beaches toronto

People are debating the name of The Beaches neighbourhood again

Debate has sparked up once again as to the proper name of Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood... or should I say the Beach?

The seemingly unending debate as to the true name of the Toronto neighbourhood that exists, roughly, within the boundaries of Victoria Park to Coxwell (though, even that boundary is contested,) and Kingston Road and Dundas to Lake Ontario is — once again — heating up among locals.

A post that recently surfaced in a Beaches neighbourhood Facebook group — whose own name pokes fun at the eternal question — is the latest flint to ignite the debate among neighbourhood members.

beach vs beaches toronto

The latest post to incite debate among locals claims the BIA requested a logo be changed to say "Beach." Facebook, The Beach(es).

The original poster, a local artist, claims that he was asked by the neighbourhood BIA back in 2005 to change the wording of a logo he had designed for the neighbourhood from saying "The Beaches," to "The Beach."

Not unlike the way the issue of pineapple belonging on pizza seems to draw out an almost ecclesiastical enthusiasm from members of either side, the Beach vs. Beaches debate has been dividing the community for decades — and judging by comments on the post, that's unlikely to change any time soon.

"Sorry, but no. It's been the beaches FAR longer than 2005. It's the Beaches in every official place - political ridings, Wikipedia, Google, the brewery, the band, the works," comments one enthusiastic community member.

"It's also technically correct to be the beaches, and incorrect to be the Beach, because there are - wait for it - 4 beaches in the neighborhood."

"I grew up in the Beaches, I'm 47. So in the 1970's, 80's, 90's it was the Beaches. But carry on. Whatever. If you know, you know. Peace," writes another member of the community.

"Why is the local library called The Beaches Library?" comments another.

Others, though, emphatically argue that the neighbourhood is, and has always been, The Beach.

"Lived there back in the 50’s for over 20 yrs. “The Beach” was all we ever called it," one person writes.

Some members of the community are simply tired of splitting hairs, pleading a "rose by any other name," defence.

"Same ole debate - at least twice a year. Call it what you want. No preference here. What's in a name?" one person says.

They're right — the debate seems to bubble up at least as frequently as seasons change. Back in 2020, two major works of art were installed in the neighbourhood proudly touting the name "The Beach," which did decidedly little to put the debate to bed.

Back in 2006, an online poll was held to determine the proper name once-and-for-all, with "The Beach," being favoured as the name for the neighbourhood's BIA, though plenty of businesses and events the in the neighbourhood still go by the alternative.

As a lifelong resident of the neighbourhood myself, I could wield my own authority to weigh in, but won't, for fear of my neighbours revoking my Beacher status should I claim the wrong title.  

Don't get me wrong; Beachers are gentle, kind folk, but on this one thing....

Perhaps the Beaches vs. Beach debate is just another one of those things that gives the neighbourhood colour — like the late, great "Pen Guy" who was a permanent fixture outside of the IGA (now Foodland,) or calling Garden Gate Restaurant The Goof.

In any event, the matter remains unsettled, and looks like it'll stay that way for a good long while.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture


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