Heritage Walk of Balmy Beach area set for afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 20

This aerial photo shows the Scarboro Beach Amusement Park. The site of the former park, that operated from 1907 to 1925, will be one of the stops on a Heritage Walk of the Balmy Beach area planned for the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 20.

Local historian Gene Domagala will lead a Heritage Walk of Balmy Beach on Saturday, Nov. 20.

The walk begins at 1 p.m., and particpants are asked to meet at the Beaches Branch Library on Queen Street East.

Domagala said the walk will include the Fox theatre and participants will learn what its original name was.

It is one of the oldest continuous theatres in Toronto, if not Canada, said Domagala, but it was not the Beach’s first movie house. Those on the walk will find out where it was located, he said.

Also, there will be a visit around the Balmy Beach Club as part of the walk.

“This club has won more championships and has produced more athletes in different sports including those at the Olympics than I can think of,” said Domagala.

Local churches will also feature prominently on Saturday’s walk.

“We will see the one that was originally called the Tent Church,” said Domagala.

Amusement parks also play a big part in the history of the Balmy Beach area, he said. “We will see where the three great amusement parks were — Victoria Park, Munro Park and Scarboro Beach Park,” said Domagala.

Tens of thousands of people would flock to visit these parks during their prime operating years which were from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.

Some other famous and “not so famous” spots will also be featured in the walking tour, said Domagala.

This will include the Garden Gate or Goof restaurant, and the location of East Toronto’s No. 2 Fire Hall.

“Lots of the streets in the area had different names once and we will find out what they were,” said Domagala.

The walk will conclude at one of the area’s iconic landmarks — the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant.

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