Surfing, ping pong, intrigue, and a hedgehog?!
This fun video chronicles my adventures in The Beach neighbourhood during a weekend winter snowstorm in February. It also serves as a tour of some of the many great features of the neighbourhood.
Full video transcript:
It's the time of year here in The Beach, when shrubberies becomes popsicles,
joggers on the Martin Goodman Trail have to dodge cross country skiers,
the winter warming stations are built,
and the beach dogs are granted extra space for off-leash play.
Hi, I'm Rebecca Laing, Toronto Real Estate Broker.
On this blustery weekend in February, I was determined to get outside for more than just shovelling snow. I set out from my home at the western edge of The Beach on a quest to play winter ping pong in Balmy Beach park. My first stop was Kew Beach, which was rather quiet with people, but loud with the sound of waves crashing on shore. Stand-up paddle boarding and surfing is a year-round activity here. SUPing and traditional surfing have exploded in popularity in recent years, with Ashbridges Bay and Bluffers Park in Scarborough being the most frequented beaches to catch the swell. Toronto's best waves happen when winter storms tracking up the East coast blow strong northeast winds onto the shores of Lake Ontario.
I myself am more of a kitesurfer, but the waves were tempting, so I thought I should give it a go. Although our winter water temperatures are usually warmer than the air, it was still only 3 to 4 degrees. And since ping pong was my original mission, I decided to save surfing for another day. Probably in July.
So, down the beach I went to Kew Gardens, where the refrigerated outdoor rink attracts skaters for pickup games of shinny hockey and public skating by the lake. There's an outdoor fireplace for warming up, and my dear friend Henley lives just a few steps away. He doesn't seem to be home today. And no, that's not him, Henley is less squirrly and more...hedgehogly. But yes, the famous Henley the hedgehog has a home here in Kew Gardens.
Since I was almost at Queen, I decided to check out the scene at Glen Stewart Park. This winter has been too warm for volunteers to build-up the natural skating rink at the bottom of the park, however, there is enough snow to go tobogganing on one of its 4 hills. Crossing to the north side of Glen Manor Drive, I descended into the Glen Stewart ravine. It's amazing that just a few hundred metres from Kingston Road is a peaceful forest, where the gentle babbling of the meandering creak is only drowned out by the sounds of crunching snow underfoot.
Enough tranquility, let's get to the ping pong!
I finally arrived at Balmy Beach Park, which is home to one Toronto's many outdoor ping pong tables. Situated between the park's playground and The Balmy Beach Club, it is set amongst the trees, and is blessed with panoramic vistas of Lake Ontario. With our table cleared of snow, it was at last time to play.
Hey, I never said I was good at the sport.
It was only a few years ago that Dianne Moore of the Toronto Rotary Club led an initiative to have these concrete works of art fabricated and installed in over a dozen public locations throughout the city. They have been a great success, and additional parks will be receiving new tables this year.
As part of my profession, I give clients tours of the Toronto communities they are considering. We have scores of amazing neighbourhoods in this city, and it is not always easy to fully appreciate their attributes from the confines of a car. I hope my little adventure introduced you to something new here in The Beach community.
Until next time, I'm Rebecca Laing, Toronto Real Estate Broker.