Last week, my family spent a week in Toronto and we stumbled on to an area called The Beaches. The Beaches is a neighborhood located on the east side of the "Old City" of Toronto. We walked through the main "downtown" area, which is a few blocks from the actual beach. Considering how close we were to downtown Toronto, it was really a pleasant surprise to learn about this neighborhood since it had such a different vibe than the city. A vibrant community with mostly independent stores, restaurants and cafes, the main commercial area was full of young parents with children, nannies, dogs and their owners, and motorcyclists. It was great to see so many bikers in one concentrated area. It reminded me of London, except the Beaches is much more casual. I saw several bikers riding in shorts and t-shirts (I don't think you'll see too many riders like this in London). The Beaches has one main strip called Queen Street East. I noticed that several bikers seemed to be just cruising up and down this strip. We were there during the middle of the day and wondered what all these people did for a living as the streets were full of people. I suppose there were a certain number of tourists but most of the strollers seemed to be locals.
After walking through the main strip (which took about 30 minutes), we decided to stop for lunch and settled on a small corner cafe called Juice and Java. In addition to coffee and smoothies, they had a nice selection of food that included salads, sandwiches, quiches and crepes. They also had a nice outdoor seating area but there were a couple of smokers so we ate in their upstairs dining area, a quiet and secluded space above the main floor.
I didn't miss riding all week until we came to the Beaches neighborhood. It was fun to see so many riders and to experience another vibrant and active area of Toronto.