History of Riverdale
Riverdale was a small rural community until the Grand Trunk Railway began steaming through here in the 1850's. The railway brought industry and employment opportunities to Riverdale. It also attracted a pool of labourers who built the first homes in Riverdale, south of the railway tracks.
North of Queen Street Riverdale remained largely undeveloped until 1884 when it was annexed by the City of Toronto. At that time Riverdale was called Riverside. The name was probably changed to Riverdale as a reference to the city park of the same name, that has long been a landmark in this area.
Riverdale's development was accelerated in 1918 with the building of Toronto's largest bridge, the Prince Edward Viaduct. The Viaduct provided Riverdale with an important link to the City of Toronto, west of the Don River, and marked a coming of age for this popular Toronto neighbourhood.
Riverdale is the gateway to Toronto's east end neighbourhoods. It is a large and diverse community that is especially well known for its colourful shopping districts and quaint Victorian homes.
North Riverdale from Gerrard to the Danforth is very popular with young affluent professionals, while South Riverdale has traditionally attracted a wide mix of people looking for affordable homes close to downtown.
H O M E S
Riverdale's two and three storey Victorian houses were built largely between 1880 and 1924. These homes are shaded by some of the tallest maple trees in the city.
The houses in South Riverdale are on average smaller, older and less expensive than those in North Riverdale. Most of Riverdale's homes have parking off rear laneways, and permits are available for street parking.
S H O P P I N G
Riverdale's best known shopping district is along Danforth Avenue, east of Broadview. The Danforth is the heart of Toronto's Greek community. It features many first class Greek restaurants and a dazzling array of stores.
Riverdale also has a Chinatown shopping district centred around Gerrard and Broadview. This stretch of stores is known for its bakeries, grocery stands, and restaurants.
Another shopping destination point for Riverdale residents is Queen Broadview Village. This historic shopping district includes some interesting antique and collectible stores.
Gerrard Square located at the corner of Pape Avenue and Gerrard Street is a large indoor shopping mall with over 70 stores.
R E C R E A T I O N
Riverdale has a myriad of parks and parkettes situated throughout the neighbourhood. The three largest parks are Riverdale Park East, Withrow Park and Jimmie Simpson Park. Each of these Parks contain tennis courts, a wading pool, a hockey rink, and a baseball diamond.
Riverdale Park also has an outdoor pool and a running track. The Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre has an indoor swimming pool, a games room and a gymnasium. The Pape Recreational Centre has a gymnasium, an indoor pool, a weight room and meeting rooms. Riverdale has four public libraries that offer a myriad of programs for children, adults and seniors.
S C H O O L S
Earl Grey Sr., 100 Strathcona Ave., (416) 393-9545
Frankland Jr., 816 Logan Ave., (416) 393-9720
Blake Street Jr., 21 Boultbee Ave., (416) 393-9415
Pape Avenue Jr., 404 Pape Ave., (416) 393-9470
Quest Alternative Sr., 25 Bain Ave., (416) 393-9430
Withrow Avenue Jr., 25 Bain Ave., (416) 393-9440
Morse Jr., 180 Carlaw Ave., (416) (416) 393-9494
Queen Alexandria Sr., 181 Broadview Ave., (416) 393-9535
Dundas Jr., 935 Dundas Street East (416) 393-9565
First Nations, 935 Dundas street East., (416) 393-0555
Rosedale Heights Secondary School, 711 Bloor Street East, (416) 393-1580
(Public High School)
Eastdale Collegiate Institute, 701 Gerrard Street East., (416) 393-9630
(Public High School)
Riverdale Collegiate Institute, 1094 Gerrard Street East (416) 393-9820
(Public High School)
Holy Name, 690 Carlaw Ave., (416) 393-5215
St. Ann, 55 Howie Ave., (416) 393-5213
St.William, 343 Jones Ave., (416) 393-5303
T R A N S P O R T A T I O N
Riverdale is an ideal location for commuters. The Don Valley Expressway, Lake Shore Boulevard, and the Gardiner Expressway are all quickly accessed from this neighbourhood.
Riverdale also has excellent access to public transit. There is regular bus service or streetcar service on Broadview, Carlaw, Jones and Greenwood Avenues, as well as Queen and Gerrard Streets. The Bloor-Danforth subway has five stations serving Riverdale, including Broadview, Chester, Pape, Donlands, and Greenwood.