Local Area Development and Transportation

The Riverside area boasts excellent positioning within one of Toronto’s desirable East End neighbourhoods. A mixed commercial and residential node, the Riverside/Leslieville area has become one of the City’s hottest neighbourhoods, offering an exciting mix of independent retail and dining establishments nestled among tree-lined streets of Victorian and Edwardian style homes.

The locational characteristics of Riverside properties are strongly enhanced by direct positioning upon the TTC Queen and King streetcar lines. Vehicular access is also excellent, with quick access to the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway, and on-street and surface lot parking options. The area is also home to Car2Go and Zipcar vehicles for easy, flexible car rentals by the minute, hour or day. With bicycle post and rings all along Riverside’s 10 blocks and access to Toronto Bikeshare stations, the area is also welcoming to cyclists. The area’s attractive streetscape with planters, exploratory historical plaques, murals and other points of interest welcomes walkers and strives for complete accessibility over time.

Local Demographics

With a local population of approximately 22,712 people (within 1 kilometer), nearby residents enjoy an above average household income of $103,410 versus the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) average of $94,500. Population growth (within 1 kilometer) is expected at 6.8% over the five year period from 2014 to 2019, a strong growth projection supportive of the increased desirability of the city’s East End. A family friendly area, 35.4% of couples have children at home while 57.7% of these households own their own dwellings (within 1 kilometer), a solid indicator of increasing local affluence. The dominant building type remains to be a mixture of low-rise apartment stock, predominantly built before 1960.

Riverside/Leslieville Retail Landscape

Located in the heart of Toronto’s Downtown East, Riverside/Leslieville ’s retail landscape has grown in recent years to form one of the trendiest shopping scenes in Toronto. The area offers an eclectic mix of clothing retailers, galleries, concept shops, furniture/design stores, restaurants, cafes and indie music bars. Encompassed by numerous new residential condominium developments and affluent single family residential homes, the surrounding retail market offers a stable, high-end selection of shopping destinations for local residents. Extremely low vacancy rates across local units, in conjunction with upward trending net rental rates, driven by the continued gentrification of the area, presents a positive outlook for this popular East End neighbourhood.

Interesting Facts & Stats

“A family friendly area, 35.4% of couples have children and 57.7% of these households own their own dwellings (within 1 kilometer), a solid indicator of increasing local affluence. The dominant building type remains to be a mixture of low-rise apartment stock, predominantly built before 1960.”

“Commercial property values in the Riverside BIA increased by 43% between 2008 and 2012. Commercial property taxes in Riverside went up 120%, the highest in the city.”

Riverside BIA Business toolkit, services, and free resources

Starting a new business in Riverside area is a great opportunity to join a dynamic, successful and diverse community. We have compiled a list of resources which can help you become a part of the neighbourhood and take advantage of our free services.

Riverside BIA Services at a Glance

  • Marketing the area & your business through community events (see our year-round calendar of events including festivals, neighbourhood tours and more) and outreach (e.g. Riverside Magazine, concierge associations)
  • Weekly Graffiti Removal (up to 10ft back from the curb along Queen St E)
  • Media profile via weekly e-news (sign up at the bottom of our homepage), blogs, news releases, news outlets (e.g. Snapd, blogTO, NOW)
  • Profile via Social Media: Riverside BIA Twitter: @riversideBIA, Facebook: /RiversideTO, Instagram: riverside_bia – join the conversation using #RiversideTO and #QueenStEast
  • Seasonal decoration of street planters, neighbourhood gateway enhancements (e.g. Bridge lighting)
  • Community streetscape enhancements (benches, lighting, planters, cigarette receptacles, murals) and partner with City of Toronto on Streetscape elements (e.g. tree pits, bicycle racks, transit shelters)
  • Capital Infrastructure projects (e.g. Bridge lighting, Banners) and access to Grants (e.g. Façade Improvement Grant, Mural Grant)
  • Strong connection to local MP, MPP and Councillor
  • Value added Community partnerships (e.g. Tourism Toronto, Car2Go, UberRUSH, Jane’s Walk, ShopToIt)
  • Corporate Discounts for BIA members (e.g. Staples advantage membership, Tourism Toronto membership, Zipcar), everyday great rates from recommended printers (MLB,Tristone), flyer delivery services (Reliable, Blunt) and photography services (HeadshotsTO)
  • Online Directory of Riverside Businesses and Available Spaces for Lease (below)
  • Opportunity to get involved in your community through Committees and the Board of Directors

Online Resources/guidelines on how to set up your business:

  •  TORONTO NEIGHBOURHOOD GUIDE – A comprehensive guide to the Riverside neighbourhood.
  • FS LOCAL BLOG -A blog dedicated to starting a small business. Features an up to date business profile of the Riverside neighbourhood
  • ENTERPRISE TORONTO – A toolkit for a small or a startup business
  • ONE – Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs





(Former occupant)




753A Queen St E

(Formerly Green Jar and Ambiance Chocolate)


One main floor unit, 1000 sq ft. Frontage on Queen Street East, access to DVP, streetcars; fully renovated, 2 piece washroom.

Available immediately. $2,500, flexible for 1 yr lease or more.