At the beginning of the 20th century, this was literally a village, a place of summer homes reachable by streetcar. Today, along since being claimed as part of the central city, it nevertheless retains a village air, a sense of community. This local pride has only been enhanced by the rise in house prices and the prosperity of Queen East, which operates like a combination of an English market town's high street and a California resort community's retail strip. Kew Beach Park, which begins in the midst of the commercial area at Queen St provides the community focus for everything from baseball games to open-air jazz concerts. Planners long ago attached the park to a boardwalk and a beach that run for at least a mile along Lake Ontario, which means that people living in the area have more close-to-home recreation space than anyone else in the old city. That's one reason why the Beach retains it status as the most popular section of eastern Toronto for homebuyers. The housing stock here is eccentric, to say the least: it's not at all odd to see a handsome Edwardian brick building cheeked by a modern home.