Cherry Beach is a strip of land south and to the east of downtown Toronto, accessable by following Cherry Street from Lakeshore Blvd. It acts as a buffer between the industrial docklands and Lake Ontario to the south. Due to all the superclubs down on the waterfront the beach attracts all kinds of shady elements, with activity peaking at night and very early in the morning on weekends. On the bright side, it is the regular venue for free outdoor events in the city. The freetekno crews often hold events there in the summertime, often on short notice. Being one of the few areas close to downtown where party people can really get away from the city, the beach attracts an eclectic mixture of hoochies, househeads, hippies, and rave kids.

The future of Cherry Beach remains cloudy, as the newly inaugurated Rochester-Toronto ferry debarks at the western extremity of the beach lands. $8 million dollars has recently (August 2004) been sunk into building an actual terminal, as current passengers from New York state to Canada's largest metropolis are greeted by a small set of tents on the barren ground (what a first impression!). When the terminal becomes busier and development moves down through the docklands, revitalizing the waterfront, surely there will be some conflict with the fringe elements that make Cherry Beach a regular hang-out.

Going for a swim at this beach is potentially unwise... the water is somewhat dirty, but most of all you just don't know what you're liable to step on if you go barefoot. At times it seems that there are more plastic baggies than grains of sand littering the shoreline. Just admire the view of Leslie Spit or the Toronto Islands and try not to step on any syringes or broken bottles.

Update (2005): it seems as if the ferry tanked rather quickly - it wasn't in operation for more than three months. The wilds of Cherry Beach remain the domain of freaks and characters, for now anyway.

Update (2006): the cops are apparently stepping up their patrols and may interfere with the usual Cherry Beach revelry this year. No major incidents have been reported thus far, but the situation remains volatile.

Update (2007): due to the presence of toxic chemicals in the soil over 500 trees were cut down, the ground was turned over, and (coincidentally) the city is laying down huge stretches of astroturf for a FIFA soccer tournament this summer. So much for that!

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