Sunny days at Sunnyside, Toronto

Sunnyside is a lakefront district in west Toronto sitting along Lake Ontario’s Humber Bay, extending west from Exhibition Place to the mouth of Humber River.

Interestingly, the area has notable history in Toronto, first documented as the landing location of an 1813 attack during the War of 1812. Later on in the early 20th century, Sunnyside became the site of a massive waterfront reclamation public works project, which expanded the land area by 38 hectares. It grew in popularity as a summertime recreation zone between the 1920s and 1950s, acting as home to the Sunnyside Amusement Park, and was an evening entertainment hot spot. The night clubs have long since closed and the amusement park was eventually demolished to facilitate building of the Gardiner Expressway, which now borders the northern edge and separates Sunnyside from the neighbourhoods of Parkdale, Swansea, and Roncesvalles.

Sunnyside Bathing Station, 1924 (Source: BlogTO)

Today, the shoreline area features park space, an expansive beach, the Sunnyside Pavilion Cafe, and recreation facilities including an outdoor pool. It is accessible from the Martin Goodman mixed use trail, via a pleasant waterfront walk or bike ride. You can spot the occasional brave soul enjoying a dip in the murky E. coli ridden water here, but I would recommend the Toronto Islands as a better option for swimming in Lake Ontario.