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Photos by Amanda Factor/Torontoist.

Today’s mini-celebration at the corner of Queen Street East and Lee Avenue was a historical event three years in the making. In early 2006, the Beaches BIA proposed the idea of branded street signs. Plans for new street signs citywide were put on hold while the city tried to secure a contract for street furniture, and they remained on hold until late 2008. Meanwhile, area residents were asked to vote on what name would appear on the signs: the Beaches or the Beach. Out of 2,113 eligible votes, 58% preferred “the Beach”—a somewhat surprising choice, since the neighbourhood seems to be most popularly known as “the Beaches.” Glenn Cochrane, journalist and author of The Beach, spoke to this in his brief speech to the crowd today. “A few years ago, there would have been an uprising over the choosing of this new name over the other name, which I’m not going to mention because I don’t want to start anything.”
Fortunately, the unveiling of the new street sign design didn’t inspire sparring over the new moniker, and the festivities continued with live music, street sign–shaped cake, balloons for the kiddies, and tomfoolery courtesy of the Beach mascot, Beach Buddy. When you’re living in a neighbourhood equated with “good living and a good life,” according to Councillor Sandra Bussin, who cares what it’s called?