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The Beaches

The Beaches is a relatively upscale neighbourhood and popular tourist destination located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Some long-time local residents insist on calling the area 'The Beach', but the 'The Beaches' is almost certainly the more universally recognized neighbourhood name, particularly by outsiders.) The trendy shops of Queen Street East lie at the heart of The Beaches community, with the boardwalk by the lake and several large parks being just a few steps south.

The Beaches area is generally considered to be bounded by Northern Dancer Boulevard and Lark Street to the west, Victoria Park Avenue to the east, Kingston Road to the north, and Lake Ontario to the south. Before amalgamation in 1998, the neighbourhood was at Toronto's extreme eastern limit and formed part of the city's border with the suburb of Scarborough; even now, residents refer to The Beaches as being in the east end of the city. Streetcars heading to and from downtown Toronto run east-west along Queen Street East as well as along Kingston Road, and there's a bus line to the subway running north-south along Woodbine Avenue. Another north-south bus line snakes its way along several sidestreets before making its way to the Main Street subway station.

The area is in the political riding of Beaches-East York, and is currently represented in the Ontario parliament by Michael Prue of the provincial New Democratic Party. Historically, the riding has sent nothing but NDP representatives to Queen's Park since 1962 (the year after the NDP was founded) and is considered one of the safest NDP seats in the province. Federally, the riding has voted for the Liberal party for the last few years.