Kiddie Costume Parade and Halloween Fun is back on Riverside

October has arrived and Riverside is excited to be bringing out all the spooks and fun for this Halloween season. Riverside will be holding our annual Halloween Fest & Fundraiser on October 27th, 2018. The activities will begin at 9:30 am with face painting, crafts and treats at Nell & Natasha’s Real Estate Homeward (807A Queen Street East) and will be followed by pumpkin carving and our kiddie costume parade. The parade will begin at 11:30 am and will be guided by the Riverside BIA staff up and down Queen Street. The parade is a great way for families to visit local businesses, walk the streets and get fun treats. We encourage everyone to arrive 15 minutes prior to the parade to receive your trick or treat bag.

Please make sure you are dressed for the weather as the event will take place rain or shine!

We are excited to announce that we currently have 19 local businesses that will be participating in the Kiddie Costume Parade. Check out the Candy Guide to see all the spots we will be stopping at this year (this map is subject to change). 


We had lots of great costumes last year and are looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with this year. Check out what everyone got up too last year at the Annual Riverside Halloween Fest & Fundraiser.

Recap of the Streetscape Master Plan Open House

On September 19th and 21st, we had our Streetscape Open Houses!

We had a great crowd coming to the office to check all the details, we had interesting questions about it and we received a lot of good feedback about the project!

We look forward to sharing with the community the final version of the Master Plan.

Check out the photos from the events. 

Riverside Streetscape Open House Riverside Streetscape Open House Riverside Streetscape Open House Riverside Streetscape Open House Riverside Streetscape Open House


Fun Facts About Toronto’s Riverside

Check out these fun facts that you may or may not have known about Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood! This list touches on heritage, breweries, music, art and more…

The name ‘Riverside’ dates back to the 1880s: Riverside was established circa 1887, when the area was an industrial neighbourhood of brick workers, factory workers, and gardeners who lived in area. The Riverside neighbourhood extends north to Gerrard, east to the railway, south to Eastern and west to the Don Valley.

The Riverside Business Improvement Area is one of Canada’s first BIA’s, established in 1980: Situated along Queen St East from Davies Ave to just past the world-famous De Grassi Street. Riverside BIA is located between Leslieville to the east and Corktown to the west and is just steps east of Toronto’s downtown core. The Riverside BIA has over 120 unique restaurants, shops and services. The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) is one of Toronto and Canada’s first BIAs, established in 1980 as the Queen Broadview Village BIA, then re-branded to ‘Riverside District BIA’ in the 2000s to re-establish its roots. Fun Fact: Toronto now has over 80 BIAs and the BIA model, started right here in Toronto, has been exported world-wide. The BIA’s mandate is to improve, beautify and promote Riverside as a business and shopping district through marketing, public programming and streetscape improvements.

Home to the ‘Riverside’ Bridge with famous quote “The River I Step in Is Not the River I Stand In” : The famous quote on the iconic bridge over the Don River is a variation on a quote from the philosopher Heraclitus and means that all things are in process and nothing stays still. You would not step twice in the same river twice – the river endures but the water flows and is no longer the same. This quote and the bridge art was added thanks to a capital project in 1995 by the Riverside BIA and City of Toronto as part of the ‘Time and a Clock Series’ by artist Eldon Garnet. In 2015, the BIA completed a $500,000 capital improvement project to illuminate the bridge art nightly, making it a truly iconic passage to Riverside and Toronto’s east end.

The world-famous De Grassi St is in Riverside: Alfio DeGrassi was the Lodge’s first Librarian, hence nearby DeGrassi Street. However, De Grassi Street was made famous after it inspired the TV series of the same name. Bruce Makey, one of the show’s producers, lived on the street and was inspired to write about the experiences of everyday youth and families, later becoming the cult-classic series ‘Kids of Degrassi Street’ and ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ which starred now famed international artist Drake, and ‘Degrassi: Next Class’.

Riverside is home to The Broadview Hotel: originally built in 1891 as a Romanesque style hall for Archibald Dingman (known as Dingman’s Hall) for public gatherings. With a 1907 ownership change it was converted to a hotel with rooming houses for men working in factories or on the rail lines around Toronto. Until 1884, the intersection of Queen and Broadview (then named Kingston Road and Don Mills Road) was the eastern entrance to Toronto and a tollgate stood here in the middle of the road.  By 1986, when discount retail magnate Harold Kamin bought the property, its lower level was a strip club called Jilly’s with a rooming house above – named affectionately after Kamin’s daughter.  Streetcar Developments, bought the property in 2014 and transformed this iconic building into a boutique hotel with the best views of the Toronto skyline in the city. Its stylishly lit facade was unveiled in October 2016, and the hotel opened to business in July 2017.

Riverside has two Breweries and Toronto’s first Cidery: In 2017/18, two breweries opened up in Riverside, including Eastbound Brewing Co, beside the Broadview Hotel, and the Saulter Street Brewery. Toronto’s first cidery, the Brickworks Ciderhouse, opened in early 2018 at the south east corner of Queen/Broadview.

Riverside was home to Toronto’s First Baseball Grounds and has a rich sporting history: Riverside was home to Toronto’s first baseball grounds, officially titled “the Toronto Baseball Grounds,” the place was also called “The Park Across the Don,” “The old Broadview Stadium,” and “Sunlight Park” after the lands its was on owned by the Lever Brothers Soap Works. The baseball grounds stood just south of the intersection of Broadview Avenue and Queen Street East on a flat lot that had been leveled in the 1850’s for use as a horse track. The area is currently being transformed into the Riverside Square development and a heritage plaque is on 655 Queen St East. In 2014 the Riverside BIA completed a mural on the side of 1 Munro Street (across from the former grounds) depicting the rich sporting history of Riverside including bicycling, curling, hockey and baseball.

Riverside is home to the Royal Canadian Curling Club: The Royal Canadian Curling Club or Royals as it is affectionately known, now in its 126th year, a curling club housed in a century-old building.  Royals have been at Queen and Broadview since 1906, when it was home to the historic Royal Canadian Bicycle Club. Six sheets of ice were added in 1929.  Curling, skating and hockey shared the rink for the next quarter century. Since 1953, the club has devoted itself exclusively to curling. The Royals is owned and operated by its members, and managed by a Board of Directors elected from its membership.

Riverside had east Toronto’s first public Library: On June 30th 1885, the Toronto Garrison Artillery Band marched over the Don to lead the procession opening the Poulton Block at Queen and Boulton. Present were Governor General Lansdowne, Toronto Mayor Alex Manning, and Premier John A. MacDonald. This grand structure contained the First Public Library and Reading Room in East Toronto. the Masonic Lodge occupied the second floor hall which had eighteen foot ceilings. Alfio DeGrassi was the Lodge’s first Librarian, hence nearby DeGrassi Street.

Famed Architects Designed Buildings that Still Stand in Riverside: In 1905, the firm of Darling and Pearsin designed the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce at Queen and Grant. Later, they would work on the Canadian parliament Buildings and Peace Tower after the great fire of 1917. Additionally, E.J. Lennox, who designed Toronto City Hall, also designed Postal Station G at 765 Queen St East (Queen/Saulter), opened in 1913, now The Ralph Thornton Community Centre and Queen/Saulter Library Branch.

Postal Station G - Ralph Thornton Centre - Riverside Toronto

Postal Station G – Ralph Thornton Centre – Riverside Toronto

Riverside’s The Opera House: Opened in 1909 at 735 Queen St East as a vaudeville stage, this establishment later became La Plaza Theatre (1930s) – then informally known as the Acropolis; it was a movie theatre through to the 1960s – Dundas (1962) & Cinema Ellas (1965); movie multiplexes started popping up in the 1960s and made the venue move to live music & it became the Opera House; fun fact: the venue never hosted operas. Originally intended audience was the working class– brick workers, factory workers, gardeners who lived in area. Current owners bought in July 1989, the venue has persisted for over a century through adapting to their environment and to the Toronto arts scene and hosted many world most famous bands such as Metallica, The Tragically Hip, Cindy Lauper, and Eminem.

The area was home to Scadding Cabin, Toronto’s oldest surviving house: is a 1794 log cabin . It was built by John Scadding and is the oldest known surviving house in Toronto. The cabin originally stood at the east side of the Don River just south of the present Queen St East. There is a plaque on the bridge telling its story. The structure was moved to the CNE in 1879 and is open to visitors.

‘Good In the Hood’ Series from J&C Toronto Real Estate Team Features Riverside Businesses!

Fresh off the press: view the first few videos from the ‘Good in the Hood’ series, featuring Toronto east end businesses, including Riverside’s Irish Design House, Switchback Cyclery, and Saulter Street Brewery. Stay tuned for more!

Background to ‘Good in the Hood’

Dynamic local husband and wife real estate team, J & C Toronto Real Estate Team, live and work in Toronto’s East End and wanted to put a spotlight on the Riverside/Leslieville businesses they know and love. They’ve put their experience in film and videography to work to create ‘Good in the Hood’, a short video series featuring local businesses and owners and their stories. Check out the J & C Team at



We had such a great time at the Riverside Public Art Walk on September 15th, and a fabulous group of engaged walkers who explored the lively and different types of art displayed throughout the neighbourhood.

A big thanks to Walk Leader, Anjuli Solanki, former Executive Director of the Riverside BIA and now Director of Community Programs at the art organization STEPS Initiative and also a visual artist!

Highlights of the walk included The Tkaranto Past, Tkaranto Future Mural done in 2017, Echo sculptures in Joel Weeks Park, Riverside Bridge and the Stairwell Gallery in the Ralph Thornton Community Center!

This guided tour was part of Riverside Walks, a series of free local walking tours throughout the spring, summer and fall (May-October). Big thanks to 2018 Walks Sponsor Team Sheppard Re/MAX Hallmark. Check out more upcoming Riverside Walks.

Enjoy the memories…

Riverside Public Art Walk 2018

Tkaranto Past, Tkaranto Future Mural – Riverside Public Art Walk

Riverside Public Art Walk 2018

Echo in the Joel Weeks Park – Riverside Public Art Walk

Riverside Public Art Walk 2018

Wayfinding and Bridge Art Work – Riverside Public Art Walk

Riverside Public Art Walk 2018

Sports Heritage Mural – Riverside Public Art Walk

Riverside Public Art Walk 2018

Ralph Thornton Community Center Stairwell Gallery – Riverside Public Art Walk