts for the perimeter.  Now YOU, John Q. homeowner/interested citizen/Beach or Leslieville resident, are being encouraged to view the submissions from each of the design firms and comment by email! The submissions are available by clicking here to view the PDF files.

All public comments must be received by August 23, 2010 and will be reviewed by an independent panel of jurors.

You also have an opportunity to meet the designers themselves and view the panels in a larger format at a public event being held TONIGHT, August 10th, 2010.

Event Details:

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Ashbridges Bay Park
South East Corner of Coxwell and Lakeshore

For more details about how you can have input into the project, please click here to view a pdf.


Need Polishing? Visit Beauty and the Beach

August 3rd, 2010 by nsalter in Neighbourhood Reviews

Beauty and the Beach Spa has been servicing the Toronto Beaches Area in Toronto from its location at 2279 Queen Street East for more than 20 years!  If like us, this heat has you baring a little more than usual and wanting to look your sun-kissed best, it’s worth a visit to this local gem for some polishing.  Spa virgins take note:  once you start getting pampered, you won’t want to stop…so you might want to check out some of the packages offered by Beauty and the Beach, which will allow you to try various services for a soothing day at the spa.

Relax and unwind in the spa’s soothing atmosphere with services that include:

-Facials (ahh!)

-Luxurious manicures and pedicures (wow, my feet can look like that?)

-Waxing (ouch!)

-Diamond Microdermabrasion (sounds scary!)

Skilled staff administer services ranging from cleansing and exfoliation to massage, skin rejuvenation, Misencil® eyelash extensions, hydration treatments, and much more for your face and body.

Call to book your appointment at 416-698-2944.  Note:  they are closed on Sundays & Mondays, open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.