Riverside - Historic Community With Distinct Architecture

Situated on the eastern banks of the Don River, Riverside is a historic community with distinct architecture and a diverse culinary scene. Multiple Toronto Transit Commission streetcars link this small neighborhood with downtown Toronto.

The Riverside neighborhood borders Eastern Avenue to the south, Gerrard Street East to the north, the Don River to the west and Empire Avenue to the east. Click to book your Toronto tour.

Attractions and Culture

Riverside in Toronto
Explore the business district along Queen East
Standing prominently on the busy Queen Street East, the Opera House is perhaps the most popular attraction in Riverside. Originally built in the early 20th century during the height of the vaudeville era, this venue hosts music concerts and other shows all year long. Having approximately 12,000 sq feet of floor space with some classic balcony-style seating, the Opera House combines vintage styling with modern flair. Some of the world's best-selling music artists have performed on the center stage, which is surrounded by a proscenium-type arch with intricate decor. In its early years, this premium entertainment venue took on several names, including the Acropolis and Dundas. Guests can also enjoy delicious food at the on-site grill, which has a seasonal patio. The signature Shaggy Burger has been voted as one of the best burgers in the city. Speaking of savory food, Riverside has dozens of other great dining options, especially on Queen, Dundas and Gerrard streets. For example, Lady Marmalade serves gourmet plates with global inspirations. Other popular dining establishments in the vibrant district include Descendant Detroit Style Pizza and Te Aro.
Riverside in Toronto
The Opera House is located in historic Riverside
In terms of architectural and cultural importance, the Ralph Thoronto Community Centre is ranked high by residents of this neighborhood. Designed in the neoclassical style by Edward James Lennox in the early 20th century, this building hosts various educational programs for children and adults. Built in the 1890s, The Broadview Hotel is another historic landmark in this well-established neighborhood. Centrally located in Riverside, the Jimmie Simpson Park has ball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts and outdoor hockey rinks. The indoor Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre includes an indoor pool and multiple gymnasiums for various sports, including basketball and volleyball. The urban park is bound by bending rail tracks that run through the heart of the dense community. Some other small green spaces in the neighborhood include Joel Weeks Park, Thomas Street Parkette and Bruce Mackey Park and Gerrard Carlaw Parkette. Click to book your Toronto tour. If you'd like to admire the natural flow of the Don River, you can get on the short bridges that carry traffic on Queen, Dundas and Gerrard streets. The scenic Lower Don River Trail runs along the western bank of the river. The elevated bridges also offer great views of the downtown Toronto skyline.

Visiting Riverside

Riverside in Toronto
Riverside is a historic community with distinct architecture and a diverse culinary scene
Riverside's west side is fully bound by the Don River, which empties into Lake Ontario just a few blocks to the south. Named after this meandering body of water, the Don Valley Parkway runs along the western edge of the district. Running northbound and southbound, this major parkway links the community with East York, Greektown and other northern zones within the limits of Toronto. Riverside's northern border is marked by Gerrard Street East, which has rail tracks for the TTC 506 streetcar during the day. This express service is known as the 306 route at night. The 508 streetcar runs along Dundas Street East, which roughly cuts through the central part of the district. Additionally, the 501 and 503 streetcars stop at various points along Queen Street East, a historic thoroughfare in the neighborhood's southern end. Due to the frequent streetcar service, this small community has limited bus service. A one-way streetcar ride between this dense district and downtown Toronto normally takes less than 10 minutes. Click here to visit Riverside Toronto website.
By: Denise Marie
Published On: 2019-11-07
Updated On: 2019-11-07

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