Home to South Etobicoke’s beachfront, historic lakeside estates, a family favorite park, delicious deluxe burgers, and an authentic 1940’s barbershop.
Long Branch, Toronto a family favorite park.
Grab your swimsuit and spend the day at Marie Curtis beach and park. Long Branch is lucky to call Marie Curtis Park theirs. We love cycling here, and this is a perfect spot to spend a summer afternoon. Stroll along the boardwalk, escape the heat with a dip in Lake Ontario or sunbathe on the sandy beach. The kids will love the big playground, splash pad, and watching the ducks from the bridge. There are lots of picnic tables and open green space for your lunch in the park, and usually, an ice cream truck parked nearby too.
Long Branch was first settled in 1797 by Colonel Samuel Smith a loyalist officer with the Queen’s Rangers. Smith’s five hundred acre tract of land spanned the entire present-day neighborhood. Smith, who served two terms as an administrator of Upper Canada, built a modest Regency-style cottage at the southeast corner of 41st Street and Lakeshore Boulevard where Parkview Public School is situated today.
Smith passed away in 1826. His children retained possession of his estate until 1871 when it was sold to James Eastwood. The industrious Eastwood timbered the pine and oak forest that covered this land. He then rafted the logs from the mouth of the Etobicoke Creek to the Toronto Harbour where the lumber was sold for a tidy profit.
In 1883, Eastwood sold the eastern sixty-four acres of his property to the developers who created Long Branch Park, a summer resort modeled after its namesake in New Jersey. Ferry boats ushered thousands of Toronto vacationers each year to Long Branch which boasted fanciful summer cottages, a grand hotel, a boardwalk, and numerous amusement rides including a Coney Island Carousel.
Long Branch became more accessible in 1916 when Lake Shore Boulevard was paved. This transportation corridor helped turn Long Branch into a year-round community. This neighborhood was developed largely from the 1920s up to the 1950s.
Located right on the shores of Lake Ontario, Long Branch Park is a popular spot for kids to play on the playground and run around the open green space. Parents can relax in the Muskoka chairs or in the gazebo, and enjoy the view of the sailboats on Lake Ontario. We also really like Len Ford Park which offers a secluded place to sit down beside the water.
Long Branch is a well-established neighborhood located along the Toronto waterfront at the extreme south-west part of the city. This neighborhood is in transition with many new home developments being built along Lakeshore Boulevard.
This lakeside village is blessed with many fine attributes including picturesque waterfront parks, a local arena, a public library, a waterfront trail, a Go Transit station, and a vibrant shopping district.
The oldest Long Branch Toronto homes are located on Lake Promenade between Long branch Avenue and 38th Street. A handful of these houses date back to the days when the Long branch was a resort community.
These Long Branch Toronto homes have undergone numerous renovations and additions over the years however they retain some of their original features including whimsical turrets and front porch verandas. Lake Promenade also features prime waterfront properties and a handful of low-rise apartment buildings. The rest of the houses south of Lake Shore Boulevard were built in the 1920s,30s, and 40s. These brick and frame houses include detached 2-story homes, bungalows and semi-detached homes, and duplexes. Some of the quaint Tudor and Edwardian-style bungalows have been replaced with infill custom-designed homes.
North of Lake Shore Boulevard the houses get smaller and the lots narrower. However, there is a pride of ownership stamped on every neatly manicured lawn. New townhouse developments are now a big part of the housing mix in this part of the neighborhood.
Long Branch offers easy access to Lake Ontario, the Gardiner Expressway, Highway 427, and Lake Shore Blvd. Lots of shopping and restaurant options are available on Lake Shore Blvd, and nearby Sherway Gardens Mall and The Queensway.
The Long Branch BIA is very active in making their neighborhood a better place to live, work, shop, visit and play. Their efforts are responsible for the distinctive nautical blue lamp posts that line Lake Shore Boulevard West. These cast-iron lamp posts are dressed up with seasonal banners. Decorative interlocking brickwork on the sidewalks together with planter boxes and seats make for an attractive streetscape. The street especially sparkles at Christmastime when decorative lights resembling candy canes adorn the street lamps.
Get in the holiday spirit at the Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade. The parade has been ranked the 4th best Santa Claus parade in Ontario (yes, somebody actually ranks Santa Clause Parades) and is filled with floats, marching bands, the jolly man himself, all with its own Etobicoke kind of flare. The parade runs from Dwight Ave in Mimico into Long Branch, along Lake Shore Blvd.
Shops & Restaurants:
In five minutes, you can be at Sherway Gardens Mall and all the big box stores along The Queensway, and get to Farm Boy to do your weekly grocery shop and undoubtedly grab a few impulse items.
Why is everything so good there? No shortage of great dining and snack options. There are over 125 shops, restaurants, and professional service businesses along this route. Many of these shops are owner-operated. The street theme on Lake Shore Boulevard is “Toronto’s Village by the Lake”.
- Nite Owl Barber Shop, Get a haircut or shave in an authentic 1940s barbershop. Nite Owl Barber Shop has been operating on Lake Shore Blvd since the late 1940s but was re-launched by Brian Hurson, the shop’s new owner, who has maintained the charm and history of the original barbershop. If you appreciate a vintage vibe, this place is definitely worth visiting for your next cut.
- Jaja Spa, Treat yourself to some pampering at Jaja Spa. Owned by two best friends, Jaja Spa is a stylish and relaxing atmosphere for your manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, and more.
- Branch Yoga, Enjoy a yoga class at Branch Yoga. Hosting an extensive range of yoga classes, including aerial yoga, Branch Yoga is a popular spot where you will see locals walking to class with their yoga mats in hand. Branch Yoga also offers spa services like massages and facials.
For a nice dinner out, we suggest 850 Degree Pizzeria or Pulcinella. For a casual bite check out Buster’s, The Empanada Company, George The Greek, or Sloppy Joes for really good chicken wings.
- Woody’s Burgers, It is almost impossible not to stop for a burger at Woody’s when you catch the smell of their wood-burning grills in action. Everything on their menu, including their burgers, are made in house, and everything is delicious. Burgers, poutine, mac and cheese, and kid’s choices too. You can call ahead for pick up, or dine in. If you’re dining in, plan to wait about 20-30 minutes for your meal because everything is prepared fresh and well worth the wait.
- Grab lunch at Woodfire Sandwich Co., Grab lunch at Woodfire Sandwich Co., Located next door to Woody’s Burgers, Woodfire Sandwich Co is not your average sandwich shop. Many of the sandwiches feature meat that has been smoked in house, and on weekends they also have breakfast sandwiches and bowls. Nic highly recommends their Texas Brisket sandwich.
After these heavy meals, you can relax at the Fair Grounds Organic Coffee, or if you’re having casual meetings.
- Fair Grounds Organic Coffee., Grab a coffee and treat from Fair Grounds Organic Coffee and The Happy Bakers, and Black Goat.
- Thrive Organic, For a lighter option, try Thrive Organic for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic, and raw options. Scoops N’More is the neighborhood hot spot for ice cream.
- The Fix + Co., Grab a smoothie from The Fix + Co. Two cousins started the business with the goal “to provide delicious, fresh, plant-based products such as cold-pressed juices, shakes, elixirs, salads, and soups using organic, local, and seasonal produce when possible.” Their Banana Choco Chai smoothie tastes like a chocolate banana milkshake, but it’s good for you! Stop by their storefront and relax while you enjoy your juice, or have it delivered right to your doorstep.
Park & Recreation:
Long Branch is lucky to call Marie Curtis Park theirs. We love cycling here, and this is a perfect spot to spend a summer afternoon. Stroll along the boardwalk, escape the heat with a dip in Lake Ontario or sunbathe on the sandy beach.
Marie Curtis Park, located at the mouth of the Etobicoke Creek, has a supervised sandy beach with picnic areas in addition to a wading pool and a children’s playground. This park is where the Toronto Waterfront Trail and the Etobicoke Creek Trail connect.
These waterfront trails offer miles of fitness and leisure activities. The Waterfront trail passes through Colonel Samuel Smith Park which features a newly created wetland habitat interpretive trail, as well as spectacular views of Lake Ontario.
The kids will also love the big playground, splash pad, and watching the ducks from the bridge. There are lots of picnic tables and open green space for your lunch in the park, and usually, an ice cream truck is parked nearby too.
The scenic Waterfront Trail that skirts the south end of this neighborhood passes through Len Ford Park, an ideal spot for picnics, and Long Branch Park which hosts the Lakeshore Summer Concert Series in the park gazebo.
The trail snakes along Lake Ontario and through some residential areas and is a great way to spend an afternoon. When you get to Port Credit, stop and have some ice cream by the lighthouse overlooking the pier. Ice cream is essential!
Birch Park, located south of Lakeshore Boulevard between 28th and 29th streets, features two tennis courts and a children’s playground. Adjacent to this park is the Long Branch Centennial Arena which offers public skating as well as ice hockey and ringette programs.
The James S. Bell Community School, located at 90-31st Street hosts Youth Dances, a Teen Zone, adult fitness programs, and a variety of children and family events.
The Long Branch Public Library is a friendly community-oriented library that offers pre-school storytime programs and a “Tea and Books” program for adults and seniors.
With close access to the Ling Branch station on the Lakeshore GO Train line, the TTC streetcar line, and Gardiner Expressway or Highway 427 getting around is pretty easy. The 501 streetcar line is somewhat of a Toronto legend, being the longest streetcar route in North America, running between Long Branch in the west and Neville Park in the east. The 501 streetcar is a locals answer to the the double decker tour bus.
- Long Branch has its own Go Transit station located at the west end of this neighborhood on the north side of Lakeshore Boulevard.
- Bus service at this station links passengers to Union Station and the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
- Motorists can access downtown Toronto’s entertainment and financial districts in approximately fifteen minutes via Lakeshore Boulevard. Commuters also enjoy quick access to the Queen Elizabeth Way and Highway 427 on-ramps at Browns Line north of Lake Shore Boulevard.
Schools, Colleges and Universities:
Address: 350 Kipling Ave, Etobicoke, ON M8V 3L1, Canada | Telephone: (416) 394-7650 | Fax: (416) 394-3847 | Email: Lakeshore@tdsb.on.ca
“Lakeshore Collegiate Institute (LCI) provides opportunities for you to enrich your personal and academic achievement by providing a demanding curriculum that incorporates academics with the arts, technology, co-op and athletics. LCI is a dynamic school with a wide offering of programs for every student. Starting in grade 9, all students are welcomed to secondary school with an orientation program in August lead by our Leadership Students. Unique to LCI, in addition to our broad academic curriculum, is an extensive technology program including courses in culinary arts, cosmetology, transportation, construction, WoodLINKS (fine furniture), CyberARTS, graphic design, photography and video production.” As originally published by Lakeshore Collegiate Institute
Address: 330 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Y1, Canada | Telephone: 416 532-6592
“L’école secondaire Toronto Ouest continue de bâtir un milieu d’apprentissage franchement exemplaire. Ce milieu diversifié, inclusif et sécuritaire offre à ses élèves des programmes d’excellence en sciences, mathématiques, langues, études sociales et arts. De nombreux clubs et activités socioculturelles et sportives viennent agrémenter le quotidien de nos élèves, leur permettant de joindre l’utile à l’agréable. Fondés sur des valeurs d’excellence, d’engagement et de dépassement de soi, l’enseignement et l’encadrement offerts à nos élèves leur permettent « de voir un avenir à la hauteur de leur vision où les choix de carrières sont guidés par leurs passions et qui offre la possibilité et les ressources nécessaires à leur réalisation ».” As originally published by ÉS Toronto Ouest
Address: 85 Forty First St, Etobicoke, ON M8W 3P1, Canada | Telephone: 647 265-8544
Address: 3190 Lake Shore Blvd W, Etobicoke, ON M8V 1L8, Canada | Telephone: (416) 394-78100 | Fax: (416) 394-6412 | Email: Twentieth@tdsb.on.ca
“Overlooking Lake Ontario, Twentieth Street Junior School is located on the corner of Lake Shore Boulevard West and Twentieth Street in the west end of the City of Toronto. Twentieth Street Junior School has served the Lakeshore Community since 1920. In September 1994 a new building opened to replace the original structure. Our community has a rich history, with many families dating back for several generations. Twentieth Street Junior School is close to many community recreation facilities including the Master Card Centre Arena for Hockey Excellence and Gus Ryder Pool. Our school is fully accessible.” As originally published by Twentieth Street Junior School
Address: 90 Thirty First St, Etobicoke, ON M8W 3E9, Canada | Telephone: (416) 394-7680 | Fax: (416) 394-7958 | Email: JamesSBell@tdsb.on.ca
“James S. Bell Junior Middle Sports and Wellness Academy is located in Long Branch in West Toronto. Promoting the development of healthy and active lifestyles for students is the focus of this unique program. This whole-school approach supports students in developing an appreciation for athletics, health, physical activity and lifelong wellness. The students at JSB participate in daily physical activity, learn about the connection between good nutrition, physical activity and being better learners, enjoy lots of opportunities to participate in a variety of intramural and interschool programs. Students are part of a culture that balances academic excellence with personal leadership, character development and innovation.” As originally published by James S. Bell Junior Middle Sports and Wellness Academy
Address: 1305 Cawthra Rd, Mississauga, ON L5G 4L1, Canada
“At Cawthra Park Secondary School, students and staff live the school’s vision each day by “Learning the art of living; living the art of learning.” The school is recognized for its successful integration of the regional arts and regular school programs. It provides a unique learning environment for all students. Cawthra Park serves two communities of students and parents. Its immediate community is comprised of families who live in the southeast corner of Mississauga. Its wider community is made up of students from across Mississauga who have auditioned to be in the arts program. Since the school opened in 1972, its focus has been on academics, arts, athletics and citizenship. Staff are committed to preparing students to become lifelong learners. Cawthra Park is committed to the ‘Eco Schools’ program and has achieved Gold certification.” As originally published by Cawthra Park SS
CATHOLIC AND PRIVATE
Address: 6 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr, Etobicoke, ON M8V 4B6, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5417 | Fax: 416-397-6083
“The Holy Trinity Catholic School is a new school. Greet praise with a humble smile, criticism with an open ear, and negativity with the most POSITIVE attitude!” As originally published by The Holy Trinity Catholic School
Address: 755 Royal York Rd, Etobicoke, ON M8Y 2T3, Canada
“L’ÉÉC Sainte-Marguerite-d’Youville offre un environnement d’apprentissage stimulant par le biais d’une équipe dynamique et engagée. Située au coeur d’un joli quartier résidentiel, elle accueille 565 élèves, 24 classes en tout de la maternelle à la 6e année, en plus de 2 classes au tout nouveau pavillon Richview qui a ouvert ses portes en septembre 2013.” As originally published by ÉÉC Sainte-Marguerite-d’Youville
Address: 330 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON M6H 3Y1, Canada | Telephone: (416) 393-1320 | Fax: (416) 393-1319 | Email:
“L’école secondaire Saint-Frère-André est une école accueillant les élèves de la 7e à la 12e année. Notre but premier en tant qu’établissement d’éducation est avant tout l’apprentissage et le développement de votre enfant dans un milieu francophone catholique stimulant. En vue d’offrir un enseignement de qualité et un choix intéressant d’options à nos élèves, nous offrons toute une panoplie d’activités parascolaires, ainsi que des programmes d’enseignement. «Offrir à l’élève une éducation de qualité dans un milieu de vie catholique et francophone où le respect de la personne, le sens d’appartenance à la collectivité franco-ontarienne, la promotion de l’excellence et enfin l’équité sont des valeurs visibles et essentielles à son épanouissement ». C’est non seulement la mission du conseil scolaire mais aussi celle des enseignants.” As originally published by ÉSC Saint-Frère-André
Address: 55 Pelham Ave, Toronto, ON M6N 1A5, Canada | Telephone: 416-393-5291 | Fax: 416-397-6296
“By providing excellent opportunities for spiritual, physical, emotional, and academic growth, children have the tools to become independent and empowered individuals of the future. This school provides a safe, inclusive and healthy environment for learning that is faith based. Thus, student success is measured by improved achievement in all areas of the curriculum as well as the child in his/her entirety.” As originally published by St. Josaphat Catholic School
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