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Upper Beaches
—  Neighbourhood  —
Typical houses in the Upper Beaches
Location of the Upper Beaches in Toronto
Coordinates: 43°40′26″N 79°18′29″W / 43.67389°N 79.30806°W / 43.67389; -79.30806
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
City Toronto Toronto
Community Toronto & East York
Established 'Norway'
Changed Municipality 1888 East Toronto from York
1908 Toronto (former) from East Toronto
1998 Toronto from Toronto (former)
 - MP Maria Minna (Beaches-East York)
 - MPP Michael Prue (Beaches-East York)
 - Councillor Sandra Bussin (Ward 32 Beaches-East York)

The Upper Beaches is a rather recently coined name for the neighbourhood directly north of the Beaches area in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It stretches from Coxwell Avenue in the west to Victoria Park in the east. The southern border is Kingston Road, while the northern boundary is generally considered to be the CN tracks between Gerrard Street and Danforth Avenue. Originally called Norway, the area was a part of the City of East Toronto. The city's current name for this area is East End Danforth, though that is rarely used. The city also includes the buildings along and just north of Danforth Avenue in the neighbourhood. The western portion between Woodbine and Coxwell is referred to by the city as Woodbine Corridor.




Predating development along Toronto's Beaches, Norway was a postal village in what is today the eastern part of Toronto. The community grew up in the 1840s at a stagecoach stop along Kingston Road, which was then the main route connecting Toronto to Kingston, Ontario and the main east-west land route through the colony. The community was then at a distance of about 5 miles from the city at Woodbine, in a still largely wooded area.

There is no evidence of Norwegian settlement in the area. Rather, the name likely comes from the Norway Pines that dominated the region, and whose harvesting was one of the main industries for the community. The most prominent landowner in the area was Charles Coxwell Small, who tried strenuously to have the town renamed Berkley, after his hometown in Britain, but the name Norway stuck.

The village of Norway has long since been fully engulfed by the City of Toronto. Its name does persist in a number of places, including Norway Avenue, and the nearby Norway Public School. St. John the Baptist Norway Anglican Church, the attached St. John's Cemetery Norway were named after Canada's original patron; the later St John's Roman Catholic church and school also preserve the name.

East Toronto

Much of the neighbourhood was laid out later as the residential heart of the short lived City of East Toronto. Until recent years the neighbourhood was largely working class, with lower prices than the Beaches to the south. In the last two years a marked rise in housing costs has forced many of the lower class earners to move east of the area. The area was also home to a number of industrial sites alongside the rail line, which runs just north of Gerrard. Today almost all of the industry has been forced out, and replaced by shoddy and tightly packed large housing developments. It is one of a group of neighbourhoods, such as the South Annex and South Riverdale that have been snapped up quickly by lower-middle-class recent immigrants as the older downtown neighbourhoods have become dramatically more expensive.

Residents in the neighbourhood are primarily lower-middle to upper-class earners, although there is yet a healthy mix across the spectrum. The housing types range from squat apartment buildings to particle-board-based single detached brick construction housing. Since there are limited links to the Danforth due to the local rail line to the north, the nearest main commercial strip in the area is much further south at Kingston Road, which is home to an eclectic mix of small shops and restaurants, though it is not yet as exclusive as Queen Street to the south.


  • Earl Haig Public School is a Elementary-Middle School located at 15 Earl Haig Avenue, just east of Coxwell. Earl Haig only went from Kindergarten-Grade 6 until 2009-2010, when grade seven was added. In the 2010-2011 school year, the school will add Grade 8 as well.


The area is served by the 502 Downtowner and 503 Kingston Road streetcar routes along Kingston Road.


External links



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