Welcome to Riverside Neighbourhood: Tertulia


TORONTO (Sept 12, 2018) – A call to breathe life back into the iconic former bank building, at 711 Queen Street East has been answered, as businessman and entrepreneur David Kennedy introduces Tertulia to the Riverside community.

Earlier this year, Kennedy garnered local attention appealing to the community for proposals to convert the building into something unique.  He found his match in the idea of building a community gathering place through an indie coffee shop with ambition to become a local destination.

“I knew when I purchased this building I wanted to bring something really special to the community,” says Kennedy. “Coffee shops are the heart and soul of our neighbourhoods and it was really important to me to create a space where the community can come together.”

The name, Tertulia, inspired by Spanish influence, is a social gathering where friends come to talk about art, culture life, and represents the ideal philosophy of the shop. Tertulia is a coffee shop that wants to bring us together through conversation.

Guests of the shop can expect to enjoy a premium coffee program and delicious baked goods as well as organic juices.

The space has been fully renovated, offering a warm, approachable inclusive environment that opens just in time to sip your favourite brew amongst friends.

Tertulia is open seven days a week, from 7am – 7pm.

About Tertulia

Located at 711 Queen Street East, Tertulia resides in the 1926 historical landmark building at the corner of Queen & Broadview; in the midst of the vibrant and evolving Riverside community.

Owned by two partners, Tertulia is a coffee shop that offers premium quality coffee and espresso beverages paired with local baked goods and healthy food options.

Inspired by Spanish culture a tertulia is a gathering of friends who come together to talk about things like art, culture, books, life; whatever is of interest. It was a perfect name for a coffee shop to become a local community destination.


Media can set up an interview with David Kennedy at Tertulia, 711 Queen St. East by contacting:

Suja Sadhasiva

416 885 7875


Join the Fun in Toronto’s Riverside on Sept 15th: Art Walk, Open Houses and More!

There is always something happening in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood, but on September 15th there’s an exceptional amount of special events and activities to choose from, so come for the day and check them out:


September 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Organized by the Riverside BIA
Price: Free, Registration via: https://riverside-public-art-walk-2018.eventbrite.ca

Echo Riverside

This walking tour highlights Riverside’s public art which weaves together stories of changes over space and time, heritage, people, nature, and ways of living. Discover what makes Riverside one of Toronto’s most unique communities. Register to join us on this free walking tour on September 15th at 10am.


September 15 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen St East
Price: Free, Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/516407895465490/

Queen-Saulter Library

Join the Ralph Thornton Community Centre for a showcase of the wide range of activities that take place at the Centre – as well as to celebrate the ‘return’ of their elevator after six long months of stairs! There will be dogs, dance, and drama – and much more! Admission is free, and everyone is welcome. Come by and check them out! Drop in for a while, or stay right through.


September 15 @ 3 pm – 4 pm
September 15 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Ralph Thornton Community Centre, 765 Queen St East
Price: Pay what you can

Riverside Kitchen Sink Drama

The team who created the Toronto Fringe Festival sold-out show, Kitchen Sink Drama, return with more short, original food-themed plays by award-winning playwrights performed in a kitchen on Queen St East. By special invitation from the Ralph Thornton Centre, to celebrate their open house on Sept 15, the team has prepared a quartet of solo performances showcasing a sample of voices through history in the Riverside, Leslieville, and Riverdale area.

Location: The Betsy Swift Community Kitchen, Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen St East
Dates/Times: September 14, 15, 16 at 7:30pm, with additional matinee on Saturday at 3pm
Seating in the kitchen space is limited, so arrive early to claim the best seat.



September 10 @ 8:00 am – September 30 @ 5:00 pm
Artists’ Network Gallery, 630 Queen Street East (inside Dark Horse Espresso)
Price: Free

Riverside Artists Network Kari Serrao

This is an ongoing series of encaustic paintings exploring the relationship animals have with each other and with humans. Here, animals we humans sometimes think of as an annoyance are portrayed as aristocratic beings from another time, all graced with antlers which they wear like crowns growing from within reaching upward.



September 14 @ 12:00 pm – September 17 @ 9:00 pm
Saulter Street Brewery, #1-31 Saulter Street

Riverside Saulter 1st

Come on down to Saulter Street Brewery and celebrate 1 year since they first opened their doors!
There will be live music all weekend long and you don’t want to miss the launch of our fall seasonal!

Live Music all Weekend
Buck a burger (Sunday @2pm)
Fall Seasonal Launch

Cheers and see you there!

More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/307629336710000/


September 15 @ 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Headwaters Community Farm & Education Centre, 3517 Rowe Rd.
Cobourg, Ontario K9A 4J7
Price: $65

Harvest Ride - Switchback Cyclery

While not taking place in Riverside, this is a great chance to support our local bicycle shop and enjoy a harvest bicycle ride fundraiser on some of the most beautiful roadways in Ontario in support of Switchback Cyclery!  Join for a guided, scenic 15km, 25km, or 70km ride through the idyllic countryside of Northumberland County followed by lunch at Headwaters Community Farm & Education Centre. Support your local non-profit!

All levels of riders welcome!

Slow and Steady (15km)
Cruisers (25km)
Road Warriors (70km)

More info at: http://www.riverside-to.com/switchback-harvest-ride/

Ralph Thornton Community Centre’s Annual Open House is Coming Up!

Riverside RTCC

Riverside neighbourhood’s fabulous Ralph Thornton Community Centre (RTCC) is having their annual Open House on September 15th to showcase their diverse program and activities.

The event will also include the “Ribbon Cutting” for the Centre’s new elevator. Getting the new elevator was 6 months of climbing 64 steps-in-the-making (yep, they counted!) from the lobby to Reception, so they want to celebrate this milestone in style!

Here’s a run down of what’s in store at the Open House:

Riverdale Auditorium Activities
From noon until 3:00 PM, the second floor Riverdale Auditorium will host a range of performances, demonstrations, and information tables and displays from many of the almost 200 agencies, community groups, and organizations that use RTCC every year for their activities.  There will be dancing, singing, Tae Kwon Do, yoga, Tai Chi, and more!

Official Ribbon Cutting
At 2:00 PM, the official “Ribbon Cutting” for the new elevator will take place – after six months of slogging up and down the 64 stairs to RTCC Reception, we are more than ready to celebrate with cake and “champagne!”  Rumour has it that the “Clown Crier” may return to RTCC for the occasion.

Third Floor Children’s Zone
Our third floor “Children’s Zone” will feature a “Lego Nook,” a variety of other children’s activities hosted by the RTCC After School and Children’s program staff.  Special guests St. John Ambulance child-friendly therapy dogs Charlie, Hunter, and Ruby will be joining Copper, RTCC’s resident therapy dog and ‘social media hound’ to meet and greet children – and their parents!  There will be other demonstrations and information about other children’s programming that happens at RTCC, and a chance to meet many of the leaders and instructors who make it happen.

Drama Returns to the Betsy Swift Kitchen
This spring, the Toronto Fringe Festival held its first performances east of the Don in the Betsy Swift Kitchen – “Kitchen Sink Dramas” was a sell-out success.  The Unspoken Theatre Company is returning to RTCC to premiere “Play with Your Food” – a quartet of solo performances showcasing a sample of voices through history in the Riverside, Leslieville, and Riverdale area.  There are four performances over the weekend, with a 3 PM Saturday matinee directly following the conclusion of the Open House.  Tickets are PWYC, and the other three performances are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM.  Seats are limited (it is, after all, in the kitchen!).

Riverside Kitchen Sink Drama

Play with your food – from the same sell-out success “Kitchen Sink Drama”

“Joy of Writing” Book Sale
The “Joy of Writing” – a group of writers who meet weekly at RTCC, are hosting a book sale during the Open House.  Donations of new or ‘nearly new’ books would be appreciated – please drop them off to RTCC Reception.

There will be something for everyone
– drop by for a while, or stay for the day!

For more information, check RTCC’s digital channels:
Twitter @RalphThornton
Facebook  /RalphThorntonCommunityCentre

or call (416) 392-6810

Check their event to learn more about it: https://www.facebook.com/events/516407895465490/

Open House RTCC

Open House RTCC

VOTE NOW for Riverside Restaurants & Bars in NOW Readers’ Choice 2018!

NOW Readers' Choice Award

NOW Readers’ Choice Award


Cast your vote in NOW Readers’ Choice for the best of the best in Toronto in the ‘Food & Drink’ categories! #NOWReadersChoice

Voting is open until September 13th @ 4pm!  Riverside establishments did not disappoint. Take a moment to show #RiversideTO some love by voting now:

Bonjour Brioche

Bonjour brioche Riverside
Vote here for Best Bakery
Vote here for Best Breakfast


Hi-Lo Riverside
Vote here for Best Bar

White Lily Diner

Riverside white lily diner
Vote here for Best breakfast
Vote here for Best brunch
Vote here for Best diner

Butchers of Distinction

Riverside butchers of distinction
Vote here for Best Butcher

Tabule Middle Eastern

Riverside tabule
Vote here for Best Falafel
Vote here for Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

Pulp Kitchen Juice Bar & Eatery

pulp kitchen Riverside
Vote here for Best Juice Bar

La Carnita

la carnita 2 Riverside


Vote here for Best Mexican Restaurant
Vote here for Best Taco

Ruby Watchco

ruby watchco Riverside
Vote here for Best Prix Fixe

Chez Nous Wine Bar

riverside chez nous
Vote here for Best Wine Bar


Riverside Streetscape Master Plan – Public Open Houses are Sept 19th & 21st

The Riverside Business Improvement Area is one of Toronto’s first BIAs, founded by local business and property owners in 1980. The BIA spans 10 vibrant blocks of Queen St East from the iconic Queen Street viaduct (Riverside Bridge) at the Don Valley, to just east of the world-famous De Grassi Street.  The Riverside BIA is a community-oriented not-for-profit association of local business people and property owners who work in partnership with the City of Toronto to enhance the Riverside business district, located along Queen Street East from the DVP to Empire Avenue.

The BIA’s mandate is to improve, beautify and promote Riverside as a business and shopping district through marketing, public programming and streetscape improvements. At the beginning of 2018, the Riverside BIA started the process to create a Streetscape Master Plan in conjunction with the City of Toronto and PLANT Architect Inc.

The Streetscape Master Plan identifies a vision and implementation plan for improvements to be put in place in the years to come, while strengthening and maintaining Riverside’s identity. For the past six months, the Riverside BIA Board and Streetscape Committee have been hard at work with PLANT Architect and the City of Toronto putting together the plan to bring forward to BIA members and the community:

On September 19th, 2018, the Riverside BIA is pleased to present the plan to the community to review and to visually see what’s in store for Riverside:

You’re invited to the Riverside BIA Streetscape Master Plan Community Open Houses (Drop-In)

September 19th & 21st from 5pm to 7pm at the Riverside BIA office (630 Queen St E – studio inside Dark Horse Espresso Bar).

Riverside BIA members and the public are invited to join the Riverside BIA Board, the local Councillor, and City staff at a Public Open House to review and to learn additional information about the Riverside BIA Streetscape Master Plan that is currently under development and share comments.

The Master Plan will include the following:

  • Proposed streetscape plans
  • Potential locations for public art programs and murals
  • Opportunities for public space enhancement
  • A general vision for the improvement of the Riverside District BIA

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Lay
Executive Director, Riverside BIA
Phone: (416) 466–8167
Email: office@riverside-to.com

Rajashree Kumar
Capital Projects Coordinator & Streetscape Designer, City of Toronto
Phone: (416) 392–7696
Email: rajashree.kumar@toronto.ca