Where is the best porch in the Beach?

There are many different names for the structure in front of your house: you can call it a porch or verandah or whatever you want.

Here are a couple examples of what I consider excellent Beach verandahs among many. One in particular has a name, and is a historic piece of property. It is called Pine Crest, and it is located at the northwest corner of Balsam Avenue and Pine Crescent.

The porch at Pine Crest. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson
The porch at Pine Crest.
PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Pine Crest was built around 1903 or 1904, when there were very few houses or cottages in the area. It had a commanding view of the lake and stood in solitary magnificence. It is the creation of Beach architect Charles Frederick Wagner, who designed many homes in the area. One of the first owners was a Mr. Valleau, an early resident of East Toronto.

Pine Crest stands out as a large, white wooden structure, with its lovely octagonal wooden porch. The porch roof is supported by circular columns as it wraps around the house. In the front two more columns stand as sentries on either side of the main steps to the house.

This is one of the most imposing homes in the Beach, but that is not to say there are not other houses that are just as appealing.

Another impressive verandah in a different style is on Lyall Avenue, which is a designated heritage conservation district.

The home is named after Andrew Taylor, one of the pioneer owners, and has a Heritage Toronto plaque. The porch has four columns, and the house is located in the former village of East Toronto.

The Heritage Conservation District on Lyall Avenue features a number of unique homes, including the one with this porch. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson
The Heritage Conservation District on Lyall Avenue features a number of unique homes, including the one with this porch.
PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Looking at the four columns and the flooring one is not surprised that I’ve picked this quaint East Toronto home as one of my favourites.

Lovely homes of stature are located on either side of Glen Manor Drive overlooking the park. Many of these do not have large porches, but that is part of the beauty of the Beach – every area is different.

There is one street at the east end of Queen that used to be a ravine, and I climbed more than 50 steps just to see some of these architectural gems – and it was worth the climb.

There are some handsome porches made of stone on Neville Park, Munro Park, and Nursewood. There are porches on the main streets such as Queen, Gerrard, Main Street and Woodbine. You might not notice them because they are seen so often, but dear readers, take another look.

Take a look at the Beach Triangle – you will see a verandah that you think is plain – or is it? Every porch has its own style. Yes, maybe there are 50 houses with the same look, but the owners are different, and some little feature stands out, sometimes you just have to look closely.

There are all different styles of porch in the East End – wood, brick, stone, round or square columns, many different designs. On streets like Eastwood, Highcroft, Glen Mount, Merrill, West Lynn, Gates, Swanwick Ben Lamond, Enderby, Ashdale, Normandy, Hollywood Crescent – I have seen on these streets classic examples of Beach verandahs, you just have to look for them. We have small porches on the former cottages of Kenilworth, Lee, Elmer, Kippendavie, and Waverley Road. We have the stately double verandahs of the Price Brothers Development – Wineva, Hammersmith, Scarboro Beach, and Hubbard Avenue.

Now we would like to find out which is the best porch in the Beach. We invite readers to pick out your favourite porch. Email a photo and information to editor@beachmetro.com and watch for the results in a future issue.

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