Walk Score


Transit Score

Victoria Park

Closest Subway Station

The Vibe

This is one of those Toronto neighbourhoods that isn’t known for anything in particular other than its proximity to other hipper, trendier areas including its rich cousin The Beaches (proper). However, what it lacks in specifics it makes up for in its general charms including quiet streets, comfortable homes and an easy commute into downtown TO. Think hidden gem, tiny town and stroller central and you’ll begin to see what’s to love about Beach Hill and The Upper Beaches.

The Story

Because Beach Hill/Upper Beaches is a reasonably recent addition as a TO hood in its own right, there’s some dispute as to its actual borders within the Toronto area housing market. At its core is a small stretch along Kingston Road expanding just north of Gerrard at the railway tracks or Balfour/Newmarket avenues. There’s than some discussion on its east/west borders depending on who you ask. Some people contain the area between Woodbine and Victoria Park and others argue it goes further west to Coxwell. The micro neighbourhood of Beach Hill, is a little pocket found on the north west edge at Woodbine and Gerrard.

Kingston Road was established not surprisingly as the roadway connecting Toronto to the town of Kingston back in 1817. It was built by engineer, Asa Danforth Jr. of Danforth Avenue fame. He was an American who started the Kingston Road project in 1799. Once complete it became a major route for stagecoaches and mail delivery. Also known as Highway 2, it remained the only route heading east from the city until the 401 was constructed. Highway 2 presented plenty of opportunities for a wide selection of motels and country inns to establish themselves along the popular roadway.

Prior to development in the area, it was what was referred to as a “postal village.” The name for the village was Norway, most likely based on the large growth of Norway Pines. In fact, the pines were one of the main attractions for the logging company Norway Steam Mill established in 1835. The original post office was built in 1825 and consisted of a small wooden building located at 320 Kingston Road.

In the 1800s, there was a toll gate at Woodbine and Kingston Road to fund maintenance of the popular Toronto to Kingston route running through Upper Canada. Throughout the 1840s the area expanded thanks to the highway, sawmill and post office reaching a whopping 100 people by 1850. With expansion of the road, came taverns, a school, some inns and even a blacksmith shop to service the horses and stagecoaches traveling to and from the city. However, the inns and taverns were also common hangouts for farmers coming into town with their produce.

The first church was built under the patronage of Charles Coxwell Small who donated three acres of land in 1850 and in 1853, St. John's Norway Cemetery was added and still stands today.

The Toronto Golf Club was established in 1876 between Woodbine and Coxwell, on land owned by the Dominion Telephone Company and the Fitzgerald family. By the 1880s there was a club house of sorts made available in a nearby house and in 1894 they renovated a deserted old mansion as their official clubhouse although it was rumoured to be haunted. As the area became crowded and riddled with sewage issues at the turn of the century, it was decided to move the golf course and the land was sold to developers, Robin’s Group.

In 1909 Norway was annexed to the City of Toronto. However, proof of the original town name Norway is still seen here and there including Norway Avenue, Norway Public School, St. John the Baptist Norway Anglican Church and St. John's Cemetery Norway. At that time, Toronto Civic Railways began construction of a line running between Greenwood to Main Street along Gerrard Street East, north on Coxwell and further east on a footpath near the golf club. This is now the TTC’s 506 Carlton route.

Meanwhile the new owners of the former golf course began selling land parcels under the name of Kelvin Park for new home construction. The recent railway line and stunning views of the lake were big attractions for those looking for a new home. At the time, the area still had lovely glens and streams leading down to the lake flanked by forest. As residential construction continued in the area, it became known as the Town of East Toronto for a short period of time. More industry came into the area, but demand for housing forced those businesses out.

Homes were not limited to strictly detached houses, but also included low-rise apartment buildings. In the early 1920s it was a cookie cutter example of early “suburbia”, but the homes now offer their own charm and character. By the 1950s the area consisted mainly of journeymen like plumbers and electricians as well as blue collar workers such as butchers and their families. These families eventually were drawn into newer suburbs to the east and west in search of larger homes and properties. Today, the homes remain, just north and south of the main drag of Kingston Road.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the name Upper Beaches kicked in, and it’s still not recognized as an official area of Toronto so to speak. However, once the term was coined by developers and real estate agents, the name kind of stuck.

The Convenience

With access to the 501-streetcar running from Kingston Road and Victoria Park and a short ten-minute walk north to Danforth to reach the Bloor-Danforth subway line, locals are just minutes to downtown Toronto. Many people prefer to jump on the GO Train at Guildwood or Danforth to reach Union Station and downtown is less than a 15-minute drive.

Kingston Road offers its own stretch of shops, restaurants and cafés an attraction to locals in the area who value the low-profile small town feel of the main strip. It has yet to bring in tourists and Torontonians seeking a new haunt on weekends, keeping it highly local centric and as a result more family friendly than other nearby areas. Instead of fighting traffic and crowds like The Beaches, residents can feel free to stroll along Kingston Road, visit local Orchard Park, Cassels Park and Williamson Park Ravine, and generally enjoy their neighbourhood in peace. They’re left to their own devices, but aren’t cut off by the rest of the city, making it an idyllic ‘hood where living is easy. And of course they’re right near the beach!

The Residents

This area of the Toronto area housing market is popular with young, English speaking families drawn to the area for its affordable homes, parks and easy ride into the city. To the south of Kingston Road you’ll find more young couples sans the kids. As well, those living to the south tend to have a higher average income than those living to the north of Kingston Road.

The Best Part

It won’t be long before people catch on the homes here are just as quaint as The Beaches proper, pushing up prices, attracting trendier shops and restaurants and seeing the throngs start muddying up the undisturbed streets.

The Worst Part

It won’t be long before people catch on the homes here are just as quaint as The Beaches proper, pushing up prices, attracting trendier shops and restaurants and seeing the throngs start muddying up the undisturbed streets.

The Real Estate

The Toronto area housing market has such a diverse selection of neighbourhoods it can be hard to know what housing options are hidden on the little streets and lanes throughout the GTA. In the Beach Hill/Upper Beaches area, there’s a fair share of quaint detached homes in the area with many dating back to the early 1920s. However, you’ll also discover an assortment of semi-detached, condos, townhomes and interesting bungalows in the area. The streets are treelined with postage stamp front and back yards. Homes can still be found below the $600k

mark if you’re happy to live in a condo, while detached and semis can still reach over the $1 million mark. However, in general homes for sale Toronto sellers list in the area tend to run as much as $200K lower than homes found in The Beaches proper. If you’re looking for something a little more contemporary or distinct, you’ll also find some new houses for sale Toronto families love popping up here and there, and you can even cling to the hope of finding a fixer upper, but they tend to go fast!

The Schools

Despite the small area of Beach Hill/Upper Beaches, there are some excellent schools including:


Norway Junior Public School
390 Kingston Road, (416) 393-1700
JK to Grade 6

Bowmore Road Junior and Senior Public School
80 Bowmore Road, (416) 393-9450
JK to Grade 8


Notre Dame Catholic High School
12 Malvern Avenue, (416) 393-5501

Malvern Collegiate Institute
55 Malvern Avenue, (416) 393-1480


LeRoux Froebel Bilingual School
72 Main Street, 416-698-1923
(ages 18 months to 12 years)

Are you thinking about calling Beach Hill/Upper Beaches your new home?

Contact us today, and we can get started on finding you a home in this one-of-a-kind Toronto neighbourhood

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