Ride the City this summer!

Guest post by Gareth Davies of Cycle Toronto

Did you know June is Bike Month?

June - Bike Month

June – Bike Month


Even though Riverside currently lacks bike lanes along it’s beautiful stretch of Queen Street, it’s still a great place to enjoy to by bicycle.  From where I live in Cabbagetown it’s a 10 minute trip south on Sherbourne, then east across the beautiful Queen Street bridge over the Don Valley.  It’s not uncommon on a busy weekend to have a hard time finding an available Ring & Post right outside your destination in Riverside.  This happened to me last week at the Riverside Art Walk.


One of the draws for cyclists is how quickly you can travel in Toronto, especially east-west because it’s relatively flat.  Soon it could be even easier for people as far west as Bathurst to visit to Riverside by bike.  The City is looking at installing protected bicycle lanes on Richmond and Adelaide in the next 1-2 years, and Cycle Toronto will host a group ride to support this project on Saturday, June 6th at 12pm from St. James Park (Adelaide and Jarvis).

Group Bike Ride June 6

Group Bike Ride June 6


The Richmond-Adelaide bike plan covers protected lanes from Bathurst to Sherbourne for now, but could be connected in the future to Eastern Avenue, carrying leisurely cross-town cyclists eastward to Broadview and beyond.  It’s an exciting business prospect – Riverside is a great leisurely weekend bike destination.


For those curious about what else Toronto is thinking about for bike infrastructure, you can take a free guided bike tour next weekend, on Saturday, June 15th between 12-3pm, stopping at real-time bike projects in Toronto.  The tours leave from Allan Gardens (Sherbourne/Carlton) and finish an hour later at Sugar Beach (Queens Quay).  The Event is hosted by local Cycle Toronto groups between Downtown and the Don Valley in Wards 27 and 28.  Check out the full Toronto Bike Month calendar for other fun events to get you cycling the city this summer, including some around Riverside.


The Riverside BIA has been supportive of efforts to expand BIXI and build uni-directional separated lanes on Richmond-Adelaide.  Cycle Toronto is grateful that the BIA recognizes the economic and community value of improving cycling infrastructure in Toronto.


We invite everyone to join us, by cycling Riverside and the city this summer!


Cycle Toronto

Cycle Toronto



Many Thanks to Gareth Davies of Cycle Toronto for joining the Riverside BIA at the Booth during the Riverdale Art Walk on June 1 and 2nd, and for this Guest Blog Post

Eats & Beats + the Riverdale Art Walk = Riverside’s Art Tour

June 1st @ 1PM & 3PM, starting at the Riverside BIA Booth in Jimmie Simpson Park

Discover the artistic side of Riverside as we stroll along Queen St. East and meet Riverdale Art Walk artists displayed outside of the park, as well as community photo exhibits of the people and places of Riverside.

Join us for an amazing art experience as you walk around the Riverside community and get in touch with local artists as you walk;  you not only will witness captivating expressions of creativity, but also have the opportunity to get to know the community through community exhibitions and professional artists.

Showcasing RAW artists

Photo by Moshe Mikanovsky

Photo by Moshe Mikanovsky

In its 15th year, this two-day fine art exhibition which showcases established and emerging artists. There is a rich array of mediums being exhibited from paintings, photography, mixed media, printmaking, drawing to sculpture.

Community Exhibitions Profiled

Hand out

As part of the Art Tour, visit the Woodgreen Photo Exhibition “Hand Out.” Hand Out” is a captivating visual display of photographs taken by our community that is homeless, or has experienced living on the streets. The open hand symbolism includes attributes such as: Balance, Choice, and Justice. Depictions of an open right hand is an image that is recognized and used as a sign of protection, faith, family, blessings, power and strength in many different cultures. In this exhibition, our community photographer’s will share the objects that they hold dear to their hearts. Objects that give them faith, hope and joy.

Photo by Annie Sakkab

Photo by Annie Sakkab

A Life Reclaimed is an exhibition by Annie Sakkab on the women who have used Nellie’s Shelter for Women and Children and a part of Nellie’s 40th Anniversary Open House. A photo exhibition involving women from the shelter, “A Life Reclaimed” strives to shed light on the hidden truth of gender-based violence that affects 1 in 2 women in every society, across every class and race, at every stage of life from infancy to old age. Freezing moments of sadness and hope, it echoes the deep sense of abandonment and isolation of women forced into exile from their homes, while capturing their extraordinary resilience and the rebirth of their identity and empowerment. Women’s shelters like Nellie’s are vital harbors on this journey back to emotional and physical security.

Annie Sakkab is a documentary photographer who lives in Toronto. Born in Jordan, she has worked and resided in London, Rome, Dubai and Amman. Her documentary practice investigates socio-cultural issues and questions of identity, and seeks to raise awareness on experiences of exile, uprooting, and displacement among marginalized groups. An honors graduate in Fine Art and Graphic Design, Sakkab’s photographs have been exhibited in Canada as well as abroad. Her work Non-spaces (1993) is part of the collection of the National Gallery in Amman, Jordan. Her recent series, Projections – Ghosts of Dubai’s Boom (2010), was exhibited in a featured group exhibition in the 2013 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto, Ontario.For more information about the exhibit or to know more about Annie Sakkab visit www.anniesakkab.com

15th Annual Riverdale Art Walk + Eats & Beats!!


Riverside is the place to be on this First Weekend of June, with the dynamic duo of Eats & Beats in Riverside StreetFEST and The Riverdale Art Walk


Photo by Moshe Mikanovsky

Photo by Moshe Mikanovsky

Love ART? This is your opportunity to experience the work of a wide variety of established and emerging artists – all in one area, all exhibiting over two great days. It is a dynamic and fun event that gives thousands of visitors the opportunity to discover the “next great Canadian artist” or simply that one artist that connects with you.

In its 15th year, this first outdoor art show of Toronto’s season, is a two-day public fine art exhibition which showcases 125+ established and emerging artists. There is a rich array of mediums being exhibited from paintings, photography, mixed media, printmaking, drawing to sculpture. Artists booths are located in Jimmie Simpson Park, along Queen Street East and Booth Avenue in Toronto’s flourishing art district.

While you wander around in the general Eats & Beats festivities you can also see work in galleries and shops along Queen Street East in Riverside and Leslieville, including the Hangman Art Gallery. There will also be a free art walk tour to some of these artists in the Riverside Art Tour at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

You can also get a sneak peak of some of the artists exhibiting through the RAW catalogue available in the Hangman Gallery on 756 Queen Street East. Check the website for more details

A Taste of the Middle East at Eats and Beats by Tabülè in Riverside!!

Taste and experience your Middle Eastern culinary adventure of flavours, dancing flair, and filigree henna tattoos with Tabülè at Eats and Beats event on June 1st.


Tabülè has developed quite a reputation among the city’s finest Middle Eastern eateries. Those that frequent Tabülè are constantly restating their adoration for the savory and hearty menu options and the unique interpretation of Middle Eastern Cuisine.

gord groverDuring the Eats & Beats Street Fest you can delight your taste buds with an array of delectable of Middle Eastern Cuisine tasters, also get an introduction to belly dancing with an acclaimed dancer and a chance to adorn yourself with gorgeous henna tattoos by Gord Grover.

Sara SkinnerDon’t miss the belly dancing performance by Sarah Skinner the master of belly dancing at 3:00pm. Sarah Skinner is a multi-talented artist: An innovative, mesmerizing performer and highly acclaimed dance instructor, she is also well known for her artistry as a dance photographer and unique costume designer. For more information on Sarah Skinner, check out her website: www.shakemyday.com

Tabülè is an emerging hot spot, which surpasses expectations; Diana Sideris and her husband Rony Goraichy noted that the food is accessible for all. Their award winning Davisville and Yonge location is in the heart of midtown Toronto. Patrons from all four corners of the city travel for a unique dining experience that features the exotic flavours of the Middle East. They have just expanded their business and opened their second location in the Riverside on 810 Queen Street East and had their grand opening last Wednesday on May 22nd.

“We are so excited bout being here,” Diana said. “The BIA has been fantastic and it has an amazing community group of businesses.” Diana and Rony look forward to providing live entertainment with belly dancing every Saturday night.

The Riverside BIA is delighted to have Tabülè in our area.


Blues & Rhythms BBQ by Nell & Natasha at Eats and Beats in Riverside!!

Sounds like the Riverside

The Mother and Daughter Team Nell Bradshaw and Natasha Varjacic are hosting their 4th Annual Free BBQ for Eats and Beats Event on June 1st.

On June 1st at the Eats and Beats from 1-4PM, feed your stomach and soul at Nell and Natasha’s free BBQ and enjoy “HUDU RISING BLUES BAND performing classics and originals. Glen Filazek, “Hudu Rising Blues Band” founder, and his twin boys Max and Arlo have been playing music publicly since 2004. They began playing folk and Country classics by artists such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. The transition to Blues music happened quickly as the budding talents of Max and Arlo flourished.

Arlo studied with Toronto Blues legend and two-time Juno nominee Michael Pickett, when he was 6 years old. Arlo currently studies drums with Joseph Janisse, drummer of the rock group Rocketface. Hudu Rising Blues Band began by playing at various events and private parties in and around the Toronto area since 2004. They have played at events such as the Scotia Bank Toronto Buskerfest, Toronto Cabbagetown Festival, the Woodbridge Fall Fair and the Woodbridge Ribfest.

nell & Natasha Who are Nell & Natasha?

 Nell &  Natasha have more than 25 years experience serving buyers and sellers of Toronto Real Estate. Living and working in the heart of the Riverside district Nell and Natasha are active contributors to the community.  Because real estate is also about the communities in which we choose to live and work, they believe in giving back.

They host Annual neighbourhood events like a Spring BBQ and Halloween Pumpkin Patch from their office at 807A Queen Street East (conveniently located across from Jimmie Simpson Park).  Proceeds from these events always go to local charities.  Natasha is also active in the Riverside Business Association as an Executive Board Member of the Riverside BIA.

Nell is involved in community organizing, special events and fundraisers.  She and Natasha also support community development a world away.  Each month Nell and Natasha donate a portion of their commissions to help provide food, school supplies and access to clean water to the children and families of All Saints Anglican Church in Maseno, Kenya.

Get to meet this Dynamic duo this Saturday, June 1st at the Eats & Beats Street Fest. In addition to the great band and free BBQ, make sure you don’t miss out on other entertainments for your little ones, such as: face paintings, balloons, prizes and many more!