bloordale beach toronto

Bloordale Beach is Toronto's only beach without a body of water attached

Bloordale Beach is Toronto's newest unofficial beach, except that it's not really a beach. 

It's not connected to a lake, or even a pond, or any kind of body of water — unless you count the occasional puddle that forms post-rainstorm, which beach-goers have aptly named the Bloordale Lagoon. 

The "beach" is really just a barren, gravelly lot sitting just north of Dufferin Mall.

Fencing keeps the public (or tries to, anyway) from entering the site, which was home to the Brockton Learning Centre before the TDSB greenlit the old high school's demolition last year. 

It's sizeable, encompassing more than 118,400 square-feet between Croatia Street and Brock Crescent, and located just a few seconds' walk from Three Speed brewery if you go through a tiny back alley. 

But aside from some sandy material on the site, there's not really anything beachy about Bloordale Beach. 

For Shari Kasman, the Bloordale local who gave the beach its designation in late May (and also sells Bloordale Beach postcards), it's more about the public reclaiming an unused space during a time when social distancing is paramount yet feels increasingly difficult. 

"There's no reason for it to be closed," says Kasman. "The reason they fenced it off is because it was a 'hazard'. It's clearly not a hazard... People should be able to take advantage of it. It should be everyone's beach." 

The site, which sits amidst the Built a Better Bloor Dufferin redevelopment, is currently owned by the TDSB, which plans to build a new high school eventually. 

But the repurposed site has taken off amongst the masses, so, yes, Bloordale Beach is officially a thing. One person, Richard Anderson, even made a quick video about it. 

Even the TDSB's constantly replacing fencing hasn't stopped people from entering the site through one of five entrances and tinkering with the space.

There are now official Bloordale Beach signs, and construction "Danger" signs have become "Linger" signs, "Trespassing" has become "Relaxing". 

There aren't any beach chairs (it's BYOC here), but there are some dusty pylons and an abandoned shopping cart. Plenty of people actually come here to sunbathe.

To the side, there's a grassy area dubbed the Bloordale Meadow, for when you need some shady reprieve. The occasional public art installation delights visitors too: one time it was a pair of mannequin's legs with a nail in its butt. 

And if you're scared someone will come and tear down all that good work, don't you worry: Bloordale Beach is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Not really, obviously, but Kasman's tongue-in-cheek Wikipedia references in the Bloordale Village and Brockton High School pages still say so. The beach is also a bonafide destination on Google Maps.

You can also get a postcard, which Kasman designed and is now sold at the gift store, Town, on Bloor. Or you can DM Kasman on social media and she'll bring you one herself — just meet her at the beach. 

Lead photo by

Bloordale Beach 


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