Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.

 

Riverdale

Riverdale is a thriving residential neighbourhood in Toronto, located just east of the downtown core. Since its amendment to the City of Toronto in 1884, it has developed a stature as a neighbourhood of independent arts, with several independent galleries located along Queen Street East. The residential landscape within Riverdale is made up primarily of Victorian and Edwardian style homes, constructed in the 1800s as boarding rooms for the working-class. Many of the residences have since been redeveloped into homes for young families with homes redesigned to fit the tree-lined streetscape. The has dramatically increased the housing value over the years and with many young professionals as some of the current residents, Riverdale is now a trendy and expensive residential district.

The neighbourhood’s character is also defined by the CN Railway, which separates the area into two districts, North Riverdale (north of the tracks) which is primarily residential (for the exception of Gerrard Square Mall and The Danforth and South Riverdale (south to the Lakeshore) where a more affluent and wealthy character is seen in the bistros and coffee shops located along Queen Street East.

Riverdale is also home to three large recreational parks; Riverdale Park, adjacent to the Don River, Withrow Park, in the North Riverdale, and Jimmie Simpson Park, in the South. These three parks serve as great landmarks within the neighbourhood that many residents use for various activities, from swimming in outdoor pools to tobogganing down the steep hills in Riverdale Park during the wintertime. These are the most common outdoor spaces within the area and according to Toronto’s Official Plan, are to be preserved as an area of green space in the years to come.

South Riverdale, as its name suggests, is the southern half of the Riverdale neighbourhood. Its approximate boundaries are: the Don Valley Parkway to the west, Jones Ave. to the east, Gerrard Street East to the north, and Lake Shore Boulevard to the south.

Map of Riverdale

Map showing North Riverdale and South Riverdale

South Riverdale comprises many smaller neighbourhoods:

Riverside

Riverside, formerly known as the Queen Broadview Village is a small neighbourhood located within the larger neighbourhood of South Riverdale. Definite boundaries have never been drawn for Riverside, but according to the Riverside Business Improvement Area Plan’s definitions it can be assumed that the borders are the Don River to the west, Gerrard St. East to the north, Logan Avenue to the east and Eastern Ave. to the south.

Riverside is a mixed income and largely multicultural neighbourhood currently experiencing a trend of gentrification along Queen St. East and Broadview Ave. While it is a small neighbourhood it is home to several places of note such as the former Don Destructor, Toronto’s only garbage incinerator, and Don Mount Court, a social housing project that is under redevelopment and will be rebuilt as part of a mixed social housing and market value community. The market value portion is being sold under the name Rivertowne. Unquestionably, the biggest landmark in the neighbourhood is the New Broadview House Hotel, a romanesque hotel constructed in 1893 that was the tallest structure in South Riverdale for several decades. Other major landmarks include the Ralph Thornton Community Centre, Broadview Lofts, and The Opera House.

The area was once home to a large young population which is evident in the cluster of schools just east of Broadview Ave. Dundas Jr. Public School is the resident school for children in kindergarten through to fifth grade, after which they are transferred over to Queen Alexandra Sr. Public School which sees students through to eighth grade. It is also home First Nations School of Toronto, a cultural survival school that places heavy emphasis on aboriginal values and culture, and the current location of SEED Alternative Secondary School, Canada’s first public alternative school.

Riverdale Farm

Riverdale Farm

East Chinatown

Toronto’s second largest ‘china town’, also known as East Chinatown is found at Broadview & Gerrard.

Studio District

The southern part of South Riverdale, just north of the Port Lands, is what’s called the Studio District. Industrial warehouses along Lakeshore Avenue house production studios and many people working in film and television live in the old Victorians found along the area’s side streets. Carlaw and Queen has become an arts hub, with many artists choosing to run their studios from the various work-live lofts.

Blake-Jones

Blake-Jones is a section of tree-lined streets with residences built from the 1870s to 1930s. The neighbourhood extends along Jones Avenue commencing at the cemetery south of Strathcona and extending down to Hunter. It is bordered by Danforth Avenue to the north, Pape Avenue to the west, Greenwood Avenue to the east and the CN Railway tracks just south of Riverdale/Boultbee Avenue to the south. Houses along Blake Street are more affordable in this neighbourhood than in many areas of the city because most of the homes are semi-detached. There are also a significant amount of residents within public housing, residing in apartment and townhouse complex of Blake/Boultbee, owned by Toronto Community Housing. With a 33.3% unemployment rate in youth aged 15–19 (City of Toronto, 2006), the Blake-Jones corridor of Riverdale has seen an increase in crime within recent years.

There are three local elementary schools zoned to the area; Blake Street (which also houses East end Alternative), Earl Grey, and Pape Avenue. The high school that is zoned to the area is Riverdale Collegiate Institute. There is also an alternative high school, Eastern Commerce, in the Donlands/Danforth area.

The neighbourhood is served by the Pape, Donlands, and Greenwood subway stations and the 72 Pape and 83 Jones bus routes and is also home to the Greenwood Subway Yard, a landmark within the area.

Riverdale Real Estate

Riverdale Real Estate

The Pocket

Located within Blake-Jones is an area residents refer to as The Pocket. Over time there have been some differences on the exact definition of the area, but currently the Pocket is understood to be “accessible only from the west along Jones Avenue”. This would indicate that the area would be bordered by Chatham Street at the north (which itself is not accessible from Jones), and on the southern end by Boultbee Ave. The Eastern side is bordered by the TTC Greenwood yard.

The name “The Pocket” was created by area residents during a planning session attended by Susan McMurray, also an editor of a newsletter for the area. The name has stuck in part because of the “village feel” of the community, and has become well used by residents and realtors in the area. The Pocket has been experiencing a gentrification similar of that to the most of Riverdale and other neighbourhoods within Toronto. For The Pocket, this started in the 1990s. The neighbourhood is listed as one the ten hottest areas in Toronto Life and is described as “coveted” by the Globe and Mail indicating that buyers will pay a premium to live in the community. The Pocket has an above average number of people from the Muslim and Greek Orthodox communities living in the area.

The area has benefited from a strong group of volunteers who have done much to make the area safer and prettier. Such projects as cleaning up and renaming Ben Kerr Lane, an annual street party on Dawson Avenue, street sales, organized pot lucks, not to mention a great number of improvements to Phin Park. Phin Park has had a number of mature trees planted along its central lighted walkway, an outdoor ice rink created every winter, the placement of large boulders removed during street work, and the building of a gazebo next to the playground for parents to cool off while their children play. Throughout the year there are events at the park organized and paid for by the community including monthly movie nights and an excellent fireworks show on Victoria Day. Another beautification project included building a small orchard and community garden area north of the Greenwood TTC yard.

Other

Some Riverdale residents differentiate between “upper” and “lower” Riverdale. “Upper Riverdale” is characterized as the part of the neighbourhood north of Riverdale Ave., and “Lower Riverdale” is the area south of Riverdale Ave. In terms of the quality of the housing supply, homes built in “Upper Riverdale” are more likely to be renovated, but “Lower Riverdale” contains more original and classic designs of the late 19th century. There are a number of remarkable century-old homes built on Simpson and Langley Avenues, the latter street named after Toronto’s well-known early 20th century architect, and the former featuring the oldest Victorian houses in Riverdale. Of note, Simpson Avenue is home to the original six houses of Riverdale; located at the west end of the street and locally known as the ‘Six Sisters.’ The area bounded by Dundas St. East in the south, Jones Ave. to the east, the railway tracks to the north, and Carlaw Ave. to the west is also referred to by local residents as “Badgerow,” after a residential street that runs through the centre of that area. This pocket includes the legendary Maple Leaf Tavern, as well as a Sikh temple, Turkish cultural centre and Jewish cemetery, in addition to the Gerrard Square shopping mall.

—————————————————————————————————–
Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

—————————————————————————————————–

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *