Beach Memories: Historic walking tour along Queen Street East set for afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 1

The street signs along Queen Street East recognize the historic beaches of the area including Scarboro Beach. Historian Gene Domagala will visit these signs and more during his walking tour of the area on Saturday, Oct. 1.

By GENE DOMAGALA

In my last column, I wrote about the controversy regarding the name of this part of our city and should it be called Beach or Beaches or some other name.

I knew there would be discussions and some pro and con feelings about this subject. Our esteemed editor commented on this in his Sept. 6 column regarding the number of submissions for and against (and neutral) regarding the different name choices.

Since that time, we are continuing to receive emails and I will let you know the results of this “poll” in an upcoming column.

But first I will be hosting a walk on Saturday, Oct. 1, along Queen Street East.

The walk starts at 1 p.m. and those wishing to take part are asked to meet on Queen Street East just east of Woodbine Avenue near the fire hall. From there we will head east.

I had hosted a similar walk earlier in the summer but a number of people indicated to me that they had not been able to make it, so we will do it again.

There will be many historic sites to stop at during the Oct. 1 walk, and of course we’ll be discussing some controversies as well.

The walk will be stopping at points of historic and architectural interest along Queen Street East and on some side streets.

We will begin at the fire hall at Woodbine and Queen, but will also see the site of what was the Kew Beach Volunteer Fire Hall that was built in Kew Gardens by area residents.

We will also visit the building where film director Norman Jewison grew up at Kippendavie Avenue and Queen Street East. But please know that he was not born there.

The Beach Hebrew Institute, which is more than 100 years old, on Kenilworth Avenue will also be one the stops.

We’ll visit the original cottage known as Inglenook, which was built by architect C.F. Wagner. There will also be many other stops and surprises along the walk including the sites of old movie theatres, some churches past and present.

Now back to the Beach or Beaches question as it will relate to this walk.

Did you know the signage along Queen Street East from Lockwood Road to Victoria Park Avenue reads The Beach in bold letters but in a small corner of the same sign you will see tiny script saying Historic Woodbine Beach or Historic Kew Beach, Historic Scarboro Beach or Historic Balmy Beach?

Take a look next time you are in the area.

Which, of course, extends our dilemma when it comes to Beach or Beaches.

I will be noting these signs as we take our walk on Oct.1, along with other interesting historical events and people that make our community so special.

That is what makes history so interesting and sometimes questionable. I look forward to seeing you on the walk and talking more about this.


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