South Riverdale is located in the south-east part of Toronto and is bounded by The Don Valley to the west, and Greenwood to the East, and lies south of Gerrard. It is also commonly referred to as Leslieville and Riverside. The original homes of the 1880s were modest in nature; styles include Ontario Cottage, Second Empire row houses, and Victorians. In the early decades of the 20th century, Edwardian detached and semi-detached homes were built, along with a large number of bungalows.
Always a working-class neighbourhood, Leslieville and Riverside has recently experienced a move towards trendy ‘gentrification’, as a continuation of the process that began earlier in the general Riverdale area. Cafes, boutiques, and specialty shops have sprung up, and although prices are quickly rising and renovations abound, they are still fairly accessible for first-time homebuyers with young families. The building of several condominium and trendy loft projects is also drawing the young, hip buyer into the area. With its proximity to the clubs and nightlife of downtown Toronto, however, Leslieville and Riverside has not yet reached the limits of gentrification and is still fundamentally a quiet family neighbourhood.
Tree-lined streets lend themselves to strolling, having a quiet coffee, or reading in a park. Greenwood Park has skating, hockey, day camps, and biking programs, along with an off-leash dog area, wading pool and three baseball diamonds. At Coxwell, the large Ashbridge’s Bay Park offers beach volleyball, a boardwalk for strolling or jogging, paved trails for roller-blading or biking, and one of Toronto’s best firework displays every Canada Day. Shopping and dining in the area is eclectic. In fact, Leslieville has become somewhat of a dining destination.
Along Gerrard between Greenwood and Coxwell Avenues is the area known as Little India where the East Indian shop owners offer all the magnificent colours, sounds, scents and textures of India. There is good public transit service to the Leslieville area, with streetcars along Queen Street, various bus routes, several of which feed into the Broadview station of the Bloor-Danforth subway line. The Don Valley Parkway, Lakeshore Boulevard and the Gardiner are minutes away, and Bloor Street, via Danforth Avenue, gives residents almost immediate access to downtown Toronto.
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