This year the Riverside BIA team went above and beyond in all of the events and activities. The Winefest became Wine & Craft Beer Fest, the neighbourhood had the greatest ever Riverside Magazine and Eats & Beats Street Fest. Streetscape Master Plan was approved and our Board of Directors got re-elected!
It’s going to be a long post, so sit back, relax, and enjoy all the great memories of this year!
(or click here to see our infographic!)
But let’s start by the beginning…
First of all, it’s important to recognize and thank our Riverside BIA Board of Directors! Not only for their longtime volunteering, but also for being up for another 4-year term at the Board of Directors.
They are all local business or property owners that dedicate their time and energy to this wonderful community that is Riverside Neighbourhood. Thanks to: Mitch Korman of Korman and Company, who is our long-standing Chair and son of the original BIA founder Jack Korman; Natasha Varjacic, of Nell & Natasha’s Real Estate Homeward Brokerage who is our Secretary; Ryan Nelson of Hullmark Development, who is our Treasurer; Adrienne McRuvie, of Oma Chiropractic & Wellness Centre; Athena Ellinas Towers, of The Opera House; Rosie Little Jeffares, of Quince Flowers; Dave Watson, of Eastbound Brewing Co; Ellen Davidson, of Dimensions Custom Framing & Gallery, and our local Councillor Paula Fletcher.
Also important to mention, our 2018 members of our Marketing Committee and Streetscape Committee who had tons of work in the events and also in the Streetscape Master Plan that is coming up to its final version early 2019! They are all local folks who work, live and/or play in Riverside and who volunteer their time to help support the Riverside BIA’s annual planning and activities and make the magic happen.
Riverside Wine & Craft Beer Fest
The event launched the Riverside BIA’s annual calendar of public programming, drawing over 2,300 people to Riverside restaurants, shops, services and community spaces, and raising $2,950 for the Ralph Thornton Community Centre. It was the first year that we included Craft Beer and it was an absolute success! Thanks to our 2018 Riverside Wine & Craft Beer Fest supporters: Eastbound Brewing Co. (with in-kind food), All Wrapped Up with a great in-kind coordination service, Toronto Food Tours, and sponsors Team Sheppard RE/MAX and Jason Friesen Mortgage!
We’re pleased to announce our 2019 event (coming up April 2nd – 7th!) with all the great Ontario wines and Riverside beers with the addition of a Charitable Sunday brunch! Check all the 2018 Wine & Craft Beer memories here.
The walks drew crowds of people to on Saturdays from May to October. 8 separate walks were run, drawing more than 1,200 people, thanks to our fearless walk leaders: Ron Fletcher, Megan Sheppard, Danette Steele, Manu Kabahizi and Anjuli Solanki. Special thanks to our 2018 Walks sponsor Team Sheppard RE/MAX! We’ve got some great new walks planned, along with the traditional favourites 😉
Riverside Eats & Beats Streetfest
The event was a hit, thanks to the fabulous participation of so many Riverside BIA members; great partners like the Historica Canada, Sugar Foot Stompers, Samba Toronto and a lot more! And thank you to our generous sponsor BMO! Looking forward to another great festival, coming up Saturday, June 1st, 2019, with some big plans in the works! Check all the 2018 Eats & Beats memories here!
The magazine shone more than ever in 2018! With an impressive print and paper quality, this year’s magazine was taken to the next level! We got 15,000 copies of it and we’re already running out of it! Thanks to the vibrant colours and great cover (photo credit to Giancarlo Pawelec, graphic design by geocdesign), some great content by our editorial team and our amazing advertisers, the magazine still a success! The 2019 Riverside Magazine Team is already in full motion and you can check the 2019 Media Kit here!
Riverside BIA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting
The AGM was a great time to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and get agreement for the next y ear. It was also time to give Jennifer a fond farewell into her maternity leave and to give a warm welcome to the Acting Executive Director Lais Fabricio.
Special recognition was given to our 2018 Marketing Awardee: Eastbound Brewing Co. for the engagement with the neighbourhood events, social media presence and its special events calendar! And our 2018 Streetscape Awardee: Queen Garden Center for the amazing job in revitalizing the old parking lot.
Streetscape Master Plan
It was a busy year for our Streetscape Committee! from the RFP process to choose an architecture company to develop a long-term master plan, to meetings at City Hall and to two Public Open Houses to discuss the Project! The report is going to be released early 2019!
Riverside Halloween Fest
The annual Halloween Fest was super popular (as always!) and big thanks to Nell & Natasha’s Real Estate Homeward, Jimmie Simpson Rec Centre and all the Riverside businesses that take part to make this an always super fun event! This year we had the presence of Tim, from Sing Along Tim, entertaining all ages of kids during the cold morning! Can’t wait to see all the creative costumes when the Kiddie Costume Parade is back on October 26th, 2019! Check all the 2018 Halloween memories here!
Light Up Riverside & Shop the Neighbourhood
It was a great day of local shopping, eating, and promotions throughout Riverside, thanks to many participating businesses. Even with a lot of rain, the community showed up and made it a special day! A huge thanks to Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP and Gillis & Kennedy RE/MAX for sponsoring again this amazing community event! Can’t wait for next year’s event on November 30th! Check all the 2018 Light Up Riverside memories here!
#RiversideTO #WindowWonderland Contest
The Contest provided a friendly competition and a great excuse to go all-out on gorgeous window displays! Instagrammers were on board to take the top shot 🙂 Big thanks to everyone who took part in the fun- and congrats to the winner!
Riverside Antler Breakfast
The fundraiser raised thousands of dollars thanks to the hard work of the Antler Breakfast partners – the Ralph Thornton Community Centre, Toronto Food Tours, Rivertowne Safety 1st and the Riverside BIA – and the generosity of everyone in the community, with special thanks to our Santa level sponsor this year: Outline Financial. This fun community event has such a great atmosphere and is dear to many in our community! Once again the event helped ensure the year-round operation of the local Rivertowne Breakfast Program in 2019! The final total raised to be announced in early 2019 -stay tuned! Check all the 2018 Antler Breakfast memories here!
All the New Businesses
Last but not least, in 2018 we welcome a few new businesses to the neighbourhood: Diamond Muay Thai and Fitness, M’Eat Resto, Jasper Dandy, Comfy Beauty Nail Salon, Lob Toronto, Pizza Nova, Dresden, Tertulia & Dirty Pawz Dog Wash!
They help us continue to create this amazing knit-tight community, thank you so much for choosing Riverside!
Again, thanks to each and every one of you for your incredible support in 2018 and wishing everyone the best for a happy new year!