Our City Spotlight series explores the neighbourhoods that make up Toronto and the GTA. Each month, we take a look at what makes these areas unique and what we love most about them. Join the discussion on our social media and leave a comment below to share your favourite things about each neighbourhood!


This month’s feature neighbourhood is the Riverside District. With so many exciting new developments happening in the area, what better time than the start of the New Year to explore this vibrant area and discuss what makes it such a great place to live and visit!

Located within the larger area of South Riverdale, just 2.5 km from downtown Toronto along historic Queen Street East, the Riverside district is known for its many historical sites, rich cultural heritage and strong local business community. Formerly the Queen Broadview Village, Riverside has undergone a gentrification of sorts, but has maintained its gritty urban charm even as numerous revitalization and development projects take place. While it is often lumped together with Leslieville to the east, it is steadily developing its own distinct identity. The neighbourhood boasts a vibrant and growing business community headed by the Riverside BIA, an association of local business people and property owners who work in partnership with the City to enhance and promote the neighbouhood’s identity.


Riverside is home to over 4 acres of parkland, 2 community centres, public art installations, great cultural events, renowned live music venue The Opera House (a former vaudeville theatre), plus over 120 independent local businesses and trendy restaurants featuring award-winning chefs. The neighbourhood has strong artistic and cultural ties – there are numerous creative industries, such as film, television, music and design, growing in and around area, as well as many galleries and public art projects, a.nd it is also ground zero to the spring’s first major outdoor art festival – The Riverdale Art Walk.

The Riverside community has another prominent cultural claim to fame. The CBC created a television series based on, and in, the neighbourhood, its name taken from one of the most famous streets in the city – Degrassi Street.

Emerging loft communities on Broadview Avenue, exciting new developments and the arrival of trendy home design and fashion boutiques and cafes along Queen Street have made the Riverside district an exciting shopping and business destination. The expansive and highly anticipated Riverside Square project by Streetcar Developments, to be built on a plot of land just east of the DVP, is poised to “transform Queen Street East” and bring much-needed rejuvenation to the area. Meanwhile, the historic and long-neglected New Broadview Hotel will see a dramatic revitalization with Streetcar’s plans to restore the heritage landmark, retaining its character while transforming it into a vibrant cultural hotspot in the same vein as the Gladstone Hotel to the west.

Check out these articles about the exciting new developments in the Riverside neighbourhood:

 Our favourite places & things to do in the Riverside district