During a recent historic walk with Gene Domagala he took me into the local Scotia Bank office near Victoria Park Avenue and Kingston to show me some historical photos of this neighbourhood. While there he introduced me to Carolyn Pitre, the manager of the branch who has been a frequent supporter of Centre 55, its festivals and charitable activities.
Many people view Queen Street East from Woodbine to Victoria Park as the main stretch of the Beach, the Beach neighbourhood certainly extends farther north than that. Gerrard Street has become the centre of the “Upper Beach” and some 토토사이트. people would go as far as to say that even the eastern end of Danforth Avenue could still be considered part of the wider Beaches neighbourhood. Kingston Road without a doubt has always been part of the Beach, and here is Carolyn Pitre to give us more information about this unique neighbourhood.
- Please tell us a bit about yourself. What connection do you have to the Beach? What is your role with the Kingston Road Business Community?
I have been the branch manager of Scotiabank Kingston & Bingham branch since April of 2005, and I have had family living in the beach for the past 18 years. Often I am in the Beach, on the weekends, walking on the Boardwalk, shopping, visiting family, etc. I have been involved with the Kingston Road Business Community since November of 2005. I go to their meetings, help organize events and involve my branch in the events.
- What is the mandate of the Kingston Road Business Community? What areas does it cover? How is this organization funded?
The KRBC’s mandate is to promote the businesses in the area by organizing events to draw people into the area. Our business members span along Kingston Road from Fallingbrook to approximately Beech Avenue. The residents span from Warden Road to Main Street, and Gerrard to Queen Streets. The Kingston Road Business Community is self-funded through collections from our members.
- Please give us some general information about the Kingston Road area, its demographics, its residential architecture and other unique features. What makes this a special neighbourhood?
From my observations/experience, this area appears to be made up of many young families and also many families/seniors that have lived in the area for many years. Compared to other areas I have worked in, this area has a very strong sense of community. Many people seem to have home-based businesses so they live and work here instead of commuting out of the area everyday.
- There is a lot of new real estate development going on and the entire area seems to be revitalizing. Please comment on that.
I believe that this is because many of the seniors are selling homes and moving into condos while young families are moving into the area. Also, some of the industrial locations have now become new housing developments that are bringing more people into the area.
- What kind of merchants and services can be found along Kingston Road?
The Kingston Road Business Community features a wide range of stores from boutique gift shops, pet care and accessories, unique/trendy furniture and décor, spas/salons, flower shops, book stores, crafts, clothing, sporting goods, stained glass, music store, health food, art galleries/stores, etc.
- What kind of restaurants, bakeries and cafes are located along Kingston Road? Which places have outdoor patios?
We have a variety of hospitality establishments: bar and grills, pubs, a Cajun restaurant, a Hungarian restaurant, several pizza and pasta outlets, coffee and bakery shops that sell sandwiches, soups and other hot food items, baked goods, etc. Three of our small coffee shops and bakeries have outdoor seating, one pub and one bar and grill also have an outdoor patio.
- Please tell us about some of the special events and festivals that are held throughout the year along Kingston Road.
We have a Spring Festival (usually the 1st Saturday in June) and a Fall Festival (in late September/early October). We host these festivals jointly with Community Centre 55 and there are many children’s activities, live bands and other family entertainment. Many of the merchants have store specials and/or free food on offer for the crowds.
This past year, Community Centre 55 organized the first Annual Christmas Parade along Kingston Road which was well attended by the community. The Lions Club, the Kingston Road Business Community, local schools and politicians were also involved on the parade committee.
- What community, non-profit and service organizations are active in the Kingston Road area? What about places of worship?
We have a wide variety of non-profit organizations that work right here in the community: Community Centre 55, the Lions Club, the Pegasus Community Project, all the schools, the Kingston Road United Church, St. John’s Catholic Church as well as the YMCA.