Riverdale is a large area in the east end of Toronto that encompasses many smaller neighbourhoods. In the broadest sense, Riverdale runs from the Don Valley Parkway east to Pape Avenue, and south from Danforth Avenue to Gerrard Avenue
The majority of Riverdale’s homes were built between the 1880s (after it was annexed by the city of Toronto) and the 1920s. They are mostly two to three-storey semi-detached Victorian homes, with a mix of detached and row housing included. In the 1980s, the artistic and literary community rediscovered Riverdale, with prices then being very affordable and the neighbourhood family friendly. Because of this, it has undergone a considerable ‘gentrification’ since then, with prices rising significantly over the last twenty years. It is a hot, trendy market these days, with a fully renovated home moving very quickly on the market.
Danforth, the northern boundary of Riverdale, is an eclectic mix of Greek restaurants, boutique shopping, specialty and gourmet shops, cafes, and design stores. Every year, the street shuts down one weekend in the summer for the Taste of the Danforth to celebrate everything Greek, but especially the food. To the south along Gerrard Street, a large Chinese community brings the Orient to residents with shops, restaurants and fresh produce stores.
There are many parks in Riverdale: Withrow Park, Riverdale Park East, with its popular tobogganing hills, Greenwood Park, and Jimmy Simpson Park. All have swimming facilities, baseball diamonds and tennis courts. Nearby Greenwood offers day camps and hockey and skating classes, Jimmy Simpson Recreation Centre has a gymnasium and games room, and the Pape Recreational Centre has meeting rooms along with an indoor pool and weight room.
Access to all parts of Toronto is one of Riverdale’s prime attractions. The Don Valley Parkway is just minutes away, as are the Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Boulevard. Drive along Danforth, over the Bloor viaduct and you are on Bloor Street, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. There are several bus and streetcar routes throughout Riverdale, along with the Broadview, Chester and Pape stations of the Bloor-Danforth subway line.
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