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North Hills Monthly

Community Guide: Beaver

Sep 30, 2015 02:34PM ● By Clare Heekin Lynch
Because of its safe, walkable, neighborhoods, highly acclaimed school system, convenient shopping and plenty of outdoor possibilities, in 2007, the town of Beaver was named by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of the region’s “Top-10 Neighborhoods.”

Situated where the Beaver and Ohio Rivers meet, Beaver is a 1.1-square mile borough of approximately 4,500 people. Located just 40 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh, this quaint, well-kept community was originally home to the Shawnee tribe. Established in 1792, Beaver experienced a major growth spurt in the middle of the 19th century with the arrival of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad.

Although Beaver includes many residential neighborhoods, the district’s most prominent buildings include five churches, the county courthouse, and numerous small businesses centered on the city’s commercial Third Street.

Shopping, Dining and Entertainment
From a wide range of shopping and dining venues to sports and entertainment options, Beaver has something for people of all ages and interests. Its central business district, boasting two-hour free parking, is the perfect setting for enjoyable shopping. And at the center of the shopping district is an iconic symbol of the Beaver community—a 40-foot clock tower located on the plaza in the center of downtown that plays seasonal music on special occasions.

Shopping opportunities abound, with everything from high-end boutiques like the Shirley Shoppe, to family-operated special interest stores including Castle Toys and Games, Sapling & Sons Stationery and Two Rivers Olive Oil. “Whether you’re looking for home décor, quality clothing, custom furniture or that special gift around the holidays, our local businesses are guaranteed to give you options,” said Beaver Area Chamber of Commerce President Paula Johnston, who also owns Generations Photography and Specialty Gift Shoppe.

And for the foodie? “From sweets and treats at Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop and Café Kolache, to healthy and organic options like Soup-Herb Sproutz, you can’t go hungry in our community,” laughed Johnston. Selections like Waffles, INCaffeinated and Herban Juice Lab encourage visitors to fuel up for touring the Beaver Area Heritage Museum and Fort McIntosh, or enjoying the annual car cruise, which is the third largest in the nation.

With numerous free family events happening almost every month, it’s also not a surprise to see younger families moving to the area. “I think more and more people are trying to get away from the ‘concrete jungle’ and traffic of the big city,” said Johnston. “They want to slow down the pace and go old-fashioned strolling through town with their kids and pets.

“More forward-thinking young business owners are moving into the area, offering the unique amenities of bigger areas within the confines of our quiet, tree-lined streets,” she added. “It’s a very cool mix of fresh trendy with old-fashioned tradition and we all work well together because we have a common goal to succeed.”

With nine public parks and open spaces, outdoor recreation is within a few blocks from nearly everywhere in the borough. Brady’s Run Park boasts an indoor skating rink and a 28-acre lake for boating, fishing and swimming, and the Beaver Public Swimming Pool offers a sliding board and spraying fountain, concession stand, changing rooms and a separate baby pool area.

For more information about Beaver, visit,, and

Upcoming Festivals and Events
  • Oct. 25: Halloween Parade, 10 a.m. to noon. Kids in costume trick-or-treat at the town businesses.
  • Nov. 21: Fourth Annual 5-Mile Turkey Trot & 1-Mile Fun Walk, 8 a.m., Irvine Park
  • Nov. 27: Beaver Light-Up Festival, 5 to 9 p.m., downtown. Free. Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, parade, fireworks and live entertainment.