Multicultural and artistic area popular among young families
Proximity to the Don River allowed for British settlers to take up residence in Riverdale, selling timber, hay, potash, and various crops. The1800’s saw the rise of industries such as paint, glue and oil factories, metal and processing plants, dairies, tanneries and brickyards in Toronto. The arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1850s created a need for workers houses in the Leslieville/Riverdale area and from there the area began to develop. In the post-war era, Greek, Chinese, Italian and African immigrants began settling in Riverdale, creating a vibrant and diverse community.
Toronto’s first zoo, The Riverdale Zoo, was opened in 1894 and operated until 1974 when he Toronto Zoo opened. After the animals were transferred to The Toronto Zoo, Riverdale Farm opened up where the zoo was previously located. The main purpose of the farm was to teach children about rural life and food production at the turn of the 20th century. Riverdale Farm remains a fixture in this historical neighbourhood.
With highly ranked schools, convenient access to transit and a lots of community resources, Riverdale is popular with young professionals and families. On any given day you will come across running and cyclists groups, dog walkers and baby groups. Along with young families and emerging professionals, this neighbourhood is known for is diverse community.
This busy neighbourhood has a ton of options for dining and entertainment. Walk along the Danforth and immerse yourself in the culture of Greektown. With tons of local authentic Greek restaurants and shops, you will never run out of options for places to eat.
Square Boy is a highly rated local favourite, offering burgers and fries and classic Greek dishes like souvlaki and gyros. If you’re craving weekend brunch, check out Lady Marmalade for globally inspired brunch/lunch food and inventive breakfasts in a bright and cheerful atmosphere.
Or, head to Riverdale Perk Café for your morning caffeine fix. Located in the heart of Riverdale for a casual yet sophisticated meal, delicious locally roasted espresso and pastries baked in-house daily.
Danforth Music Hall hosts a variety of local and international artists in an intimate setting where you’re never too far away from the performance. The Opera House boasts classic features preserved from when it was built in the 1900s as the main entertainment venue in the area. It was later converted into a cinema and has now been transformed into a performing arts venue where music legends such as Metallica, Green Day, The Killers, and Nirvana have graced the stage.
There is no shortage of things to do in this area, especially if you want to enjoy some outdoor activities. Visit the animals at Riverdale Farm before setting up a picnic in the park. There are several local drop in programs in the area including the South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre and Sprouts, an indoor playground perfectly designed for your young ones to safely play and explore and for you to meet other parents. In the summer months check out Riverdale Park East pool which has a large water slide, a splash pad, separate area for little ones, and lifeguard supervision.
Although there are tons of activities for families and children, there is also an exciting nightlife in the Riverdale area. Aside from tons of local bars and restaurants, there is always something going on at Danforth Music Hall and The Opera House. Now that Toronto establishments are opening back up again following multiple lockdowns, you will get to enjoy everything that Riverdale has to offer.
Riverdale is known for its highly ranked schools, both public and catholic. In fact, Riverdale Collegiate Institute is one of the highest ranked secondary schools in the city. Here are a few of the options:
Catholic and Private:
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