Presenting: Neil Macdonald and the Beach Business Improvement Association – A Community Overview

5. What kind of merchants and services can be found in the Beach?

Please visit our website, at, for the only complete directory of Beach businesses on the Internet. It’s a mix of unique stores,one-of-a-kind stores and restaurants, with bigger well-loved stores and restaurants like Pier 1 or Lick’s. We have a wonderful array of sidewalk cafes and patios to take advantage of the great people-watching and laid-back atmosphere that prevails in The Beach. Residents and visitors alike enjoy our coffee and tea places, amazing pastries, casual clothing at great prices, our many stores catering to dogs and their needs as well as their owners, and a terrific assortment of health, fitness, spa and beauty offerings. We are considered an “artsy” area and have many fine places to buy gifts, impressive artwork and jewellery. Last but not least, we offer some of the best ice cream and gelato in the city!

The Fox Cinema – an institution in the Beach

6. What kind of restaurants, bakeries and cafes are located in Beach? Which places have outdoor patios?

Our website will give you a good idea of how many places there are to go for a meal. There’s a wide variety of cuisines, most of which offer a casual atmosphere for families and friends to gather, though there is a good selection of restaurants all along Queen that provide fine dining. There is a good selection of outdoor patios – everyone has their favourite – which prove to be most popular in the summer months.

Harvest time

7. Please tell us about the flagship event in the Beach: the Beaches Jazz Festival. When and where is it held?
When was it started and by whom? How has the festival evolved over the years? And how many people attend?

The Beaches International Jazz Festival is indeed our flagship event, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to our neighbourhood over five days. I suggest you visit their website at for more information.

[You can find an interview with Lido Chilelli, founder of the Toronto International Beaches Jazz Festival at this web address:].

The historic Fire Station 227

8. Summer definitely is one of the most active times in the Beach. What festivals, activities and special events can one partake of during the summer months?

See attached list – Yes – it’s great without a doubt, but every season has its advantages – even winter, when the frozen spray from the waves makes magical formations by the lake. It’s quite breathtaking, in many ways, to take a walk on the boardwalk, in winter. I love fall and spring, equally well.

9. What about some of the special events in the fall?

See attached list

An urban oasis of rest and peacefulness

10. Christmas must be a special time in the Beach. What special events take place leading up to and during the holidays?

Our BIA has begun a tradition of inviting the local high school choral groups and instrumental groups to serenade shoppers on the sidewalk. We’d like to build on that. Of course, the Lions Tree Lighting has become a must-see event for the community. It’s definitely filled with small-town charm and Santa. Speaking of Santa, he comes strolling on our sidewalks throughout December.

Winter in the Beach

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