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    About

    Riverdale is a large neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is bounded by the Don River Valley to the west, Danforth Avenue and Greektown to the north, Jones Avenue, the CN/GO tracks, Leslieville to the east, and Lake Shore Boulevard to the south....

    Read More

    The popular teen drama shows The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, and Degrassi: The Next Generation are named after the South Riverdale street of the same name.

    History

    Riverdale is a large neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is bounded by the Don River Valley to the west, Danforth Avenue and Greektown to the north, Jones Avenue, the CN/GO tracks, Leslieville to the east, and Lake Shore Boulevard to the south....

    Read More

    The popular teen drama shows The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, and Degrassi: The Next Generation are named after the South Riverdale street of the same name.

    Character and culture

    The 1884 annexation of the area then called Riverdale included an area from the Don valley on the west to Greenwood on the east, and from Danforth on the north to Queen Street on the south.

    Riverdale is located just east of Toronto's 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. In recent times, local housing values have increased significantly. With this a new generation of young professionals and their families have moved into the area, furthering already widespread gentrification.

    Riverdale's character is composed primarily from its multiculturalism; with several cultural neighbourhoods along its major paths. Danforth Avenue (commonly referred to as "The Danforth" in Greek Town) has a high concentration of Greek restaurants while Gerrard Street East and parts of Broadview Avenue are home to a variety of Asian shops and restaurants (referred to as East Chinatown). South of Queen Street East are several large corporate film studios extending down to the waterfront. Riverdale is home to the Gerrard Square Mall; which features a variety of retail, restaurant, and small shops. 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 (also known as the Riverside District) (south to Lake Shore). 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 Riverside District. 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.

    Schools

    • Riverdale Collegiate Institute is the neighbourhood's local high-school.
    • "City Adult Learning Centre" is one of five Toronto District School Board adult learning centres serving the area. The building was built in 1964 as "Parkway Vocational School" as a vocational school, which traces back to "Jarvis Junior Vocational School" as an extension to Jarvis Collegiate Institute. Parkway was later renamed to "Parkview Secondary School" and was closed in 1983 due to low enrolment.
    • "Earl Grey Senior Public School" is the area's local middle school, grade 7-8.
    • "Quest Alternative School" is the area's original alternative middle school, and one of the first in Toronto. Consisting of 68 students and 4 staff, Quest celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008. The school's motto is: "Structure to learn and freedom to grow", and its focus is on student-centered learning and diverse curriculum.
    • "East Alternative School of Toronto" is another local alternative middle school, specializing in social justice and visual arts. It also has 68 students and accepts students from all over Toronto.
    • "Withrow Avenue Junior Public School", "Jackman Avenue Junior Public School", "Frankland Community School", and "Pape Avenue Junior Public School" are the four local junior public schools in North Riverdale.
    • "Holy Name Catholic School" is overseen and owned by the Toronto Catholic District School Board and teaches grades K - 8. Holy Name was founded in 1913 by the Sisters of St. Joseph with four classrooms. Eight more classrooms were added in 1918. In 1931, two more portables were installed and 8 room addition was built in 1949 totalling to 20 classrooms. To service the ever-increasing population an annex was built in 1957 and extended in 1961 to provide a total of 31 classrooms but it was joined to the main building providing a library, a gymnasium and several more classrooms in 1968. Holy Name is a feeder school for graduates who would later attend St. Patrick, Neil McNeil and Notre Dame high schools.
    • "Montcrest School" is located on Montcrest Boulevard and several houses on Broadview Avenue just north of Riverdale Park. Montcrest School has classes from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8, Montcrest school is also an independent school who has been in operation since 1961, previously operating under the name "The January School".

    Institutions

    Riverdale is home to Bridgepoint Health (formerly Riverdale Hospital), at the corner of Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East.

    Parks and recreation

    There are three medium to large sized parks in Riverdale. At the west edge between Broadview Avenue and the Don Valley Parkway just north of Bridgepoint Health is Riverdale Park. This park features a running track, three baseball diamonds, a skating rink, a public swimming pool and tennis courts. Just to the east of Riverdale Park is Withrow Park which has a large off-leash dog area, an ice rink, two baseball diamonds, play structures, and a soccer field. In South Riverdale is Jimmy Simpson Park which contains tennis courts and a community centre. In the southwest corner just north of Queen St. East on Broadview Avenue is the Royal Canadian Curling Club. The curling club features six sheets and hosts leagues for about 500 members. The last park in Riverdale located further east along Blake Street is Kempton Howard Park (formerly East View Park) and was renamed in 2007 in honour of a youth worker who was killed in 2003 in the Blake/Boultbee community in which he lived and worked. Hubbard Park located next to Riverdale Library is named for William Peyton Hubbard.

    Neighbourhoods within Riverdale

    Riverdale is refers to the stretch of Toronto east of the Don Valley Parkway and west of Jones, between Danforth Avenue (north) and Gerrard Street (south). However, this area is usually referred to as "North Riverdale", and Riverdale itself covers a much wider area and includes many smaller communities, usually centred around a 'high street' or commercial area.

    South Riverdale

    "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.

    South Riverdale comprises many smaller neighbourhoods:

    Riverside

    "Riverside", also known as the "Queen Broadview Village" is a neighbourhood located within the larger neighbourhood of South Riverdale. Definite boundaries according to the Riverside Business Improvement Area defines the borders as the Don River to the west, Gerrard Street East to the north, Empire Avenue to the east and Eastern Avenue to the south.

    Riverside is a mixed income and multicultural neighbourhood currently experiencing a trend of "gentrification" along Queen St. East and Broadview Ave. It had been home to the Don Destructor, a Toronto garbage incinerator, demolished in 2004 and Don Mount Court, a social housing project which was recently redeveloped as a mixed social housing and market value community. The market value portion is being sold under the name Rivertowne.

    Riverside is known for its many historic buildings and rich cultural heritage. Unquestionably, the biggest landmark in the neighbourhood is the New Broadview House Hotel, a red sandstone commercial block in Romanesque style constructed in 1891-3, that was the tallest structure in South Riverdale for many decades. Other major landmarks include the Ralph Thornton Community Centre,(Queen Saulter branch Toronto Public Library) Broadview Lofts, and The Opera House. Riverside was also the location of Sunlight Park, Toronto's first base ball stadium.

    The area has a large young population, evident in the cluster of schools just east of Broadview Avenue. Dundas Junior Public School is the resident school for children in kindergarten through to fifth grade, after which they are transferred 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.

    Riverside is rapidly emerging as the district for independent design, furniture, and food retailers, as well as restaurants.

    East Chinatown

    Toronto's second largest Chinatown, also known as East Chinatown is found at Broadview & Gerrard.

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