Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

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Modern Toronto Lofts

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Unique Toronto Homes

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Condos in Toronto

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Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

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Tag Archives: classical architecture

Riverdale Information & Real Estate

By Julie Kinnear

Riverdale was a small rural community until the Grand Trunk Railway began steaming through it in the 1850’s. 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, and was later changed to Riverdale as a reference to the city park of the same name that has long been a landmark in this area. The neighbourhood’s development was accelerated in 1918 when the Prince Edward Viaduct linked Riverdale to the City of Toronto west of the Don River.

Today Riverdale is a large and diverse community, popular with young affluent professionals and especially well known for its colourful shopping districts and quaint Victorian homes that are shaded by some of the tallest maple trees in the city. South Riverdale has traditionally attracted a wide mix of people looking for affordable homes close to downtown.

Riverdale‘s two and three storey Victorian houses were built largely between 1880 and 1924. 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.

Riverdale‘s best known shopping district is along Danforth Avenue, east of Broadview. The Danforth is the heart of Toronto’s Greek community, the second largest such community outside of Greece. It features many first class Greek restaurants and a dazzling array of stores catering to everything from the home & garden to fine jewellers, clothing stores, gifts and collectibles, spas and salons, and more.

A walk down Danforth Avenue reveals its rich cultural heritage: street signs are in English and Greek, blue and white Greek flags line the avenue, and the classical architecture of the National Bank of Greece and other buildings contribute to the Mediterranean atmosphere.

This is an excellent food & dining destination, as the streets are filled with animated fruit and vegetable stands, butcher shops, Greek bakeries and pastry shops, and dozens of European-style cafes and restaurants. Many of its restaurants feature open kitchens, where you are welcome to watch the preparation of authentic Greek cuisine.

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. Gerrard Square located at the corner of Pape Avenue and Gerrard Street is a large indoor shopping mall with over 70 stores. Further south, Queen Broadview Village is a historic shopping district that includes some interesting antique and collectible shops.

Riverdale has a myriad of parks and parkettes situated throughout the neighbourhood. The three largest parks are Riverdale Park, which has an outdoor pool and a running track; Withrow Park, popular with families and pets; and Jimmie Simpson Park, which features an indoor swimming pool, a games room and a gymnasium.

Each of these Parks contain tennis courts, a wading pool, a hockey rink, and a baseball diamond. 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.

The annual Taste of the Danforth festival, held in early August, is an outstanding opportunity for recreation. Tens of thousands of people converge on the area for a lively weeklong celebration, as the many restaurants set up street kiosks to offer samples. Music, demonstrations, giveaways, and many activities for children are also scheduled. “The Danforth” is also a night owl’s haven with clubs and cafes open into the wee hours.

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. There is also 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.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information