A Bunch of Brunch in Toronto’s Riverside

If you have a hunch that brunch might be the bomb in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood, you are correct.

Queen Street, east of the Don Valley, is a haven for hashbrowns, French toast and, of course, every member of the Benedict family that has ever existed: Veggie, Pastrami, Duck Benny, Riminese, to name a few.

Take a stroll through Riverside on a Saturday or Sunday between 10 am and 3 pm, not only will you smell the aromas of fresh pastries and sizzling bacon as it wafts onto the street, you’ll know you’re in the hood when you see all the busy brunch spots.

A staple in Riverside, celebrating 20 years in 2017, is award-winning Bonjour Brioche. Recently though, new rise and shine restaurants have joined the club –  and brunch goers can’t seem to get enough: The Peasant Table, White Lily Diner, Sugar Loaf Bakery & Cafe, and Eastbound Brewing Co, all opened in Riverside in the past couple years. And let’s not forget other popular spots that have been around for many years: while they may be better known for their late night crowds, Prohibition Gastrohouse and Aft Kitchen & Bar make a mean morning meal, best served with cocktails.

If you happen to find yourself visiting Toronto’s east end, here are a few local hotspots to hit up for mid-day mocktails, cocktails, or coffee, and any kind of brunch you can dream up. If you’re a local dweller, you’ll already know and love many of these spots!

Aft Kitchen & Bar

686 Queen Street East ~ Brunch served Saturdays & Sundays from 11AM to 3PM

If you’re super starving (and/or in need of a hungover cure), you can’t go wrong with the Hoppin John – smoked (on the BBQ) and shredded ham hock served with simmered tomatoes, black-eyed peas, avocado, a sunny-side-up egg and tortilla chips. Yum! Tip: Aft is first come first serve, as they don’t take reservations.

Bonjour Brioche

812 Queen Street East ~ Brunch served Tuesday to Sunday from 8AM to 4PM

Bonjour Brioche is Riverside’s Little Paris with buttery pastries, warm baguettes in a French cafe style setting. There is always a lineup on weekends at this cash-only brunch so come early or late if you’re with a group. A dish to try for sure is their smoked salmon and scrambled eggs served with chives, roti potato, creamed horseradish, and caviar. This restaurant’s grab-and-go counter is just as delicious and convenient if you’re in a rush or would prefer to enjoy the morning  in nearby De Grassi Parkette. Bon Appetit.

The Peasant Table

782 Queen Street East ~ Brunch served Saturdays & Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM

Are you in the mood for double smoked bacon mac and cheese in a stylish setting. The dish is served with shredded smoked mozzarella and sunny side up eggs while the restaurant delivers service with a smile that will make you feel right at home. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to sit by the window and practically dine al fresco as you watch Riverside roll by.

Prohibition Gastrohouse

696 Queen Street East ~ Brunch served Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 4PM

While Prohibition Gastropub is well known for its after dark club scene, brunch is also a big thing here. When late night party-goers hit the hay, this restaurant is prepping for early birds with dreams of comfort food and a coffee (or a cocktail). Try the savoury house-made Mexicana Waffle topped with five kinds of cheese, guacamole, cream and three eggs over easy. (P.S.  kids under 10 eat for free from the Kids Brunch Menu and Signature Cocktails are only $9 during brunch)

White Lily Diner

All day Breakfast – Saturdays & Sundays from 9AM to 10PM, Wed-Fri from 8AM to 10PM

One of the newer kids on the block, White Lily is a rocking brunch west of Broadview Ave in a cozy ‘70s diner setting. There’s been a lineup here since day one but (tip) if you leave the host with your number they’ll call you when a table is ready. Take that time to enjoy other Riverside attractions and build up your appetite for a good old-fashioned plate of steak and sunny eggs served with hash browns, poblano relish, and small batch caesar.

Eastbound Brewing Co

700 Queen Street East ~ Brunch Served Saturdays and Sundays from 11AM to 2PM

Not only does Eastbound Brewing specialize in craft beer, this Queen Street East hot spot also specializes in brunch: snacks, plates, and side. Next time you find yourself strolling around Riverside on the weekend, pop in for a fork and knife fried chicken sandwich with maple bacon, pancake bun, smoked cheddar and two egg omelet. Wash that down, of course, with a refreshing Eastbound brew.

Sugar Loaf

729 Queen Street East ~ Saturdays & Sundays from 9AM to 2PM

While this Riverside bakery sounds more like a place you’d go for sweet treats, Sugar Loaf also serves up a savoury brunch on weekends. In addition to your typical continental breakfast, here you can also indulge in rare dishes like the mushroom and black truffle terrine with house-made brioche pudding, sauteed mushrooms, cheese, black truffle oil, thyme, and a poached egg. The cafe is small so get there early before it fills up, and enjoy your brunch with a mimosa if it suits you!


Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. This blog is part of the series giving you the inside scoop on  Riverside, Toronto. Read other blogs in the series: Riverside Patios, Places to Stay in Riverside






Community Thanksgiving Dinner at RTCC on Oct 7th

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season, Rivertowne Safety 1st and Caribbean Sunset will be building a sense of togetherness and belonging among residents by hosting a FREE Thanksgiving Dinner for the Riverside community.

New to the neighbourhood, Caribbean Sunset opened this past June and is known for its selection of island eats such as Jerk Chicken, Goat Curry and fresh coconut.

What better way to express your gratitude and appreciation of your home, Riverside, then with your family and neighbours by your side? It is the chance to see some friendly faces, and meet some new while stuffing your stomach with a hearty meal (without having to cook!) .

Drop by on Saturday, October 7th from 3:30PM to 7:30PM at the Ralph Thornton Community Centre (765 Queen Street East, 2nd floor)!

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017 comes to Riverside, Sept. 30 – Oct. 1

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017 comes to Riverside, Sept. 30 – Oct. 1

The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) collaborates with Project Gallery, Streetcar Developments Inc., The Broadview Hotel and ERA Architects to showcase artistic projects for the all-night art festival

Toronto, ON – The Riverside BIA presents Since Now, From Then for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017 on Sept. 30 from sunset to sunrise on Oct. 1 (7 p.m. – 7 a.m.). Curated by Project Gallery and in collaboration with Streetcar Developments, The Broadview Hotel, and ERA Architects, the Riverside community invites Nuit Blanche visitors to explore a series of performances, projections, sculptures and installations that will take over various spaces within the Broadview Ave. and Queen St. E. corridor.

Independent  Project #77 of Nuit Blanche 2017 features five projects by local artists, Callen Schaub, Alex McLeod, Nadine Bariteau and Rosemary Jeffares, Wiggly Artist Collective, and ERA Architects. Together, the projects merge art and architecture, technology and nature, as well as public and private spaces to inspire visitors to reflect on the social, political, cultural and physical context of the neighbourhood. The projects invite visitors to understand the neighbourhood’s past, relish in its present and look to the future of the changing east end of Toronto.

Nuit Blanche is an important institution in the city that celebrates contemporary art, and as a strong supporter of the arts in Riverside, the Riverside BIA is thrilled to participate in this year’s festival and host Nuit Blanche in our historic neighbourhood,” said Jennifer Lay, Executive Director, Riverside BIA. “Riverside is in the midst of an incredible transformation and through these talented artists, festival-goers will be taken on a journey that reflects the past and looks to the future of the changing east end of Toronto.”

The exhibits that make up Independent Project #77 of Nuit Blanche 2017 include:

Elevation by Alex McLeod

The Broadview Hotel, 106 Broadview Ave. (West-facing façade)

 A new media visual artist, McLeod’s images and simulations recall the wide-open vistas of romantic landscape painting and strange otherworldly dystopias. For Nuit Blanche 2017, he’ll project a video animation on the west façade of The Broadview Hotel. Exploring themes of rising populations, urban over-development and climate change, his dramatic scenes can be considered a cautionary tale about ecological responsibility, technology and development.

Sign/age by ERA Architects

The Broadview Hotel Rooftop, 106 Broadview Ave., 7th floor

ERA Architects contributes a photo-based installation in the glass box of The Broadview Hotel’s Rooftop as part of the heritage interpretation of the iconic building. Through a kaleidoscopic projection of vibrant signage from surrounding Riverside businesses, this interpretive installation brings the evolving neighbourhood context into one of its landmark buildings. Diverse commercial signage is an important feature of the urban landscape and its changing shapes, colours, and typefaces is filtered through the kinetic and multi-perspectival lens of the kaleidoscope.


Wiggly Street by Wiggly Artist Collective

The Broadview Hotel Laneway, Queen St. E. and Broadview Ave. (behind the hotel)

Wiggly Artist Collective is a multidisciplinary collective that combines sculpture, visual arts, video, dance and audio as mediums to create environments that unite audiences and consider a future made beautiful by community. Wiggly’s project includes projection mapping, sculptural installations with LED components representing futuristic urban forestry, and live audio and group dance performances. Each hour, representing s 24-hour cycle, will begin with a live performance that tells a story of love, harmony, and unity of the potential unknown.

Dereliction by Nadine Bariteau and Rosemary Jeffares

Broadview Houses, 25-60 Broadview Ave.

An interdisciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in printmaking, sculpture, installation and video, her works are studies of permanence and ephemerality in the interplay between human-made and natural environments. Bariteau, in collaboration with Rosemary Jeffares of Quince Flowers, responds to the changing nature of domesticity in Toronto using the Broadview Houses to reimagine space through architecture, nature and technology. While visitors will not be able to enter the properties, they will be exposed to spatial experiences.

 Centrifuge by Callen Schaub

Parking Lot, 3 Hamilton St. (Queen St. E. and Hamilton St., west of Broadview Ave.)

Callen Schaub, an abstract artist who works with paint, natural forces and machines in an innovative way to produce bold and thought-provoking contemporary art, utilizes a crane as a painting tool for this live performance happening every hour on the hour for 20 minutes throughout the night. Visitors will witness paintings created and destroyed in real time. Between each performance, lights illuminate the overflow-splattered paint that Schaub unleashes at the site.


In partnership with the Agha Khan Museum, a free shuttle is available to and from The Broadview Hotel and the Agha Khan Museum from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Visitors wishing to visit the Riverside Nuit Blanche exhibition and/or the Agha Khan Museum can be picked up at Nuit Blanche Exhibition Area A at Charles St. and Queens Park Ave.

Since Now, From Then, Location 77 of Nuit Blanche 2017 is presented by Riverside BIA, curated by Project Gallery and made possible by contributions from Streetcar Developments, The Broadview Hotel, and ERA Architects. Follow along live on Sept. 30 at #nbRiverside2017.

For more information, images or to arrange an interview, please contact: 
Daliah Marsons, rock-it promotions, inc. at daliah@rockitpromo.com or 416.656.0707 ext. 109
Lara Buchar, rock-it promotions, inc., at lara@rockitpromo.com or 416.656.0707 ext. 121

About Streetcar Developments
Since 2002, Streetcar Developments has designed and developed a series of mixed use, community-centric projects in some of Toronto’s most beloved neighbourhoods. Along the way they have earned accolades for being a different kind of developer who invests in exciting neighbourhoods, improving the quality of entire communities. Their celebrated projects integrate seamlessly into their surroundings, respecting the historic look and feel of the area while providing a glimpse into what could be. With an unwavering commitment to build a more liveable and culturally rich Toronto, Streetcar eagerly accepts its responsibility to do its part to ensure this great city achieves its potential.
Website:  www.streetcar.ca Twitter: @STREETCARlofts Facebook: StreetcarDevelopments

About The Broadview Hotel

Located in the heart of Riverside at the corner of Queen St. E. and Broadview Ave., The Broadview Hotel is a boutique hotel, restaurant, lobby Café + Bar and Rooftop bar. The Romanesque Revival-style building constructed in 1891 is a heritage property, as designated by the City of Toronto. Cleverly reimagined as a charismatic gathering spot, each space is infused with the spirit of the east end: it’s a place where international travellers relax alongside local residents. Drawing from The Broadview’s iconic façade, visitors and community members will enjoy a uniquely crafted hospitality experience.
Website: TheBroadviewHotel.ca Instagram: @BroadviewHotel Twitter: @BroadviewHotel Facebook: The Broadview Hotel Hashtag: #BroadviewHotel

About ERA Architects

In practice since 1990, ERA Architects Inc. has over 90 staff members based in Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston and Montréal. Our core interest is in connecting heritage to wider considerations of urban design and city building, and to a larger set of cultural values that provide perspective to our work at every scale. Our core values are in generating professional integrity and expertise through research, education and mentoring. To that end ERA frequently works collaboratively with other firms to engage in city building, conserving heritage architecture and improving the built environment.

Website: www.eraarch.ca  Instagram: @ERAArchitects Twitter: @ERAArch Facebook: ERAToronto

 About the Riverside BIA

The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a community-oriented not-for-profit association of local business people, organizations and property owners. The Riverside BIA works in partnership with the City of Toronto and its partners to improve, beautify and promote the Riverside business district through public programming, partnerships, and streetscape improvement projects. Riverside is located along Toronto’s Queen Street East from the DVP to Empire Avenue.

 Website: www.riverside-to.com Instagram: @Riverside_bia Twitter: @RiversideBIA Facebook: RiversideTO Hashtag: #RiversideTO

 About Project Gallery

Project is a commercial art gallery and studios in Toronto that opened in 2013 and exhibits a critical selection of artists whose work reflects new and innovative developments in contemporary art. With a gallery space in the heart of Leslieville and a studio overlooking the Don Valley in Riverside, Project is focused on establishing the careers of local emerging and mid-career contemporary artists through distinct exhibitions and projects.

 Website: www.projectgallery.ca Instagram: @ProjectGallariesandStudios Twitter: @ProjectGalleryT Facebook: ProjectGalleriesandStudios

Welcome to the Neighbourhood: Cry If I Want To

Cry If I Want To is new to Riverside and has introduced Alley Row Designs: a boutique firm designing wallpaper, interiors, stationary and events!

This summer, owners Allison and Rochelle moved their business from Leslieville to Riverside, settling in a 696c Queen St East, just above Prohibition.



Allison and Rochelle love the east end of Toronto, and say that “Riverside is such a vibrant area that we were excited to move back here. We used to have a retail store and shared space with another business in the neighbourhood.”

Cry if I want to

They shared more about what Alley Row Designs has on offer:

GRAPHICS & STATIONERY DESIGN: We create wedding invitations and associated elements on plantable papers and other high end stationery. We also coordinate the production of signage, custom packaging and other graphic design projects.

CUSTOM WALLPAPER: Our custom wallpapers are produced on papers that are easy to install and can be removed without damage to existing walls. We have a curated selection of our designs, will produce wallpaper with our customer designs or we will custom design wallpaper based on our customer’s requests.

INTERIOR STYLING: We aim to make public and private spaces interesting, stimulating, and cozy. A supplier of Tempaper and custom wallpaper design. The cry if i want to team, featured in Toronto Life Magazine as design experts, create trend-setting yet comfortable home designs.

EVENT DESIGN: Styling events such as film festival parties, charity fundraisers, and corporate branding events, cry if i want to is known for their innovative and creative styling.

Drop by and say hello or check them out online:





The Inside Scoop on Health and Wellness in Toronto’s Riverside

~By Guest Blogger, Karen Lloyd

No matter your age, Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood has something to boost your health and wellness, with a variety of services along Queen Street East. As we are approaching cooler climes and busier times, it’s the perfect moment to take stock of the resources available to all of us.

Until I sat down to write this blog, I was out of the loop on health, wellness and beauty in Riverside but after just a little digging , I found myself in the know about Riverside’s plethora of incredibly unique wellness and beauty boutiques, fitness studio and wellness centres. My conclusion: there’s really a complete package of health and wellness options for all ages right here in Riverside.

Here are some of my favourites and tidbits on how they will be featured during this Saturday, September 16th’s complimentary Riverside Health & Wellness Walk.

Oma Chiropractic & Wellness Centre


Feel safe, cared for, and at home in the loving, gentle hands of Oma Chiropractic & Wellness, located at 1 Munro on Queen East. In addition to a range of health services such as chiropractic care and massage therapy, Oma Chiropractic & Wellness hosts regular wellness workshops and unique opportunities to support the whole family, including the family dog!

For example, the Riverside Health & Wellness Walk, coming up on September 16th, will feature a complimentary talk by creative entrepreneur and business coach Marnee Bruno. Then, on September 28th at Oma, will be a workshop called “Tame Tantrums and End Power Struggles” with peaceful parenting coach Sarah Rosensweet.

“The workshop will offer several strategies for how to manage meltdowns when they happen, and how to firmly, yet lovingly set boundaries,” says Oma Chiropractic director Adrienne McRuvie, a chiropractor, a reflexolgist, reiki therapist and yoga teacher. Adrienne’s training with the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association sparked her passion for prenatal care and care for children of all sizes.

For more about Adrienne, her clinic, and upcoming workshops visit www.omachiropractic.com

The Chi Junky Yoga Studio


With small class-sizes in a warm and inviting atmosphere, The Chi Junky Studio guarantees a personalized experience and hands on approach when it comes to yoga and your health in general. Beginners are welcome!

Each 60-minute session includes complimentary yoga equipment, tea service, towels and alkaline water. Some sessions are even lit with candles. In addition to regular weekly classes like ‘Candlelight Sweat Flow’, ‘Chill and Let Go’ or ‘Move to Sooth Hatha’, “The Chi Junky organizes regular relaxation retreats outside of Toronto with the next one coming up Oct. 12 in Prince Edward County”, says owner and instructor Rachelle Wintzen.

“It’s a full weekend of complete luxury and relaxation,” says Rachelle noting the retreat will include exceptional meals made with local and organic ingredients, daily wine tastings from PEC wineries, and twice daily yoga.

Come meet The Chi Junky in person on September 16th and take part in a complimentary meditation during the Riverside Health & Welllness Walk.

For more information visit them at 70 McGee Street, steps off of Queen East, or check out more at www.chijunky.com




Framewrk is a new Riverside fitness studio that offers a mix of different fitness programs including something you may have never heard of before – Essentrics.

According to Framewrk founder, owner and instructor Josephine Cuthill, Essentrics is a dynamic and fluid combination of strengthening and stretching (using ballet, Tai Chi, and even physiotherapy) for a full-body workout.

“Essentrics is good for everyone, but can often especially be good for people recovering from injury and can even help in that process,” says Josephine.

Additionally, the bright spacious studio offers classes in yoga, pilates, cardio, and weight training.

Enjoy a complimentary demo of Essentrics at the Riverside Health & Wellness Walk this Saturday, drop by the studio at 9 Davies, Suite 206, or for more information or visit www.framewrk.ca.

Barefoot Beauty


It’s all about hands and feet at Barefoot Beauty which opened up at 643 Queen Street East in Riverside this summer.

This salon prides itself on offering healthy and clean manicure and pedicure services using all-natural organic products made in-house. A particularly unique service at Barefoot Beauty is IBX,  a two step application used to strengthen and repair weak, cracking, or peeling nails.

“This treatment is a wonderful option for anyone who wants to stop using acrylic or bio-gel enhancements,” says Barefoot Beauty owner and head chiropodist Emily Stock. With regular use, she says the IBX treatment can reduce the occurrence of white spots on nails, repair and toughen nails, promoting a smoother nail plate, and improve the appearance of the nail plate.

“We absolutely love this product and are one of the few salons in Toronto to offer this specialty treatment,” she says. IBX can be used on its own for a healthy, natural nail look or under regular polish or gel (Shellac-style) polish to help strengthen and repair the nails.

Come meet Emily and experience Barefoot Beauty’s gorgeous space during the Riverside Health & Wellness Walk on September 16th.

Read more about the other unique services Barefoot Beauty offers in this blog or visit their website at www.barefootbeauty.ca


Clinique De Mode


At Clinique De Mode, just a few blocks east of Broadview at 750 Queen East, you’ll find a menu of medical treatments designed to give your skin a youthful glow.

Included in this mix of treatments is the Vampire Facial which had everybody in the ‘hood talking for a while after it was introduced via sidewalk sandwich board. Rightfully called Platelet Rich Plasma treatment, the Vampire Facial uses your very own blood to stimulate the regrowth of new collagen and aid considerably with epidermal repair.

“When people stop by the boutique, without a doubt the most frequently asked question is, what on earth is a Vampire Facial?!” says co-owner and skin care specialist Christina. “It’s one of the most effective facial treatments available in the industry for targeting pigmentation, acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles.”

Meet co-owner Stephen to get the inside scoop on the Vampire Facial and more during the Riverside Health & Wellness Walk.

Clinique De Mode also offers chemical peels, laser hair removal, body contouring and more. Learn more at cliniquedemode.com.


Karen Lloyd is a writer, photographer and website designer in Toronto’s Riverside neighbourhood. This blog is part of the series giving you the inside scoop on  Riverside, Toronto. Read Other Blogs in this series: Riverside Patios, and Where to Rest Your Head in Riverside