The Origins and Development of Riverdale

In the 1850’s, Riverdale, like many small communities, joined the City of Toronto soon after the Grand Trunk Railway was built through the area. Thanks to the railway, opportunities for industry and employment were increasing rapidly.

A nice view of a Riverdale park

Riverdale officially joined the City of Toronto in 1884. Before Riverdale joined Toronto, it was known as Riverside. The name was changed to reference Toronto’s Riverdale park, which is a well-known landmark in Toronto.

Soon after in 1918, Riverdale’s community boosted once again, when Prince Edward Viaduct was built. The Prince Edward Viaduct is Toronto’s largest bridge, and provides people with a link to Toronto, west of Don River.

Today, Riverdale is a very popular Toronto neighbourhood. It has a large and diverse community, that is well known for its large shopping districts, and quaint Victorian homes. The streets are filled with some of the largest maple trees in all of Toronto.

The houses in Riverdale are traditionally attracted, with a wide mix affordable homes close to downtown. Most of the houses were built between 1880 and 1924. Some are smaller, older and less expensive, while others are large, luxurious, and a little more expensive. Most of the houses have parking on lane ways, and permits are available for street parking for all residence.

Riverdale neighborhood, toronto canada

A recently sold Riverdale Home

For all the shopaholics, Riverdale residence have a few shopping districts to choose from. The largest shopping area would be Danforth. Danforth is Toronto’s Greek community, and it features:

  • first class Greek restaurants

  • home & garden outlets

  • fine jewellers

  • clothing stores

  • gifts and collectibles shops

  • spas and salons

  • fruit and vegetable stands

  • butcher shops

  • Greek bakeries and pastry shops

  • As well as dozens of European-style cafes and restaurants

Once you’re done shopping, you can take a stroll down the avenue, and see the beautifully deep Greek culture. Street signs are in English and Greek, blue and white Greek flags line the avenue, and the Mediterranean atmosphere is set by the classical architecture of the National Bank of Greece and other local buildings.

A great annual event that locals are all encouraged to part take in is the Taste of the Danforth festival. This festival takes place in August. Thousands of Toronto’s residence gather to the area for a week long celebration. You can enjoy music, demonstrations, giveaways, children activities, and of course many restaurants set up street kiosks to offer samples. If you’re a nighthawk that’s great, because many clubs and cafes stay open into the late hours.

Riverdale has lots of green space to offer it’s residence and visitors. The three best known parks in the area are:

  • Riverdale Park – offers an outdoor pool, and a running track.

  • Withrow Park – a cozy park for families and pets to play.

  • Jimmie Simpson Park – a large park with an indoor swimming pool, a games room and a gymnasium.

All of the above parks also have tennis courts, a wading pool, a hockey rink, and a baseball diamond available for public use!

Riverdale Toronto

A Hazy Day at the Park

You won’t need to go far for education purposes. The Riverdale district is well known for it’s great schools. There’s over nine school to choose from, ranging from elementary to college/university.

Public transit makes it easy for you to get to where you need to go. There’s a regular bus, streetcar, and subway service in the area that’s available to all locals.

Other East Toronto Neighbourhoods: BeachLeslievilleRiverdale


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