Cherry Beach : A Secluded Surprise

Decades of port development and industrial boom in East Toronto have created a buffer to the old shoreline and one of the most peaceful places in the east end – Cherry Beach Park. The park itself sits at the bottom of Cherry Street, but one needs to brave through drabness of industrial wasteland hoping for a change in scenery. Those that persist are rewarded with a place of surprising beauty and unique serenity, particularly during cold winter mornings.

Minutes away from country’s busiest downtown, meters away from working docks and main shipping canal into Toronto Harbour, the beach feels as if it’s continents away from anything urban, industrial or fast paced.

Witnessing the morning on the beach means finding a whole different level of peace and enjoyment. As sun ascends from behind man-made protective barrier of Leslie Street Spit, new urban forest outlined in the morning glow, a gentle and relaxing view comes into perspective. Sunrise like no other.

Cherry Sunrise

The beach is easy to miss. The Waterfront trail passes by it – the recreational highway – miss the views in a hurry to get the kilometers and miles logged onto an exercise schedule, but at what loss? Small park and a beautifully calm cove are subdued and quiet. One of many picturesque secrets of our city’s waterfront.

Boat house and it’s dock provide centre for the beach, an entry point to the city, a place altogether different from a familiar bustle of a ferry terminal or Union Station. Intimate – perhaps the best way to describe the beach with its understated landmarks, adding to the modest calm Intimate, quiet in a very powerful and captivating fashion.

New Day Awakens

Waters of the lake, calmed by the new shore built on debris of our past, gently shape the beach pebbles and slow down the water on most windy of days. So close to the city and so removed from everything. Solitude, peace, insulation – all close to downtown and not far from so many unaware, dreaming of an escape to a peaceful beach thousands of kilometers away from the city. ┬áIronic, then, that escape is at hand, tucked behind some of the ugliest of industrial-scape the city has to offer.

On the beach, the sun pops up above the spit, privilege only available from mid October until late February, and the cold and purple calm gives way to warm glow bathing the rocks and rousing the waterfowl that seems to come out from all sides. The atmosphere changes and all of a sudden, beach is a hive of activity, brought on by the dawn of the new day.

Morning Waves

Once discovered, it is hard to remain indifferent. Whatever emotion brings one to stop and look at the distance on the beach, it is hard not to walk away with a smile, start a new day in the warm glow of the morning Sun, with fresh air, fresh life brought on by the lake. The beginning of the new day.

Never has a beautiful morning been closer, yet so remote and so hidden from many.

Glow Walk

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