Creatively Animating Riverside’s Transitioning Storefronts

The Riverside BIA has taken a creative approach to their transitioning storefronts – by adding art to them.

Riverside ArtsFest PATCH It Up (July 13, 2014) Nguyen (20)

Through the PATCH Project’s PATCH It Up program, Melissa Luk and Emanuel Ciobanica created new work for the Riverside community’s transitioning store fronts, during the Riverside ArtFEST held on July 13th 2014. Generously supported by the Riverside BIA, this three-paneled mural highlights the heritage of the neighbourhood by drawing inspiration from its busy business district, depicted through the artists’ whimsical aesthetic.

Riverside ArtsFest PATCH It Up (July 13, 2014) Nguyen (16)

Lead artist Melissa began the process for this mural by taking a walk through the Riverside neighbourhood, through which she was inspired by the various “visual puns” and mentally stimulating signs in the community. Some of these visuals cues run parallel to Luk’s own political and civic interests, such as an awareness of local flora and fauna, urban homesteading, gentrification, and heritage preservation. Through her artistic process, she was able to incorporate the essence of the Riverside community, without the use of common, obvious, or generic imagery.


The Riverside BIA felt that animating transitioning storefronts, would also be a draw for new businesses, as it shows that the BIA is invested promoting the neighbourhood, and creating enjoyable streetscapes for potential customers. An active and invested BIA is one that also works to serve the businesses within it, attracting new potential businesses to the BIA.

Check out the video on the creation of this piece here


Help us Win the NXT City Contest! It will only take a minute!!!

Riverside Park Revitalization Project


First, take a look at this video!



Hey everyone! Would you like to see McCleary Parkette (located in Riverside, TO) be revitalized? A few people from the Riverside BIA have teamed up and created a plan to revamp the currently bleak and overlooked space on the corner of McGee & Queen Street. We submitted this plan to the NXT City Contest, and it was posted to Facebook along with 95 other submissions. The prize for winning this contest is a grant to turn these plans into reality! How can we win? Well, the photo of that plan that accumulates the most likes over the next week or so will receive the grant!


So! If you could just take a second to log on to your Facebook and LIKE THIS PHOTO, you will be helping us to get closer to our goal of revitalizing and beautifying McCleary Parkette (and feel free to share the photo if you want!). You can see our plan for the project below!

How can YOU maintain a more Healthy & Active Lifestyle?

Here in Riverside, health and fitness is something that is valued highly by many. There are countless opportunities for residents to get moving and work up a sweat, helping to ensure a long and happy life. Eating right and working is not only beneficial physically, but mentally and emotionally too! It is important that we keep healthy living a priority in Riverside, and the rest of Toronto!


Riverside welcomes the Chi Junky Wellness Concierge & Private Yoga Studio – Toronto’s newest wellness retreat. Designed for busy people looking for a healthy change, Chi Junky makes achieving total wellness simple, accessible, and realistic.

Whether you visit them for yoga,  an a la carte service, or to have their team create your total wellness plan, they are here to help you live a stronger, happier, healthier life.

They have a a serene yet contemporary atmosphere, with a team of certified professionals – including naturopaths, massage therapists, holistic nutritionists, personal trainers, personal holistic chefs, and yoga instructors – who work to fulfill your wellness needs through a unique variety of services.

To find out more, visit!


 What else can you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Riverside offers an abundance of ways for you to further your health, whether it be running/taking a stroll along our beautiful streets or taking advantage of one of the many services in the neighbourhood.

For example, Quad Spinning offers spin classes for people of all fitness levels, committed to providing a positive and welcoming atmosphere. You could also check out Switchback Cyclery if you want to purchase a bike of your own to ride around the neighbourhood, helping you to get fit!

Sore muscles?  Oma Chiropractic works to build health by releasing tension, improving function, and increasing resilience through hands-on personalized care.

Energy Xchange is a fitness clinic with a mission to educate, incite passion, and inspire the journey to becoming a healthier you – they offer a bunch of services, from pilates to personal trainers. Also, residents of Riverside can attend free fitness classes at the Jimmie Simpson Centre!

Looking to take on healthy living from a nutritional approach? Check out The Healthy Whey, where you can find superfoods, supplements, detox products, and more with the help of their extremely knowledgable staff.



Some News!!!
Riverside has recently joined forces with the Pan Am Games!  Just a few blocks away from Riverside, the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will play host to approximately 10,000 athletes, coaches, and dignitaries from 41 different countries and territories spanning the Americas. Look out for some of Riverside’s signature events, including the IGNITE WALKFest (October 2014) and the Riverside IGNITE Eats & Beats (2015)!
As you can see, there is a vast and varied amount of opportunities for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, eating right, and more! Find the thing that’s right for you and take advantage of what Riverside has to offer!

“Fun”d Raiser for Withrow Knights Women’s Ball Hockey to attend World Masters!

Withrow Women at the World’s – Co-ed Ball Hockey Tournament Sat Aug 9th – 
The Lady Knights of Withrow will be hosting a co-ed ball hockey tournament Sat Aug 9th, in order to raise funds for their trip to participate in the 2014 World Ball Hockey Championships in Tampa, Florida this September.
A community-based tournament is a fun, recreational fund-raising event that is now going into its fourth year.  It has been a blast every time!!!  Details are:
WHEN:                       Saturday, August 9, 2014  (rain-date of Sunday, August 10, 2014); 9am – 4pm
WHERE:                      Withrow Park rink
COST:                          $20 per person where payment is made in July, otherwise $25 per person
PARTICULARS:        The intention is to have a non-competitive, fun day of ball hockey; therefore,
                                      absolutely no rough play.  Rules are very limited (i.e., friendly rules re: no icing, no
                                      off-side, no slap shots, face-offs only after a goal).
                                      3-game minimum
                                      5-on-5 format
                                      Some refreshments will be provided
HOW:                          If you are interested (and you should be since it is a great event), please bring your
                                      payment to either David Valenta, Lorie Power, Mary Nasello, or Louise MacNeil.
David Valenta:
Lorie Power:

The Withrow Knights Women’s Ball Hockey Team has been playing together for a year and a half and have now qualified for two very competitive tournaments. The team was selected from a league that plays out of Withrow Park and occasionally Jimmie Simpson Park. PollockHeather-JoanPadmoreTourney-2792The team, along with coaches Lenny Abramowicz and David Valenta have  won the silver medal at the provincial championships  which  qualified them for the national championship in Ottawa next year.  Last year, the Withrow Knights won the gold medal at the provincial championships – qualifying them to represent Canada at the World Masters in Tampa, Florida in September 2014.DSC_0346 The team is made up of women that have been playing in a house league together for as much as eight years. The league started as simple pick up ball hockey but quickly grew to a league that includes six teams with captains, coaches, and referees. The level of play has also steadily increased and a second tournament team has been established in the league. For information on how you can become a part of this flourishing league visit  their website here.   We wish these ladies the best of luck representing Toronto and Canada at the World Masters this September! PollockHeather-JoanPadmoreTourney-2843