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Long Branch - Community Info

Overview

Long Branch

Long Branch is a well established neighbourhood located along the Toronto waterfront at the extreme south-west part of the city. This neighbourhood is in transition with many new home developments being built along Lakeshore Boulevard.

This lakeside village is blessed with many fine attributes including picturesque waterfront parks, a local arena, a public library, a waterfront trail, a Go Transit station and a vibrant shopping district.

History of Long Branch

Long Branch was first settled in 1797 by Colonel Samuel Smith a loyalist officer with the Queens Rangers. Smith's five hundred acre tract of land spanned the entire present day neighbourhood. Smith, who served two terms as administrator of Upper Canada, built a modest regency style cottage at the south-east corner of 41st Street and Lakeshore Boulevard where Parkview Public School is situated today.

Smith passed away in 1826. His children retained possession of his estate until 1871 when it was sold to James Eastwood. The industrious Eastwood timbered the pine and oak forest that covered this land. He then rafted the logs from the mouth of the Etobicoke Creek to the Toronto Harbour where the lumber was sold for a tidy profit.

In 1883, Eastwood sold the eastern sixty-four acres of his property to the developers who created Long Branch Park, a summer resort modelled after its namesake in New Jersey. Ferry boats ushered thousands of Toronto vacationers each year to Long Branch which boasted fanciful summer cottages, a grand hotel, a boardwalk and numerous amusement rides including a Coney Island Carousel.

Long Branch became more accessible in 1916 when Lake Shore Boulevard was paved. This transportation corridor helped turn Long Branch into a year-round community. This neighbourhood was developed largely from the 1920's up to the 1950's.

Homes in Long Branch

Long Branch is primarily a residential district, composed mostly of single-family, detached homes. Along Lake Shore Boulevard West, numerous business are located in a low-rise commercial strip. South of Lake Shore Boulevard West, the area of single-family homes extends down to the lake. The area's lake shore is primarily privately owned, except for Long Branch Park and Marie Curtis Park.

Transportation

The Long Branch Loop is the western terminus for the 501 Queen and 508 Lake Shore TTC streetcar lines, connecting Long Branch to downtown Toronto. The Loop is also the terminus for the 110 Islington South and 123 Shorncliffe TTC bus lines. The MiWay Mississauga transit agency operates the 5 Dixie and 23 Lakeshore from the Loop west into Mississauga. Next to the loop is the Long Branch GO Station on the GO Transit Lakeshore West line.

The major east–west arterial road in Long Branch is Lake Shore Boulevard, which connects to the east to downtown Toronto. Lake Shore Boulevard West continues to the west as Lakeshore Road in Mississauga. The main north–south arterial road is Brown's Line which connects to the Gardiner Expressway, Ontario Highway 427 and the Queen Elizabeth Way highways to the north.

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