Riverdale, Toronto Neighbourhood Guide: A Contrasting Community

Riverdale, Toronto

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Neighbourhood At a Glance:

Average Commute Time

Union Station can be reached in about 20 minutes by car and around 30 minutes by transit.


A good balance of entertainment, shopping, and dining.

The Housing Market

Two- and three-storey Victorian homes built between 1880 and 1924.

What You’ll Love

You’ll love the distinct sections in the area, each with its own characteristics.

What Not To Expect

Don’t expect the highrise buildings you'll find downtown.

From trendy artists to young professionals, this east-end neighbourhood is home to a diverse group of residents. Riverdale is bordered by Danforth Avenue and Gerrard Street East to the north and south and Broadview and Greenwood Avenues to the west and east.


The distinctive sections in the area include charming Victorian homes and a plethora of art galleries, stylish shops, and unique eateries. 


The Studio District attracts artists who enjoy the work/live lofts and “the Pocket” is a favourite spot for families to put down roots. With a variety of lifestyles, backgrounds, and professions, Riverdale residents add to the metropolitan mood of city living.

Neighbourhood Review


Two- and three-storey Victorian homes built between 1880 and 1924 add characteristic charm to Riverdale. Many feature distinctive third floors with walkouts to a deck. In South Riverdale, you’ll typically find smaller homes than those found in North Riverdale


Riverdale’s homes are unique for their rear parking laneways, and street permit parking is also common. In this neighbourhood, you’ll also find townhomes and low-rise apartment buildings. 


The neighbourhood between Chatham and Boultbee Streets has been called “the Pocket” for decades and features some of the more affluent and larger homes in the district. The Studio District, popular for its loft-style housing, is to the south along Lakeshore Boulevard. Here, you’ll also find a number of film, music, and art studios for creative types who enjoy the work/live residences.

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Things to Do in Riverdale

Arts & Culture

Riverdale is a favourite Toronto destination for artists, designers, painters, and performers, offering a profusion of arts and culture activities. Pop-up art festivals like the Riverdale ArtWalk features fine art exhibitions showcasing established and emerging artists. This art show is one of Toronto’s most notable outdoor art exhibitions. It offers emerging artists the opportunity to submit their work for a $50 fee, making the event accessible to a wide range of budding talent.


On a broader level, the Riverdale Hub Gallery features exceptional artwork displayed in a three-storey community centre. From exhibitions of local artists to wider-reaching art initiatives and festivals, this gallery hopes to provide a discussion forum for artists locally, nationally, and globally.


Riverdale has been a hotbed of artistic expression for decades and, hopefully, will continue to lead the way for new emerging Toronto artisans.



Danforth Avenue, commonly known as “The Danforth,” is the hub of Toronto’s Greek community and is a popular local shopping and dining district. This shopping corridor at the northern tip of Riverdale features characteristic parks, small specialty shops, and fashion boutiques. It also offers bakeries, delis, and a scattering of lounges, live music, and nightclubs.


Nearby Queen Street East is a trendy, colourful stretch of imaginative shops, including record stores, fashionable clothing boutiques, specialty gourmet grocers, vintage clothing stores, flower shops, and more. This area attracts an artistic crowd that can be seen sipping a cappuccino at a vintage café.


Restaurants & Dining

Located in the hub of Riverdale on Logan Avenue, the Riverdale Perk Café is a cozy coffee shop that attracts locals for specialty latte and cappuccino. It provides an engaging environment to enjoy a coffee, with assorted antiques decorating wood-panelled walls. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend destination after a stroll around the neighbourhood.


The Danforth features a large assortment of eateries. Greek fare is a prevalent and popular choice (the summertime Danforth Festival features sidewalk vendors offering the city’s best souvlaki). Restaurants like Riverside Kitchen on the Danforth stand out from the crowd. Its assortment of sandwiches, salads, and soups keeps loyal customers coming back for more.


Riverdale is also home to its own Chinatown shopping district at Gerrard Street and Broadview Avenue. You’ll find authentically prepared Asian food, which is probably the best way to enjoy this cuisine.

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Riverdale Park is a vibrant local hub. It features Riverdale Farm, which depicts a 19th-century Victorian farm with farm animals including horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens. A small amusement park can also be found here during the summer months.


This three-hectare farm also features craft programs in the Meeting House. The scenic grounds include flower, vegetable, and herb gardens, as well as wooded areas and ponds — which the whole family will enjoy. The park is also a popular tobogganing spot and has an ice rink and sports fields.

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Nearby Allan Gardens is the largest park in the downtown area. It’s home to the Allan Gardens Conservatory, which is a 1,486- square-metre indoor botanical garden. Here, you’re welcome to stroll through six greenhouses, featuring unique, flowering plants and perennials. The outdoor grounds have an off-leash dog park and children’s playground.


On Logan Avenue, the eight-hectare Withrow Park features two ball diamonds, a sports field, two outdoor tennis courts, a volleyball court, a wading pool and a playground. It also has an outdoor artificial ice rink.


University students who study in the quiet green space, dog walkers, and tourists enjoying the view of the CN Tower and downtown skyline all gravitate to this centrally located park.


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For outdoor enthusiasts, Riverdale Park features an expanse of sports fields and the nearby lower Don Recreational Trail. Other trails in Toronto’s ravine system can also be accessed from the park where walkers, joggers, and cyclists enjoy outdoor activity surrounded by the beautiful ravine.

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Transit & Commute Times

Riverdale is easily accessed by the nearby Don Valley Parkway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and the Gardiner Expressway. The TTC also operates regular buses and streetcars along major thoroughfares such as Broadway, Carlaw, Jones, and Greenwood Avenues and Queen and Gerrard Streets.


An assortment of subway stations on the Bloor-Danforth line traverse this neighbourhood, including Broadview, Chester, Pape, Donlands, and Greenwood stations.

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Distinct Neighbourhoods Within a Larger Community

Riverdale is divided into distinct sections, each with its own unique characteristics and culture. The amalgamation of these communities creates one of Toronto’s largest and most engaging neighbourhoods and is an aspiration for many would-be homeowners.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Riverdale known for?

Riverdale is known for its distinct sections, each with its own unique characteristics and culture. 

Why is it called Riverdale, Toronto?

Riverdale is likely named after historic Riverdale Park.

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