Riverdale was formerly a town before it was annexed by the City of Toronto in 1884. Despite its rich housing stock, the area was considered a bit run down in the 1970s. The area has rebounded dramatically over the years and is now a very trendy and expensive residential district.
Riverdale's western boundary is situated just to the east of the Don River and Don Valley Parkway, Jones Avenue to the east, Danforth Avenue to the north and Lake Shore Boulevard to the South. The area is very desirable because of its close proximity to downtown Toronto with easy access to the Don Valley Parkway.
Home styles in Riverdale comprise of Victorian and Edwardian residential architecture, primarily built between the 1880s and the Great Depression. The grand homes that line Broadview Avenue south of Danforth Avenue with their spectacular views of the Don Valley and city are a testament to that era.
Within the Riverdale district there are many smaller communities known by such names as North Riverdale and South Riverdale (the dividing boundary is Gerrard St. East), East Chinatown ( Gerrard Street East between Broadview Avenue and Carlaw Avenue ), GreekTown ( along the Danforth ), Riverside ( Queen Broadview Village ), The Studio District ( just north of the Port Lands ) and The Pocket ( Jones Avenue south of Danforth Avenue ).
Shopping - There are many retail shopping options in the Riverdale district. The Danforth and Greektown on the Danforth with its many Greek restaurants in addition to a variety of boutique and mainstream shops. Gerrard Street East is home to Chinatown East, with many Asian shops and restaurants. The Gerrard Square Mall offers locals many choices. Historic Queen Street East features a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops - visit Riverside District BIA for more information.
The Carrot Common - located at 348 Danforth Avenue, the mall includes 17 stores, including the famous Big Carrot cooperative. It has a central courtyard which is a popular neighbourhood gathering space and busy pedestrian area.
Taste of the Danforth - A festival that began in 1994 to celebrates Greek food and culture. It is held over a weekend in August every year. Danforth Avenue is closed from Broadview Avenue to past Jones Avenue for the festival and in recent years it has attracted close to a million visitors.
The Opera House - located at 735 Queen Street East, is a unique and intimate venue still holding all the charm of its original 1900’s vaudeville theatre architecture.
The Music Hall - located at 147 Danforth Avenue, the Music Hall is a performance art venue with historical roots.
SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
Parks - There are three popular parks in Riverdale. At the west edge between Broadview Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway is Riverdale Park East. This park features a running track, three baseball diamonds, a skating rink, a public swimming pool and tennis courts. At the south end of the park is a soon to be community centre, which is currently under construction. To the east is Withrow Park which has a large off-leash dog area, an ice rink, two baseball diamonds, a play ground, and a soccer field. In the south is Jimmy Simpson Park which contains tennis courts, a community centre and a skating rink.
Royal Canadian Curling Club - located just north of Queen St. East on Broadview Avenue it features 6 ice sheets and hosts leagues for about 500 members.
SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES
Toronto Public Library/Riverdale Branch located at 370 Broadview Avenue on northwest corner of Gerard Street East and Broadview Avenue
Toronto Public Library/Saulter Branch located at 765 Queen Street East.
Toronto Public Library/Pape & Danforth Branch located at 701 Pape Avenue.
Riverdale Collegiate Institute is the neighbourhood's local public high-school.
Earl Grey Senior Public School is the local middle public school for the area ( Gr 7-8 )
Quest Alternative School and East Alternative School of Toronto are local alternative middle schools ( Gr 7-8 ). They both focus on student-centered learning and a have a diverse curriculum.
Holy Name Catholic School is the local Toronto Catholic District School Board primary school ( JK - 8 )
Montcrest School is a non-denominational school, and has offered an enhanced education program for children with special education needs. Check their website for more information about their program.
SPIRITUAL/PLACES OF WORSHIP
Metropolitan United Church - 56 Queen Street East, Toronto
The T.T.C. has streetcars running on both Queen St. E and Gerrard St.E that pass through Riverdale. The subways along the Danforth service the residents of North Riverdale. Buses and streetcars running out of the stations also service most of the area.