#RiversideTO Gift Giving Ideas

Christmas is around the corner and you didn’t even start your holiday shopping? There’s no need to worry, RiversideTO offers everything you need to check all items of your list!

Check it out!

Hit the ‘hood to the beloved gift shop, Token, for an eco-friendly gift and don’t miss the opportunity to look for the vinyl from Tiny Record Shop to give for that musical friend.

Riverside Token Riverside Token

Little Peeps always have something special for the little ones…

Riverside Little Peeps

And why not treat that friend of yours with a nice service from Clinique de Mode?
Riverside Clinique de Mode

Keep yourself (and loved ones) healthy to create even more great memories in the coming year by giving a session of yoga, massage therapy or chiropractic care from OMA Chiropractic & Wellness Centre.

Riverside OMA

For the trendy and conscious ones, clothes or accessories from Common Sort.

Riverside Common Sort

Make yourself ready for the party season with his Blowout package from Untitled:

Riverside Untitled


Artsy and creative people might find themselves in heaven at Arts Market:Riverside Arts Market


Some nice, ready to wrap gifts from Here & Now:Riverside Here & Now


Enjoy Kitra’s pop up (handcrafted glass art) inside Brika’s shop! Even more option in one spot!Riverside BRIKA

And don’t forget to get those last minute decorations by Queen Garden Centre in this AMAZING atmosphere!

Riverside Queen Garden Centre Riverside Queen Garden Centre

Announcing the Winner of #RiversideTO #WindowWonderland Contest

This year’s #RiversideTO #WindowWonderland was a GORGEOUS contest with amazing windows on display.  The top shot goes to winner aj_antiques for her snap of Arts Market window display! AJ Geensen is a Salvaged & Reclaimed Designer, she’s a treasure hunter and makes Custom Showrooms. She loved the homey of the fire and mantel with the hanging stocking. Big congrats to AJ – she’s won a $100 gift certificate to Arts Market!

Riverside WindowWonderland_Winner

#RiversideTO still has many gorgeous windows displays for the holiday season, but the winner of the #WindowWonderland Contest is AJ_Antiques for her snap of Arts Market! She loved the homey of the fire and mantel with the hanging stocking. Big Congrats to AJ, she’s won a $100 Gift Certificate to use at Arts Market!

THANKS to all the Riverside businesses who dressed up their windows so fabulously (check out this other post which shows many of them) and be sure to check them out in person, if you haven’t already, as they are sure to be on display throughout the holiday season!

Airbnb Riverside: Where to Stay Like a Local

For the uninitiated, Toronto’s Riverside district is an up-and-coming hub that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. The historic Queen Street, in particular, is home to an excellent collection of restaurants, shops, cafes, and arts and culture communities that appeal to any kind of traveller. Plus, it’s only a 20-minute ride on public transportation from downtown. If you’re considering a weekend (or more) in Toronto but are looking to bypass the exorbitant prices, consider Riverside. Here’s our selection of the six best Airbnbs in the neighbourhood.

Distillery District Loft
It’s hard to find more character than this in an Airbnb. That being said, as it’s part of Riverside and just a short ride from the distillery district, it’s not at all out of place. This spot combines the hominess of worn wood with industrial exposed beams and sharp modern flare. It’s perfect for a getaway for two people, with one bedroom, and being within walking distance to Riverside’s hip spots and daily events. Reviews rave about host Zoey’s availability and attentiveness, and the loft usually hovers around a reasonable $200 per night. As far as good eats, we highly recommend the oyster bar and seafood at Eastside Social.

Riverside: Where to stay like a local

Loft in Historic Building
Just one block over from Zoey’s Distillery District Loft is another loft in a jaw-dropping historic building. It’s an open concept with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer tons of natural light. It has enough comfortable furniture to make it feel cozy, but also enough modern accents to make it feel professional. It’s a studio with a single bed, and at an average of $115 per night, it’s more economical than many other options. Guests rave about how stylish it is, what great location it has, and how communicative host Cristina is.

Riverside: Where to stay like a local

The Lazy Loft
If you’re travelling with a slightly larger group or a family, this spot in Riverside has two bedrooms, two beds, and enough chic flare to make you really feel like you’re on vacation. Prop yourself on the window-side seated hammock, or snuggle into the old repurposed bathtub that’s now in the living room filled with pillows. Within three blocks of all kinds of excellent restaurants, bakeries, cheese shops, butchers, fish shops, and incredible cafes, guests certainly won’t be hungry during their stay. Visitors are blown away by the loft’s decor — but be warned taller folks, the ceilings are a bit low. Otherwise, at $144 per night, it’s not a bad spot to sleep four.

Project Empire
Project Empire is a cozy and stylish place with tons of character. This spot is again for larger groups as it sleeps six in three separate bedrooms. In addition to the amazing overall wooden ambiance, perhaps the best perk of Project Empire is the outdoor rooftop patio. Visiting Toronto in the summertime is a treat, and you should definitely try to spend as much time outside as possible. Relax in the wooden lounge chairs with a drink, and then wander over to Jimmie Simpson Park for more afternoon fun in the sun. The neighbourhood’s Riverside walks are also an excellent way to tour the area’s culture, art, heritage, and culinary delights. They’re completely free, and they run from the spring until the fall.

Riverside: Where to stay like a local

Historic Riverside House
The kitchen design here was inspired by a chef: there’s a backyard with a barbecue, a huge comfortable sectional couch, and a luxurious third-floor media room. What else could you ask for? The overall aesthetic of host Ron’s place is a crisp, clean white, but it has accents of brown that give it a lot more character than a dry hotel room. With three bedrooms, three beds, and two and a half baths, it can fit six guests very comfortably. It goes for around $220 per night, which isn’t bad for a large two-story spot in the heart of Riverside. That said, if you’re looking to be more toward downtown, check out Airbnb Toronto: Where to Stay Like a Local.

Riverside: Where to stay like a local

Two Story Apartment
It doesn’t get much closer to trendy Queen street than this two-story apartment located above the French bakery, Bonjour Brioche. In fact, guests are treated to a complimentary breakfast upon arrival of their first morning. Feel free to stroll around on foot, or hop on the famous TTC Streetcar which has a stop at your front door. The apartment sleeps four guests, but costs only $130 per night! Guest reviews note the cleanliness, spaciousness, and location as highlights of this apartment.

Riverside Airbnb

Dillon is a travel-hungry outdoor enthusiast originally from Encinitas, California. He’s been to 26 countries, travelled around the world on a boat, lived in a tent in the woods for 6 months, and currently lives in Medellín, Colombia. Besides writing, Dillon can be found playing soccer, drumming, cooking, and doing his best impression of a salsa dance.

Riverside BIA Awarded at Annual TABIA Award Night

TABIA is the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Area, and the Annual Awards Night is TABIA’s signature event. It was an evening of networking and recognizing many of Toronto’s BIAs for their various accomplishments throughout the year.

And in 2018 marked the 8th Annual TABIA Awards Night. The event was held on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at the historic Palais Royale and the Riverside got awarded the Digital Adaptability award for the continued involvement with the Digital Main Street program!

The Riverside BIA would like to thank all the Riverside members for being part of it and engaging in the opportunities we bring you to help your business thrive! Congrats to the Riverside BIA Board for committing with Digital programs in the neighbourhood.

Also Congrats to the other BIAs that received the award as well: The Beach, The Danny and Cabbage Town!

Check all the photos of the night here.

TABIA Award-web Riverside TABIA Award-web Riverside


Join in the fun of the annual Riverside Antler Breakfast and Support the Year-Round Rivertowne Breakfast Program!

Coming up on Friday, December 14th, 7:30am to 10:30am, it’s the 7th Annual Riverside Antler Breakfast. Join your neighbours at the crack of dawn for some hearty eats, great company and of course, your antlers – all in support of a good cause in your local community! It’s also a super fun community event where you can hang with your friends and neighbours, have a great breakfast, and enjoy live music and more.

It’s happening at The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen E, 2nd Fl), organized by Toronto Food Tours, the Riverside BIA, The Ralph Thornton Centre, and the Rivertowne Safety 1st group.

Tickets are $20 each ($10 for kids under 12). Reserve your tickets from the Riverside BIA office (730 Queen St E or email office@riverside-to.com) or get them at the door (Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen St E, 2nd Fl). Win big with our 50/50 draw – tickets available at the door.


– Get tickets for yourself/ your colleagues, friends, family!
Get them online at https://tinyurl.com/yc5n5563, OR at the BIA office (630 Queen St E, inside DarkHorse Cafe) OR at the Ralph Thornton Centre reception (3rd Fl) OR get them at the door on Dec 14th ($20/ adult or $10/ child 12 & under)

– Be a Reindeer Sponsor:-$250, gets you 8 tickets, online recognition and a charitable receipt.
HOW: call (416) 392-6810 or use https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/11780 (select ‘Rivertowne Breakfast Program’ as the FUND)

– Be an Elf Sponsor: $100, gets you 2 tickets, thanks at the event and a charitable receipt
HOW: same ways as Reindeer Sponsor!

– Donate food or auction items: email us at office@riverside-to.com

– Donate online anytime to the Rivertowne Breakfast Program
HOW:  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/11780 (Select ‘Rivertowne Breakfast Program’ under the FUND)

– Spread the Word!


BIG THANKS to our sponsors to date:

  • Santa Level Sponsor: Jason Friesen, from Outline Financial
  • Reindeer Sponsors: Oma Chiropractic & Wellness Centre, Baird MacGregor, BMO Queen/Saulter Branch, Nell & Natasha’s Real Estate Homeward.

Proceeds support The Rivertowne Breakfast Program, providing a hot breakfast to youth, families and anyone in need every Friday, year round:

The Rivertowne Breakfast Program is championed by Rivertowne Safety 1st, a resident collective comprised of Toronto Community Housing women-leaders dedicated to making a positive impact in their community. The Breakfast Program runs every Friday, year-round to provide children, youth and families in the neighbourhood with a free, warm breakfast. It also aims to bring people in the Rivertowne community together regardless of their family’s income level and give them something to look forward to while building a sense of community.  This program is supported by a variety of community partners: Ralph Thornton Centre, Riverside BIA, BMO, and Toronto Food Tours. The program runs in Rivertowne on Friday mornings, 7am-11am, at 50 Matilda Street, Toronto.

What do people say about the program?

Fatima (age 9) “The food is delicious and I get to see my friends.  It’s a fun way to start my day.”

Madina (age 8) “I get to play with my friends and eat some of my favorite foods.  I love turkey bacon.”

Linda (Senior, resident for over 10 years) “First of all I love to see Joan’s smiling face and socialize with other residents and seniors.  The food is great – I wish they offered this program all over the city so seniors like me can get the support they need”

Miriam (Resident) “As a single mother this program gives me relief from making a meal after a long week.  I appreciate that I can send my kids to a program that is not only free but also provides my children with a healthy breakfast”.