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The Beaches Chilled-out lakefront living in the city

East of downtown is a cottage country that doesn't compare to Muskoka, but makes a pretty decent effort at replicating the laid-back vibe that comes with being outside the city. That said, the Beaches (or the Beach, depending who you ask) is close enough to downtown that it makes commuting to the Financial District for work feasible. People who live here have awesome outdoor amenities that, of course, include a series of beaches, but also lots of parks, tennis courts and a kitschy shopping strip along Queen Street that's very touristy but does a good job of catering to locals as well.

Who Lives Here

The Beaches are pretty white (sand excluded) and pretty rich. The average income for households in the neighbourhood exceeds $100,000 and there are virtually no immigrants. Age-wise, residents of the Beaches are mixed, with numbers of kids, parents and seniors that match the city average.

Perfect for…

Families and seniors seeking a quiet, relaxed neighbourhood.

Not-so-perfect for…

Those who like a fast-paced lifestyle – you won't find it at the Beaches.

Life and Style

With the Beaches giving off that out-of-town-for-the-weekend vibe, the lifestyle in this Toronto neighbourhood is laid-back. People move a little slower as they stroll along the Boardwalk and take lazy Sunday afternoons to sip coffees and peruse the antique shops on Queen Street. The sandy beaches are prime real estate for laziness as well during the summer months when the sun finally allows for tanning and playing in the water. But when it's time to pick up the pace, someone's sure to start a match of beach volleyball or beach soccer.

Housing Market

High average rents don't reflect the many great deals renters can find in the beaches. One- and two-bedroom places can vary greatly price-wise, going for less than $1,000 up to $3,000. Meanwhile, three-bedroom rentals are disproportionately expensive as they tend to give you the whole house.

Avg. rent by housing type and size

Studio/Bachelor: $1,160
1-bedroom: $1,390
2-bedroom: $1,990
3-bedroom: $3,317
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods
The Beaches is 5% higher than TO average

Typical housing type

Lakeside cottages and a few low-rise condos or townhouses


Queen Street is the main destination, besides the beach, for getting out of the house. There's sushi, Indian, boutique clothing shops, antiques, art and a cute children's bookstore. For families, there are four public schools and three Catholic schools within the borders of the Beaches, plus many more nearby, and the Avalon Children's Montessori School is within the Beaches community, on Queen Street East. For tennis enthusiasts, Kew Gardens has 10 courts that stay open late.